Social Order and International Peace
Drug War Casualty: The Social Order
The drug war commits grave violence against our social fabric. It has led to a disturbance of the economic order in inner cities, luring teenagers away from legal work with inflated drug profits and subjecting urban life to gang warfare and a doubling of violent crime. It has eroded justice and the rule of law, lowering the standards of justice, weakening constitutional protections and punishing the peaceful much more harshly than many violent offenders are punished. It has undermined legitimate social authority, the community and the family – taking issues that should be resolved civilly and locally and transferring them to police, legislators, bureaucrats, propagandists and the military.
The war on drugs has invaded the family unit. Government schools urging their students to turn their parents in for marijuana use is but one example of the pure socialism represented by the drug war. Even if it fails to achieve its goals, the drug warriors worry about what kind of lesson it would send to the children to legalize drugs.
But what kind of lesson does it send to continue this failed policy? To rip peaceful young Americans from the productive economy and cage them with violent criminals at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a year where many are abused or raped and accustomed to real criminality? What message does it send to say violence against non-aggressors is wrong, unless they are drug users? What message does it send to say the successful people in our society who got away with drug use uncaught were just lucky, and that hundreds of thousands who were less lucky must suffer? What message does it send about property rights or the principles of America to teach kids that their homes, vehicles and lives can be scrutinized by officials looking for drugs?
One of the most heart-wrenching tales concerns an entire community destroyed by the drug war. In 1999, an undercover cop who couldn’t find a steady job reported purchasing cocaine from a hundred people. Dozens went to prison, including about 1/3 of the black male population. There was no evidence of most of their guilt – no fingerprints, no corroborating testimony, no real proof at all. Some had rock-solid alibis. The whole town was destroyed by a single officer and an evil drug policy.
Drug War Casualty: International Peace
Finally, a few words about peace, the foundation of any free society. The drug war has hijacked American foreign policy for decades. During the Clinton administration, with the enthusiastic support of Joe Biden, the U.S. launched Plan Colombia, which has used poison to eradicate crops in Latin America, making people sick in the process. Look at Afghanistan and you see how the opium war is going there. In Mexico, we are facing narcoterrorism that would not and could not exist a day longer if they repealed prohibition.
U.S.-supported drug war efforts have meant mass murder abroad. In 2003, the Thai government, with U.S. support, tracked down thousands of individuals named on "black lists" as drug war enemies, and shot them dead. The government then concluded more than half the victims had nothing to do with drugs. They were simply suspicious, perhaps had too much unexplained money. This is how a Thai couple, who had won the lottery, were chosen for government murder. Last year Thai authorities indicated they would continue such a policy. " Government officials must implement this policy 24 hours a day, but I will not set a target for how many people should die," said Samak Sundaravej, the new prime minister. The interior minister Chalerm Yubamrung chimed in: "When we implement a policy that may bring 3,000 to 4,000 bodies, we will do it."
This is the kind of policy the U.S. favors abroad, and this is what we could face here in America if prohibition is not defeated. The drug war cannot succeed, even with the most brutal methods, but the drug warriors will try anything, even the most brutal methods, to wage their war.
But the government would never go as far as in Thailand, right? It would never kill its own citizens outright. Well, consider this. A couple years ago there was some propaganda that al Qaeda was trying to poison the American cocaine supply to hurt American citizens. No one sensed the irony. The Carter administration poisoned Mexican marijuana with paraquat. The policy continued under Reagan. Reagan's Drug Czar Carlton Turner defended the practice, saying he didn't care if drug users died from smoking poisoned marijuana. Turner had also tried selling fake paraquat-testing kits through High Times magazine, presumably to trick users into thinking their pot was safe. The same man later was pressured out of office, having gone over the top in declaring marijuana a cause of homosexuality and AIDS and calling for the death penalty for drug offenses.