The War on Drugs

I am one of the people who believes that drugs should be legalised, but I know deep in my heart that is completely unlikely. Saying that I support the legalisation and taxation of drugs works against my interest as a cog in the criminal justice system.  In fact, that is the reason I know that drugs will never be legalised.

First off, there is the puritanical streak that says the substances should be banned.  After being in the Michigan legislature when “Cat” (Methcathinone) was banned and watching it sweeep to a pretty much unanimous vote before my eyes in the early 1990s, the attitude toward illegal drugs is pretty much the same whether it is something such as marijuana or heroin or cocaine.  Society disapproves of drug use.

But the real reason is there is far too much money involved in the illegal drug trade.  Luv News sent a link to a story in Pravda that
U.S. remains the largest cocaine market in the world according to the INCB (International Board for Narcotics Control).

“In 2009, 4.8 million people consumed some form of cocaine in the U.S., compared with 5.3 million in 2008,” the INCB said in its report in 2010. With this number of consumers, the U.S. represents 41% of the international drug market, ahead of Europe, with 29%, according to the board, stating that “Although the market for cocaine has been reduced in North America, it continues to grow in Europe.”

LUV’s commentary points out that part of the problem is that US banking industry makes billions of dollars from the illegal drug trade by laundering money. That means the corruption in the drug trade is pretty much systemic. The fact that huge amounts of money can be had by enabling the trade, we are ensured that the war on drugs will drag on far longer than any other war.

Twenty million people in the U.S. regularly use illegal drugs, spurring street crime and wrecking families. Narcotics cost the U.S. economy $215 billion a year — enough to cover health care for 30.9 million Americans — in overburdened courts, prisons and hospitals and lost productivity, the department says.

“It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy,” says Martin Woods, director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London from 2006 to 2009. Woods says he quit the bank in disgust after executives ignored his documentation that drug dealers were funneling money through Wachovia’s branch network.

And it’s not just the money and drugs, but the trade also fuels US firearms sales. There is this denial that most of the guns used by the drug cartels come from the US, but what better way to keep the money from just leaking like a sieve to Columbia and Afghanistan than to sell guns?

There is no hope that drugs will be legalised. And if they were, we could be sure that big business would have its hand in any future legal sales.


Posted 07/03/2011 by lacithedog in Crime, drug war, narcotics

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