No end to this disgrace in sight! Essay
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• U. S. Prison Population Soars in 2003, ’04 The population of the nation’s prisons and jails has grown by about 900 inmates each week between mid-2003 and mid-2004, according to figures released Sunday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. By last June 30 the system held 2. 1 million people, or one in every 138 U. S. residents. … [The] increase can be attributed largely to get-tough policies enacted in the 1980s and 1990s. Among them are mandatory drug sentences, “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” laws for repeat offenders and “truth-in-sentencing” laws that restrict early releases.
[M]any of those incarcerated are not serious or violent offenders, but are low-level drug offenders — ABC News, 2005-04-25 It’s a rosy future for the prisons-for-profit industry. • Gregory Palast: Gilded Cage: Wackenhut’s Free Market in Human Misery • A Letter to Barbara Bush • Noam Chomsky: The War on (Certain) Drugs • Lee Rodgers: The Duplicity of the War on Drugs Looking at the accumulated evidence that the Contras and the CIA engaged in cocaine smuggling to fund the covert war in Nicaragua, suspicion arises concerning the apparent coincidence that CIA-Contra drug smuggling was contemporaneous with the ‘war on drugs’.
From a CIA covert action in Latin America the cocaine has made its way NORTH (ala Oliver North) to the American consumer, who is consistently portrayed as African-American by the mass media, even though the majority of cocaine consumption is by whites. The disturbing prospect arises that this ‘war on drugs’ was nothing more than CIA-style psychological warfare which sought to acquire as much as possible of the sum total of our civil liberties while particularly targeting minorities. • Daniel Hopsicker: The Secret Heartbeat of America: A New Look at the Mena Story.
I will never, as long as I live, forget our ‘Midnight ride to Mena,’ seated beside tour guide and American hero Russell Welch. I’m convinced that what I saw there that night was a fully functional and operational secret government installation. By that, I do not mean a secret installation of the government of the United States of America. Unh-uh. What I believe I saw, and what I believe exists in Mena, Arkansas today … is an installation of the secret government that runs the government of the United States of America. And here’s what I suspect: that today, long after Oliver North has become nothing but a minor league radio DJ …
and long after the contra war is just a fading memory of yet another minor league war, our government — yours and mine — is going about the lucrative worldwide business of drug production and distribution. • Peter Webster: Anatomy of a Fiasco: a review of The Swedish Drug Control System As with the understanding of crowd madnesses and ritual persecutions of old, a satisfactory and general theory of our great modern Prohibitionist folly will probably have to await not only the final demise of the madness, but an intervening period of normalization and healing recuperation lasting perhaps several generations.
From the perspective of the distant future, historians may well conclude that the centuries-long phenomenon of Substance Prohibition … reached its dizzying peak in the late 20th Century as a climactic exaggeration ad absurdum of a long-enduring collective delusion and paranoia. But even if we could, by virtue of a time machine, read such a theory today, the continued existence of the crowd madness in our midst would certainly preclude any general recognition or acceptance of its validity.
Thus, although there now exist a few obscure essays which may someday be seen as harbingers of that still-distant revelation, they will probably have minimal influence on the immediate course of events and we can today do little more than study local details of the Prohibitionist phenomenon and force society to look at the ugly and counterproductive results of its obsession in the ongoing attempt at curing the malady by stages. There seems absolutely no possibility that a great and general truth about Prohibition, no matter how brilliantly expressed, could today awaken Western Civilization from its present nightmare.
But in the meanwhile, to assist the growing number of individuals who can see the inevitable if distant dawn of a new rationality, a wealth of excellent literature exists and continues to grow at a gratifying pace. Such literature deals with the “local details” of the Prohibitionist phenomenon in ways which both illustrate its illogic and destructiveness to society, and suggests practical if only provisional tactics and strategy for limiting the ravages of Prohibition and tackling the difficult task of awakening the general public to its complicity and participation in a crowd madness of major proportions.
• Kristianna Tho’Mas: Opium War: Britain Stole Hong Kong From China Governments have been behind the drug trade for a long time. • Illicit Lemon Drops Get Boy a School Suspension — from the Los Angeles Times, 1997-11-20: COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A 6-year-old boy has been suspended for half a day for bringing “drugs” to school: lemon drops bought in a health food store. The fire department and an ambulance were called after a teacher found first-grader Seamus Morris giving the candies to a fellow pupil on the playground Oct. 29, said his mother, Shana Morris.
