Lets look at the Drug War
By M. L. Simon
Lets look at the Drug War in a few places in North America and one place that is not. Normally, when we think of North America, its synonymous with the United States. But there are two other major countries in this area and several minor ones. Im going to cover three of those. Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica.
In the Drug War Mexico is one of our most loyal allies. They have been arresting crooked generals and drug agents in the hopes of winning praise from America for their efforts. And they have been getting that praise. In fact, it is very important for Mexico to get that praise if it wants to remain on the American Drug War gravy train. And some train it is. U.S. funding has nearly tripled since 2000 for law enforcement assistance to Mexico. Despite that, there have been whispers in Mexico. In fact, there have been shouts from the President of Mexico. He has said that legalizing narcotics is the only way to win the war against drugs.
In Canada, the Drug War is going to pot. Despite the best efforts of the government and the police, the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that cannabis is a medical right. The new rules took effect about a month ago. And wisely the government had a plan: to grow the medical pot where it couldnt be poached. So, at great expense, the Canadian government is procuring inadequate supplies to support this new medical right. Of course, the free market could provide the pot at a much better price and in the quantities demanded, just given a chance. But due to that 1,000 pound gorilla south of their border, hardly anyone has a chance.
Lets look at a small country peripherally in America, Jamaica. A government panel enlisted to study the drug war in Jamaica has come to the conclusion that because of custom, prevalence, and relative lack of harm, ganja (Jamaican for pot) should be legalized. The government, despite severe opposition from the United States, seems likely to enact the recommended changes.
Now lets look at a place where American influence on the Drug War has been overwhelming and decisive: Nepal. Let me tell you what happened. Up until 1973, marijuana and hashish had always been legal in Nepal. In 1973, Richard Nixon (what can I say?) paid the King of Nepal between $50 and $70 million (half a billion in todays debased currency) to make the drugs illegal. What did the king gain from the money and new laws? Organized crime. This and much more is described in a new book The Effects of American Drug Policy on Nepal By Joseph R. Pietri.
What is the common thread here? Globalism. Im not talking about the kind of globalism that lets us make the most advantageous trades possible for goods and services. This is all to the good because no country has all the resources necessary to run a modern economy. Im talking about the sneaking kind of globalism where faceless people in faroff places make decisions implemented in treaties on how we are to run our local affairs. And who is the granddaddy of the parasite globalists? The United States of America, who for more than 80 years through various treaty mechanisms and bribery, has been foisting our disastrous policy of drug prohibition off on the rest of the world. Fortunately, the logic of prohibition is looking less attractive to our allies by the day.
And now the news some of you have been waiting for: E.J. is in Rockford. He is expected to be in a regular work release program in a very few days.
News as available will be posted at: http://sites.netscape.net/ejpagel/freeej
M.L. Simon is an industrial controls designer and Libertarian activist