Who are the real drug-war criminals?

2013-08-25T00:00:00Z Who are the real drug-war criminals?Randy Alcorn/Voice of Reason Santa Maria Times
August 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder recently announced that people convicted of certain low-level drug crimes will no longer be given severe mandatory prison sentences.

The nation’s top cop has not gotten soft on crime, he is simply confronting one of the realities of the war on drugs — overflowing prisons.

Criminalizing victimless free choice not only creates crime, it also makes criminals of otherwise decent people. This nonsense has filled the nation’s prisons. Private prisons have now become a $3-billion-a-year industry, growing by 1,600 percent between 1990 and 2010.

The cost to governments of prison operations exceeds $50 billion a year. The cost of apprehending and prosecuting drug law offenders costs tens of billions more dollars annually.

The futile war on drugs is undermining the entire justice system. Each year in the U.S., about 750,000 people are arrested and prosecuted for use and possession of marijuana. While most are put on probation, some go to prison.

Doesn’t our nation have better uses for tax dollars? The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and half those inmates were convicted of drug offenses.

The contrived war on drugs is a sinkhole of waste that will never end drug use, but it does enrich a select group who are determined to continue the war, regardless of the collateral damage. These greed ghouls include both law enforcement and drug cartels, neither of whom wish to see drugs decriminalized, because it would derail their gravy train.

Gov. Jerry Brown has been fighting a federal court order to relieve overcrowded state prisons. The governor has resisted releasing as many as 30,000 inmates.

There is a solution. Brown knows about 25,000 inmates in California’s prisons were convicted of drug offenses. He should also know the war on drugs is not only a chronic failure, but is egregiously unjust. It has corrupted and militarized our law enforcement, made victims of innocent citizens, strained our criminal justice system, and made Mexico and many of our inner cities war zones.

Brown should end California’s participation in the war on drugs. He should release all but the most dangerous inmates convicted of drug offenses, then pardon everyone convicted of non-violent, non-child-related drug offenses. That should keep the state’s prison population down to compliance levels.

What government’s drug warlords have done for so many years is convince Americans that free choice of drug use presents a grave threat. Any facts and science that refutes the government’s contentions about drugs are rejected, even vilified, by government in its campaign to maintain myths about the danger of drugs.

The public’s growing acceptance of marijuana use, particularly for medicinal purposes, has the drug warriors in a reactionary panic. Erstwhile marijuana opponent, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, after meeting with medical experts and medical marijuana patients around the world, recently admitted that “we have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”

The troubling part of Gupta’s admission is his observation that Americans have been “systematically misled ...” Systematically more than implies the authorities responsible for continuing the war on drugs are doing so for ulterior motives. Given all the damage the war on drugs has done to America, those doing the misleading are the real criminals.

In a nation founded on personal freedom, why should anyone be prosecuted and punished for engaging in a victimless personal choice? When there is drug abuse or addiction, it should be a matter between user and family, or user and physician, not user and the police power of government.

Santa Barbara County resident Randy Alcorn can be reached at randyalcorn@cox.net.

Copyright 2015 Santa Maria Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. Freedom_First
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    Freedom_First - August 31, 2013 12:32 pm
    Here are some drug facts that are actively suppressed by the corporate-owned media and their drug war machine:

    The most popular drugs in the world besides nicotine and caffeine are alcohol, cannabis, opiates (e.g. morphine and heroin), and cocaine. These drugs are valuable medicines which have served mankind for thousands of years. Medicinal plants and extracts are also the safest drugs. Preparations of coca, opium, cannabis, and alcohol have been safely produced and consumed throughout all human history. These much-valued herbal medicines also have religious, ceremonial, and recreational uses. They belong in every home and medicine kit unless the homeowner chooses otherwise.

    Medicinal plants and extracts were made illegal because they cannot be patented. They are illegal because they can be produced and sold for pennies by peasant farmers. They are illegal because the biological action of every prescription drug can be duplicated with medicinal plants, extracts, and dietary supplements that are much safer, more effective, and much cheaper. In a free market where everyone, including poor people, are allowed to compete, basic medicines (drugs) would be dirt cheap. Big Pharma (the government licensed drug cartel) would lose more than ninety percent of their sales amounting to several hundred billion dollars per year. That is the reason why government drug fighters are employed to arrest millions of consumers who prefer natural drugs over synthetics and choose not to be ripped off by Big Pharma. Money is the reason why government thugs are employed to murder peasant farmers and spray poison on their land, livestock, crops, and families. In fact, the medical industrial complex purchases tons of opiates every year from selected peasant farmers and resell them by prescription for a thousand times more than they paid. The prescription drug racket is the most profitable racket in history enforced by armies of police and a vast prison complex.