She said both boys’ parents were urged to take their children to the hospital for tests, despite her assurances that the lemon drops were harmless. John Bushey, an administrator at Taylor Elementary School, said the half-day suspension was consistent with the district’s drug policy, which treats unfamiliar products as controlled substances. Here’s the original Denver Post story. • How the U. S. Drug War Plays in the European Media According to “Juan,” the US government is chiefly concerned with getting political and economic advantages from the drug trade …
“Washington uses the DEA to pressure other countries politically. ” At times, the US permits drug trafficking so that it can get information to use to “blackmail foreign governments. ” As the Hopsicker article shows, the U. S. State of Arkansas is one of the murky epicenters of the CIA’s smuggling of addictive drugs into America. Finally some light is falling upon the creepie-crawlie characters in this cesspool. The case of Dan Harmon is interesting: • Dan Harmon Indicted.
He “is charged with running a drug-related ‘criminal enterprise’ while serving as prosecuting attorney for the state’s 7th Judicial District and heading its federally funded drug task force. ” • Dan Harmon Convicted Despite the apparent wish of the federal prosecutors to take a dive, the jury convicts. • Arkansas Justice An editorial from the Wall Street Journal. • A Question Regarding Harmon “Harmon ran what a lawyer in Pulaski County recently described as ‘a reign of terror’ in the counties he was sworn to serve. All of that raises the question of why the man was not stopped earlier.
” This is just the tip of the iceberg. Those interested in the drug scandals of Arkansas can read more on the CIA page and in the selected messages from the CIADRUGS mailing list. • Crime and the War on Drugs — from Harry Browne’s 1996 U. S. presidential election campaign platform • Vin Suprynowicz: The Big Lie • U. S. to Criminalize Trade in Vitamins Are you a vitamin C abuser? • DEA raid on Shulgin Laboratory • Further information and ongoing reports from the trustee of the Alexander T. Shulgin Trust (including the final report).
• Drug lawyer speculates on the future. • The Marijuana Policy Project The MPP is working to chip away at the excesses of the current prohibitionist policies, gradually replacing them with reasonable regulations. • Interview with Michael Levine, former DEA agent, in which he relates his involvement as an undercover agent in heroin and cocaine smuggling in S. E. Asia and South America. • Cocaine Politics — Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America A book by an academic and a journalist which exposes the lies and hypocrisy behind the “war on drugs”.
• A review of Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure • A review of The Politics of Consciousness: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom • The Arguments against Cannabis are Flimsy! from the Usenet newsgroup uk. politics. drugs. • The Introduction from the 1996 Positronics Sinsemilla Fanclub Catalogue. There are some countries (considerably more enlightened than the U. S. ) where the “war on drugs” is perceived even by the government itself to be a lie and a fraud.
• Paul Staines: Acid House Parties Against the Lifestyle Police and the Safety Nazis • Costs of cannabis laws outweigh their alleged benefit, an excerpt from Marijuana: The New Prohibition by Professor John Kaplan. • Civil Asset Forfeiture — the end of the rule of law Legal theft in America. • The Introduction to Brenda Grantland’s Your House is Under Arrest You may say this could never happen in America because the U. S. Constitution protects you. There you are wrong, because it is happening in the U. S. — at an alarmingly increasing pace.
• Judy Aita: U. N. Drug Report • Licensed to Deal, Marijuana Sellers Put Arizona on the Spot • U. S. prosecutions of pro-marijuana doctors barred At the end of April 1997 a U. S. district judge issued an order temporarily barring the federal government from prosecuting California doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients. • Court gives pot back to epileptic Judge Sheppard stressed that his decision had nothing to do with the recreational use of marijuana but was based on solid proof that the substance is an irreplaceable aid to Mr.Parker’s health problems.
He said that to deny Mr. Parker the substance would be to interfere with his right to life, liberty and security of person. Liberty includes the right of an individual to make decisions of personal importance, the judge said, and health is surely one of them.
• Steven Silverman: A Harsh Civics Lesson • Dr. Bernhard Haisch: A Viagra-model Solution to the War on Drugs • Medical Use of Cannabis ‘Could Soon be Legal’ • Illicit drug use in the EU: legislative approaches (372 Kb PDF file) • Edgar J. Steele: Pogo Was Right.