How many times have you heard the local news lead a story with the phrase "drug-related"? Probably too many times to count. Indeed, it is an expression so thoroughly imbedded in the media lexicon that it qualifies as a kind of unintentional propaganda.
Like all successful propaganda, "drug-related" has become so hackneyed that no one bothers to examine its fundamental truthfulness. And, also like successful propaganda, the phrase is rarely a complete falsehood but at the same time is rarely completely truthful. Drugs are often given central importance as the key motivating factor for crime, artfully shifting attention away from what is really central.
The "drug-related" crime -- with the exception of some domestic crime -- to which the media refer, is, in fact, crime motivated by something else. People are actually fighting and stealing for what they have always fought and stole for: money.
Drugs = money = power
This distinction may well seem obvious or even trivial, but it is in fact absolutely crucial. The general public, exposed as it has been to thousands upon thousands of these so-called "drug-related" events, accepts the current drug laws as if they were as natural as a blue sky or green grass.
Year after year, politicians of every stripe, hoping to gain some cheap political mileage, call for tougher drug laws. That even a small portion of the polity believes tougher laws will solve such problems as addiction, crime or even the rising tide of gang violence is incredible. For never in the century or so that drugs have been outlawed has the public benefited in any way from tough drug laws.
There is little understanding of just how central our drug policies are in aggravating a host of national and international social ills. After years and years of funneling vast sums of money into the hands of the most anti-social individuals and organizations, the world has developed a very serious money problem. It is a problem that is totally unique and without precedent.
Through the accumulation of vast sums garnered in their illicit drug trade, criminal organizations have acquired power and influence heretofore not dreamt of.
The perils of prohibition
Contemporary photos of drug kingpins reveal eyes that are virtually identical to those seen in pictures of Prohibition-era underworld figures. Lifeless, soulless and cruel, they are the eyes of men who have decided that the rules do not apply to them.
It is not generally understood that these men and their element are presently the principal beneficiaries of the nation's drug laws. The Harrison Act, which prohibited most drugs, was passed by Congress just before World War I amid promises of great things for society. In reality all it did was launch thousands of nefarious criminal careers.
These "tough" anti-drug laws are not the "front line" in the fight against dealers and drugs, despite what politicians tell us. Our nation's drug laws are, in fact, the drug...