In terms of any real existential threat posed to humanity, the Drug Cartels are relatively minor players compared to the very real threat posed to humans by Big Oil, Wall Street, and Corporate America who have the power to tank the world economy just to extend their profits and destroy the human habitat which we humans and other animals need to survive. And the American taxpayer gets the profound honor and privilege of paying for it all. He wins the right to fund his own extinction by virtue of his historical reliability, hard work and a giddy willingness to believe everything the government tells him with no questions asked. Bragging rights, I guess. Don't go after the Cartels; if you want real results, go after the bankers.
George Carlin on the Death Penalty
At least, with the Cartels, you can easily put them out of business for good without having to send your military to occupy foreign countries to kill innocent people and fund their perpetual exploitation at the hands of our multinationals simply by educating our children about the perils of drug use and embracing a national campaign to change our collective lifestyle not unlike the campaign used in recent years to diminish the hold that tobacco has had on us for decades.
(Media Roots Radio on SoundCloud - America's 50 Year War in Colombia: Death Squads & Drug Management)
Tobacco has the dubious distinction of killing around six million people worldwide every year. In contrast, there’s never been a single recorded death due to the use of marijuana in the entire history of human civilization. I’m not judging anybody. Education is the key to success, and the best part of it all is that it doesn't require a single drop of blood to do it. The changes will be lasting and transformative.
When you stop to think about it, why should we have anymore right to militarily occupy sovereign countries and repress their natural evolution toward real democracies (one of the hidden reasons for our government’s War on Drugs) than they should have the right to come here and do the same to us to prevent us from sending our publicly-subsidized tobacco abroad to add more fuel to the fire of their countrys' health care problems? Tobacco is the only product marketed for mass consumption that’s lethal when used as directed.
Legalize, regulate, and help solve our festering budget crises from Maine to California by moderately taxing drugs and bringing the whole process in from the dark where most of the danger lies. When people have to go undercover, temporarily stepping into a burgeoning underworld replete with all kinds of unforeseen dangers to get what they want, their level of risk goes up, unnecessarily. We could be making safe, affordable, and easily attainable herb available to our citizenry at our local pharmacies, and no one would be the wiser for it. After all, marijuana is much safer than everything else out there including cigarettes and alcohol—especially, cigarettes and alcohol.
The facts are overwhelmingly on the side of legalization, but we’ve only partially awakened from a collective delusion that was sinisterly imposed on us as part of a massive decades-long campaign of startlingly misleading propaganda that was initially meant to criminalize the dangerous classes. It's evolved into, among other things, a method for funding criminal government activities, both, domestically and abroad.
(Social Cleansing, the ‘War on Drugs,’ Marijuana and Prohibition – Noam Chomsky)
Let’s rethink the leaf and what we erroneously presume to be our common sense positions on the War on Drugs instead of using that war as a pretext for enslaving a third of all black men in our massively corrupt and misguided prison-industrial complex (a for-profit enterprise that destructively incentivizes mass incarceration). We enslave a highly disproportionate number of our unwanted minorities and incarcerate a full twenty-five percent of the world’s prison population despite the fact that, as a nation, we make up less than five percent of the world’s population.
(The Case for Decriminalization – Portugal)
Don’t we think this has gotten out of hand? With our prisons being so heavily overcrowded and less and less funds being available to warehouse our fellow human beings for decades of their lives for what often amounts to acts that are completely harmless to society, it’s time to think more carefully about where we choose to invest our time, energy, resources and hard-earned money in the future so we don’t exhaust ourselves running aimlessly in every which direction.
(The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander)
(People Sentenced for Drug Offenses in the US Correctional System)
By allowing our attention to be carefully diverted to the far lesser crimes of the Drug Cartels, we are blinded to the very real dangers to our future posed by Wall Street, Corporate America, Big Oil, and the Too Big To Fail institutions which have the potential to destroy us. The sooner we stop blaming others for the condition we’re in and begin to question everything our government tells us, the sooner we’ll be on our way to solving our problems instead of running from them and wondering why things aren’t getting any better.
Meanwhile, when we, hypocritically and unilaterally, enact economic sanctions against other nations, we aren’t making any friends around the world among people who justifiably resent us for what we allow our government to do in our names to avoid having to deal with what we should have been dealing with all along. What are the fans of two of Colombia’s most successful soccer teams going to believe when we do this to them and, simultaneously, seek to prevent their country from attaining a higher level of democracy? How can we tell them to ‘clean up their act’ when we haven’t cleaned up our own? Our position is a much weaker one when you stop to think about it. Be the change you want to see in the world.
(U.S. Treasury Clears America de Cali)
(Vice Sports – This Soccer Team is on a U.S. Government Blacklist for its Ties to Narco-Trafficking)
(Economic Sanctions Against Colombian Drug Cartels)
The Cartels and bothersome low-level dealers aren’t the problem. The key is in changing our own behavior not unleashing a sprawling army of men, women and costly military might to fight all kinds of externalities that are neither here nor there when we should just get real with ourselves. Our problems lie within.
Changing our own behavior is the only solution that will ever produce results that won’t commit us to a course of action that will get us way in over our heads in blood, sacrifice and suffering. It’s not, at all, important what the Chapos and Escobars of the world are doing. What is important is what we’re doing. It’s not what we think of others, but what we think of ourselves that counts. We shouldn't invest in destroying the current system but in making it obsolete. That means pulling out the toolbox and working on us, not someone else.
(Sean Penn Interview with Sinaloa Cartel Kingpen, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, for Rolling Stone Magazine)
(Plan Colombia - Documentary)
We’re ensuring our reliance on others and our ongoing inner weakness as a people by trying to force others to do our will through the use of force instead of looking at the man in the mirror. This is why we should stop giving our government the right to tell us what we can and can't put into our own bodies. If we don’t see our lives as fully our own, we will never take responsibility for ourselves and solve our most perplexing problems.
It’s not that I want to see anyone suffer by using harmful drugs, but one of the ways to reduce their destructive force is for us to take possession of our lives, to be the masters of our destiny. When we give up that natural right, we weaken ourselves and weaken our resolve to deal with problems independently and, thus, we ensure our reliance on others who may or may not have our best interests at heart or be equipped to really deal with life's complexities.
The very definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s time to avoid overrelying on clichés and dig deeper for truth which, if we care to investigate, doesn’t lie that far beneath the surface.
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