When I was a kid I used to be told about the evils of Mexican Prisons. How if you went to Mexico you had to mind your freaking Ps and Qs or else end up in a jail for years, forgotten, due to their crooked law system of bribes and payoffs.
I was also told regularly about the evils of communism. About the millions in gulags in the USSR, rotting. How we, as “free Americans” must fight this, for freedom.
Welcome to the USA. Where we have 6 million people incarcerated. More than ever were in Stalin’s gulags. Of those 6 million, more than half are there for drug convictions. Of those convictions, 80% are for simple possession. If you’re unaware, “possession” is typically less than an ounce of, say pot, and a similarly small personal use amount of any other illegal drug. Any more than that, or any paraphernalia caught in conjunction, any underage person (say, a 17 year old) is around, and it often becomes far more than possession. Trafficking. Endangering a minor. Intent to sell. All of these are often heaped on top of people who aren’t even selling drugs.
Even if they were, these are not cartels running drugs and selling people on the side. They’re just people getting high. Sort of like you might if you stopped by the corner store and picked up a 12 pack of beer on the way home.
Except that you’re legally allowed to do that.
Except that around 80 years ago we decided that the just-over-a-decade prohibition of alcohol sales was actually destructive to civilized society in that it gave a strong black market stream for crime to build on, and that the laws were nearly uniformly enforced only on the poor.
In fact the whole Temperance movement as a whole sounds like a play by play of the drug war manifesto.
Except the drug war has been wildly successful, and we lost.
Less people do drugs? No, not really. Again, about half of the population has admitted to trying pot at least once. So it hasn’t really kept drugs off the street. It’s been successful at imprisoning US citizens and creating a massive profit system, though.
Sounds like reason enough to end this.