Legal Pot, Why Not?

English: Official portrait of United States At...

English: Official portrait of United States Attorney General Eric Holder Español: Retrato oficial de Fiscal General de los Estados Unidos Eric Holder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This is one of those issues that my beliefs have changed over the last 30-40 years. We all have a few like that, I think. When I was young I saw the wreckage made by heroin in the late 60s and 70s and basically said , “There oughta be a law”, and soon there was. And Nixon’s war on drugs, and for a time, things seemed better.

 

But, you know, Americans know perfectly well what happens when you outlaw something. We tried outlawing alcohol, and created the mafia. As always, if Shakespeare didn’t say it,  Churchill did, “If you destroy a market, you create a black market.” In the featured article here, Gene Howington reminds us of some of the good products we used to make of hemp, besides marijuana, like rope, and paper, and medicine.

 

Go ahead and read the article, and then we’ll talk a bit more.

 

From Jonathan Turley by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

Propaganda 106 – Waging War (A Case Study)

“This thing, what is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its substance and material? And what its causal nature [or form]? And what is it doing in the world? And how long does it subsist?” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VIII – 11

“All war is deception.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

As previously discussed, “we need to differentiate between the terms ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’.  Strategy is defined in relevant part by Webster’s as ‘the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war’.  Tactics, by contrast, is defined in relevant part by Webster’s as ‘the art or skill of employing available means to accomplish an end’ and ‘the study of the grammatical relations within a language including morphology and syntax’. By better understanding the tactics of propagandists, you not only gain a certain degree of immunity from their influence, but insight into their strategic ends.”

Today we will address strategy and tactics in the form of a case study. The context is the so-called “War on Drugs” and state’s efforts to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. The strategy is to exacerbate so called drug crime violence by obliquely attacking the burgeoning states effort to legalize marijuana and those who trade in legal marijuana by deliberately putting them at risk. The primary tactic in question is misdirection.  When analyzing propaganda, it’s important to ask who brings the message, what do they want me to think, why do they want me to think it and how do they benefit? The leader of this campaign against the American people?  United States Attorney General Eric Holder. Let’s examine the  what, why and who benefits from what Mr. Holder wants you to think.

LEGAL HISTORY, ECONOMICS, AND CULTURAL CONTEXT

Although preceded by a smattering of local laws and the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 at the Federal level, prohibition via the 18th Amendment in 1919 and the Volstead Act of 1920 which were subsequently repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1923, the term “War of Drugs” entered the American lexicon in 1971 when used by Richard Nixon to (accurately) describe his continuation and expansion of policies started under the Harrison Narcotics Act via the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.  The Controlled Substance Act classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug with a high potential for abuse and no acceptable medical use. In 1982, then Vice President (and former CIA director) George H. W. Bush began pushing for the involvement of the CIA and U.S. military in drug interdiction efforts. The War of Drugs was being escalated in earnest. Many programs were started as cooperative ventures between the U.S military, the DEA and the CIA and foreign powers, resulting in billions of dollars flowing from the U.S. and into drug producing countries like Columbia, Mexico, Honduras and Panama – including the “stealth invasion” of Panama to overthrow former CIA front man, dictator and drug runner Manuel Noriega in Operation Just Cause. Many laws were passed, including the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 (ironically enough) that included the Sentencing Reform Act.

US_incarceration_rate_timelineMany people are outraged by the Federal and state government using private for profit prisons even though both have a long history of contracting out specific services to private firms, such as medical services, food preparation, vocational training, and inmate transportation. However, in the wake of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act and its included Sentencing Reform Act, the 1980′s saw explosive growth in the private prison industry. With traditionally government operated prison populations filled to overflowing by the War on Drugs and the mandated increased use of incarceration,  overcrowding and ballooning costs became increasingly used by all levels of government as a rationale for outsourcing prisons to the private sector.  Recognizing a gravy train when they saw it, private business interests moved from providing the simple (and reasonable) contracting of services to contracting for the complete management and operation of entire prisons in what they call in the business world (again, the irony) a turnkey solution.

 

Continue reading Propaganda 106 – Waging War (A Case Study) | JONATHAN TURLEY.

 

Cui bono

 

Cui bono is a latin phrase you’ve probably heard fairly often, if you what crime shows and such on TV. Essentially it means “To who the benefit” Who benefits from illegal marijuana? That first chart tells a lot of the story, doesn’t it?. That tells us that everybody that makes money from the prison system, and Mr. Howington did a good job of telling us who that is. If you would like to know more, a friend of mine at Montana Corruption. org works on it all the time. You could probably assume that the story is not that different where you live.

 

And this is what I finally saw. The endless circle of crony-capitalism. The legislature passes a law, the executive signs a contract (usually for a bloated amount) with a (well-connected) company to carry out the law, and the company makes generous contributions to the political party, and the lawmaker, and the executive. And so it goes, forever, regardless of the interests and needs of the country, let alone the people.

 

You did notice in this whole thing, didn’t you, that there is no incentive for anybody to ever be found innocent. Think anybody, especially poor anybody’s get railroaded? Yeah, me too. Read some more at Montana Corruption.

 

I would suggest that we are big boys and girls who can figure out for ourselves whether marijuana is hazardous. Let alone whether it is more hazardous than either Booze or cigarettes. Who decides? Right now  Uncle Sam. I think we need to stop letting Uncle Sam be our Mommy and Daddy until we’re ninety-six.

 

It’s amazing what you see when you start to apply those two little words. Try it. often.

 

Cui Bono

 

 

About Neo
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

10 Responses to Legal Pot, Why Not?

  1. mstrmac711 says:

    As I have aged, the senselessness of the “war on drugs” has become more and more senseless.

    Like

  2. Freedom, by the way says:

    The war on drugs is going as badly as the war on poverty. Both “wars” need to end. When we stop throwing taxpayer money at the problem, there will be much more money in the private sector for non-profits to actually work on rehabilitation of both addicts and the poor. And they will do a much better job. Far too many people (esp. young people) have ruined or at least stained their lives because of drugs. I’m not talking about addiction. I’m talking about incarceration or an arrest record. Much better for the government to back off.
    The current state of nannyism in our country has gotten my back up about any new laws or existing that try to regulate behavior.

    Like

    • NEO says:

      Yep, as mac and I both said, watching the government has cured us. The medicine is far worse than the disease. And your right, there is no reason to carry a felony record for burning weed. It just as silly as making public intoxication a felony, except marijuana doesn’t have as many lobbyists.

      Like

  3. Sherry says:

    War on Drugs…War on Poverty…and the newest…(wait for it!)…the War on Racism! All great strategic, er, tactical, er…(aw heck with it!) moves with the political ends of getting elected/re-elected. Its working so why should we ever see an end to these money-making wars? 😕

    Like

    • NEO says:

      And that was exactly the point I, the OP and Montana Corruption are all making. The only reason I restricted the article to the war on drug is that it is more visceral. The war on poverty actually provides what could be called the raw material for the war on drugs.

      They all make the connected in that obscene circle even richer while harming the society.

      A bad deal all around and very hard to fix but, we’d better figure out how.

      Like

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