The harder the "War on Drugs" is fought, the more international organized crime grows, infects police & public officials and makes its gargantuan profits from human suffering.
We need to end it.
All right, Ryan Grim, as we heard the governor say, this is not just a problem in Vermont, not just in the Northeastern U.S. It is all over the country.
What -- how much worse has it grown across the country?
RYAN GRIM, The Huffington Post:
It's gotten bad.
And you have two main things going on here, and they're both going in the wrong directions, supply and demand. So, on the supply side, as a result of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, you have seen a surge in poppy production. And that heroin is going to go somewhere. It's going to find a market. There is no question about it here.
It's moved into Mexico and, up through Mexico, it's come here. We have seen since 2008 even a fourfold increase in seizures at the Mexican border. On the demand side, there has been this intense decade-long crackdown on what they call pill mills, which has also targeted regular doctors and pharmacies who no longer want to do any business in dispensing narcotics to people who might legitimately need it.
That drives more business, legitimate business to these pill mills, which makes them get bigger. The feds then knock those down. And so then these people go out looking for something that they need. Whether these were legitimate addicts or what to begin with, they're now addicts. They go out and find heroin, they are inexperienced users, and it is a terrible combination.
You're talking about people who originally were looking for -- many of them, not all of them -- were looking for pain medication, not able to get it, turned to the illegal...
RYAN GRIM: Sure.
Many, many people who have had some type of injury, elderly people to people who are 18 years old and were hurt on the football field, they will get a prescription. Some of those people will become addicted. And if you don't allow them access to these opiates, some of them, not all of them, a small percentage, are going to -- they are going to turn to heroin, as it is cheaper and more available."
WHY LEGALIZE DRUGS?
"We believe that drug prohibition is the true cause of much of the social and personal damage that has historically been attributed to drug use. It is prohibition that makes these drugs so valuable – while giving criminals a monopoly over their supply. Driven by the huge profits from this monopoly, criminal gangs bribe and kill each other, law enforcers, and children. Their trade is unregulated and they are, therefore, beyond our control.
History has shown that drug prohibition reduces neither use nor abuse. After a rapist is arrested, there are fewer rapes. After a drug dealer is arrested, however, neither the supply nor the demand for drugs is seriously changed. The arrest merely creates a job opening for an endless stream of drug entrepreneurs who will take huge risks for the sake of the enormous profits created by prohibition.
Prohibition costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year, yet 40 years and some 40 million arrests later, drugs are cheaper, more potent and far more widely used than at the beginning of this futile crusade.
We believe that by eliminating prohibition of all drugs for adults and establishing appropriate regulation and standards for distribution and use, law enforcement could focus more on crimes of violence, such as rape, aggravated assault, child abuse and murder, making our communities much safer. We believe that sending parents to prison for non-violent personal drug use destroys families. We believe that in a regulated and controlled environment, drugs will be safer for adult use and less accessible to our children. And we believe that by placing drug abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce rates of addiction and overdose deaths."
About the Author
"Colonel Mcketta began his career with the Pennsylvania State Police in 1937 and served in virtually every capacity and command level in the Department. He served four years as Deputy Commissioner and was appointed Commissioner of the largest state police organization in the U.S. He retired from the State Police in 1972 to serve as Assistance Commissioner of the Federal Protective Service Management Office governing security at federal installations nationally. He served on numerous governmental boards and authored several police manuals and articles for police management and administrative journals. The Colonel has attended a myriad of military and law enforcement schools during his long career." From Amazon.com