Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

June 25, 2014

War on Drugs means money, power for some

Gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur supported, among other sensible policies, marijuana legalization in Maryland.

Currently, simple possession of other drugs in Maryland is a felony, and with legalization taking its place on the campaign landscape, there are broader social issues in play.

Getting inebriated is an intentional human behavior — it is not a mistake or an accident. Neither is it a mental health crisis. It is, in fact, perfectly normal human behavior well within the range of good mental health. Just like the drugs themselves, it is a question of degree (or percentage) of usage and effect.

Deeply ingrained in the desired effects of drug use is another perfectly normal human behavior: Moderation. In fact, moderation is the largest component of drug use behavior. It represents the behavior of up to 85 to 95 percent of all human drug use (…with one glaring exception — cigarettes, which run roughly at a 98 to 100 percent addiction rate).

So what is the purpose of drug laws that scoop up the huge body of moderate drug users and throws them into the closed circle of the criminal justice system?

You guessed it: money and power.

Throwing that many moderate users in jail is not meant to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community.

And, neither is the criminal system really interested in saving us from ourselves. A corporate personhood cannot line his pockets with just junking the junkies. It is those huge numbers of moderate, responsible, hard working drug users that keep the criminal justice system salivating.

Year by year, hand over fist, the money rolls-in to the tune of billions of dollars. You can’t make that kind of money just by locking up the drug addicts.

That’s simply not fiscally responsible. Who the hell would invest in the criminal justice industrial complex if it only locked up a few addicts? And forget about making money by locking up the dealers. We all know that’s a laugh.

So what is the purpose of the marketplace of illegalization? The word “legalization” is a code word that is used by much of the media and proponents in the corporately-inspired criminal justice system to keep adult personal drug use illegal. Legalization is meant to be inflammatory. It is not used to describe an actual policy.

By selecting cigarettes and alcohol as the allowable legal drugs, corporate influence is immediately obvious. The awesome wealth and power of the alcohol and tobacco industries is enhanced by the incestuous nature of their boardrooms and stockholders interbred with other corporate industries.

The one thing the tentacles of corporate power were missing is personhood. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, the jigsaw is complete that rounds out the picture of the menacing embrace of the cruel giant octopus on our backs.

The Great American Drug War is a problem that will not go away. Not because of the drug users, but because of the longstanding agreements between corporate and political boardrooms, that sometimes are “illegal and therefore secretive, that limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, and who obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair advantage.”

 David Crockett

Cumberland

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