    The drug war is now a one trillion dollar per year armed robbery that enriches Big Pharma and the police-prison industrial complex at the expense of taxpayers and consumers. It is the largest armed robbery in history. -- Rick [Freedom_First (at) verizon (dot) net]
  2. Freedom_First
    Report Abuse
    Freedom_First - August 30, 2013 4:27 pm
    "I am all for legalizing pot- when the government Nanny's stop telling me I can't have a Big Gulp or cigarette, etc!"

    Cbrown -- I don't know if you are responding to my post but I do agree that the main problem is that government has become too big and intrusive. It has destroyed freedom. Thousands of pages of laws, rules, taxes, regulations, licences, permits, fees, and mandates are the opposite of freedom. Freedom is the absence of government control. Freedom means that there are only three laws, the laws that prohibit theft, assault, and disturbing the peace.

    "..if I fire any of my employees that become potheads."

    Freedom means that you have the right to hire or fire anyone you want subject only to contracts which you have agreed to honor. If you want to examine your employee's urine as a condition for employment, that would be your choice just like it would be his choice to not work for you. Personally, I would never hire an illegalizer or substance-abuse-expert because, in my experience, they are the biggest idiots on the planet. Freedom means a complete separation of government from the economy.

    "Just like they have made the poorest of the poor gambling addicts because government likes the taxes from gambling!"

    Freedom also means that individuals are free to gamble or do whatever they want as long as they do not harm the person or property of another. You seem to be a bit confused because no one can force another to be an "addict", whatever that means. -- Rick [Freedom_First (at) verizon (dot) net]
  3. Cbrown
    Report Abuse
    Cbrown - August 29, 2013 12:40 pm
    I am all for legalizing pot- when the government Nanny's stop telling me I can't have a Big Gulp or cigarette, etc!

    You guys need to get your priorities straight, first! The fight is not about the single issue of you guys being able to get stoned, check out of society- while government goes nuts on everyone else with their other laws!

    The only way you are going to get full government acceptance is once it is taxed. Then government will enjoy the money and come after me if I fire any of my employees that become potheads. Just like they have made the poorest of the poor gambling addicts because government likes the taxes from gambling!

    The fight is about limiting ALL government so you guys CAN get stoned and other free people can choose not to hire you for doing it!

    You blow your credibility when you make arguments about your “medical” use of pot. That has been blown as sky high as your buzz makes you!

    Admit you want to be buzzed, plain and simple and I will admit that I do not want to hire the Weekend Toker in my company or get sued by powerful government because I fired you for smoking weed!

  4. Freedom_First
    Report Abuse
    Freedom_First - August 28, 2013 4:04 pm
    jflosum -- You got it backwards. It is not the victims of the drug war who are the violent criminals. The violent criminals are the drug fighters and illegalizers.

    Here are two questions for you or any other illegalizer. Suppose that you were walking down the street peacefully minding your own business when a heavily armed gang attacked you, threw you to the ground, pushed your face into the pavement, pointed guns at your head, and blew your head off if you resisted, just because some group did not approve of what you ate for breakfast -- would you say that they were the violent criminals or would you conclude that you were the violent criminal?

    Second. Suppose that another heavily armed gang kicked down your door, invaded and ransacked your home, pointed guns at your family while screaming obscenities at them, ransacked your home, and murdered anyone who resisted, just because they or others did not approve of what you drink or smoke -- would you say that those thugs were violent criminals or would you conclude that your family were the violent criminals?

    Restoring freedom or legalization would immediately end millions of violent crimes because the police would no longer be authorized to commit them. -- Rick [Freedom_First (at) verizon (dot) net]
  5. jflosum
    Report Abuse
    jflosum - August 27, 2013 8:01 am
    I really have no problem with legalizing marijuana. I really do believe that people have a right to blow their own brains out with a gun or drugs if that is what they want (or jump off the Cold Springs Bridge). What I have a big problem with is the thinking that the violent, criminal element is just going to go away. And what about the other fall out, like DUIs and cost to the health care system from all those Twinkies that are going to be consumed?

    Before we legalize marijuana, be had better get our selves prepared to wage another kind of war against this criminal element that is not going to sink quietly into the sunset.

    Are we prepared for that? I don't know if I have ever even seen anyone talking about. it.
  6. Dan Givens
    Report Abuse
    Dan Givens - August 26, 2013 10:22 am
    Excellent article Mr. Alcorn...you are the voice of reason.

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