- A Huffington Post article from earlier in July reported that a car bomb was used for the first time in drug related Mexican violence. It was detonated in Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas and killed three people. According to the article, the composition and detonation of the bomb was "seemingly lifted from the Al Qaida playbook."
- An Associated Press article from July 24, 2010 reported that Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics will be able to use medical marijuana in the fourteen states where it's legal. Now the Veteran's Affairs organization is a part of the same Federal government that raids California and other states' medical marijuana clinics for being in violation of Federal law that makes marijuana illegal. Seems like the Federal left hand and the right hand are working two different agendas and wasting taxpayer money in the process.
- In an Associated Press article from July 19, 2010, it was reported that several gunmen drove up to a party, jumped out of their car, gunned down dozens of people (wounding 18 and killing 17), and drove off. This attack is believed to be drug gang related and came about a month after other gunmen raided a drug rehab center and killed 19 people. The article goes on to document the many mass shootings that have occurred in northern Mexico since the beginning of the year as the battle to control the illegal drug market continues to grow.
- The July/August, 2010 Cato Policy Report quoted an article from a May issue of the Washington Post which described a deadly gun battle in Jamaica's capital between an alleged drug kingpin and police and soldiers that resulted in the death of thirty people. The kingpin was wanted in the United States for selling marijuana and crack cocaine in the New York area.
- The Cato Policy Report quoted another May Washington Post article. This article reported on Federal surveys which put the District Of Columbia among the nation's leaders in marijuana consumption. The article quoted District teenagers who said they can buy pot more easily than beer or cigarettes.
- California's Proposition 19 in November would allow cities and towns in California to regulate and tax their local marijuana market.
Okay, let's review. the Federal government and political class do not want you smoking any kind of marijuana for any purpose, including medical use, since it is illegal at the Federal level but fourteen states say it is legal for medical marijuana to be used within their state borders. After four decades, we have created an evolving, violent narco-state just south of our borders with violence from that narco-state condition now approaching epidemic levels. Despite untold TRILLIONS of dollars spent on the drug war, our kids can buy marijuana easier than they can buy cigarettes and booze. And one of the leading metro area for marijuana use is the capital from which politicians declare that marijuana for any purpose is illegal. This all sounds more like insanity than a coherent drug policy.
And while all of this is going on, what did our politicians do this week:
- President Obama wasted numerous hours traveling to, preparing for, and appearing on a daytime TV talk show.
- Many Democrats in the House of representatives are only worried about now not to get tarhished by the ethics violations of Charles Rangel and Maxine Walters.
- Governor Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, a U.S. border state with Mexico and whose eastern border is very close to Juarez, Mexico, site of the car bombing described above, was working on the issue of whether he should grant Billy The Kid a pardon - one hundred and twenty nine years after Billy died.
There you have it: a failed drug war and a distracted political class. That is why Step 26 of "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" is so important. Step 26 would convene a set of experts, similar to the Manhattan Project, without politicians and lobbyists, and come up with a coherent and sane national drug policy, doing a ground up approach and analysis of the current situation, and recommending a set of alternatives to the "War On Drugs" that the American people, not the political class would vote on. The political class has already proven they cannot get focused enough to take an unbiased look at the problem that gets worse every day from a violence perspective.
Although I am no expert in this field and would not want to prejudice any panel, I cannot help but think any new approach going forward has to embrace at least decriminalization, if not total legalization. The genie is out of the bottle with fourteen states already allowing medical marijuana usage and California possibly legalizing any type of marijuana usage. Our kids can easily get illegal drugs whenever they want to. We have proven that suppressing demand is extremely difficult. This does not mean we should not try and help those escape the clutches of their addiction and who want such help. But Portugal was able to do both, decriminalize illegal drugs and offer enhanced drug rehab services for those that wanted it. As a result, drug usage actually went down in Portugal as a result of this much saner approach as did wasted law enforcement resources.
Waiting for the political class to solve this problem, particularly the ever escalating and approaching violence due to our current laws, is a strategy of failure. After forty years or so, let's finally end this war.
Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at www.loathemygovernment.com. It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.
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