RANGER AGAINST WAR: Long and Winding Road <

Monday, August 09, 2010

Long and Winding Road

--Drugs win war on drugs (The Onion, 1.10.98)

The people in the cheaper seats clap your hands.
And the rest of you, just rattle your jewelry
--John Lennon, Royal Variety Performance

The long and winding road

That leads to your door

Will never disappear

I've seen that road before

--The Long and Winding Road, The Beatles


She goes running for the shelter

of a mother's little helper

And it helps her on her way,

gets her through her busy day

--Mother's Little Helper
, Rolling Stones
__________________

Just a little rumination: Sir Paul McCartney was recently feted at the White House by the President, in this veritable season of fetes, and Mr. Obama presented Sir Paul with the Library of Congress's Gershwin Award.

What occurred to us is the eternal nature of some missions.
The U.S. is currently in the midst of The Long War (whatever) in Afghanistan, but still trudges hopefully/hopelessly on in another, even more ephemeral war: The War on Drugs. Began when Mr. McCartney was a wee lad beginning his forays into the world of psychedelics in earnest, then-president Nixon declared it a war in 1971 and thus it has ever been (forever and ever, amen.)

Yet here they were on stage -- in the White House! -- two former users and abusers of the devil's weed and then some (blow, LSD, etc.) We as a nation should not demonize drug dealers and then schmooze with their customers. Like in Afghanistan, where poppies are bad (except when they are good.) Maybe it is just those users South of the border who are problematic.

In a consistent and just universe, users like McCartney and Obama would have ended up in jail. Just as surely as say a Liverpudlian kid or one from Southside Chicago.

But let no one say decorum is entirely dead -- at least they didn't invite Phil Spector.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Grant said...

Can you imagine how many resources could be saved if we would just end this misguided war on drugs?

All those DEA and SWAT types would have to find real jobs instead of kicking in doors (sometimes the wrong ones) and shooting dogs.

It would take Phillip Morris about five minutes to outcompete your friendly neighborhood drug dealer both on price and quality. So they would have to find something else to do as well.

The prison population would immediately be cut in half.

Regular beat cops could spend more time finding rapists and murderers.

Drug related crime would plummet, since many people commit crimes to afford drug habits that are kept expensive strictly due to enforcement.

Since the 17000% or so profit margin is eliminated, people are suddenly no longer willing to form gangs and go to war over drugs and territory.

Mexico would have one less challenge to its stability.

The Taliban would lose a major source of funding.

Man. The list would go on and on and on. So far, the only argument advanced against it is "drugs are bad" or my favorite "But then people will use drugs!"

As if that's stopped anyone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 9:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal favorite is the backbeat that we need to wage war against drugs in Afghanistan. There's an excellent reason to stay in-country for another couple of decades. After all, we can point to our sterling success in squashing drug trade domestically.

While we are waging war against drugs in Afghanistan we can free up their women as an aside.


TWO good humanitarian reasons to stay in A-stan.

I'm totally convinced that we are there to do good for the Afghan people. What with everything being so peachy keen domestically, we need an outlet for our energy.

Jay in N.C.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 10:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Grant,

I'm with ya. There is a contingent that madly wants to legislate morality. So ... no prostitution (except in NV -- right!) Let's have prohibition, until we see how nicely it fires up the speakeasy underworld.

U.S.A. -- so provincial, so clumsy and so in violation of it's separation of church and state construct every time it tries to nose into behavior that falls under moral rubric. Like gay marriage ... who actually cares about this, except to say, "Yay -- more taxpaying couples to contribute to keeping neighborhoods strong and well-decorated"? I mean, come on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 12:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jay,

I'll have more to say about that one soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 12:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the "war on drugs" has been the launching pad for some of the most egregious assaults on individual liberty and due process in our history.

in local police departments narc squads are notorious for corruption, but, because of the seizure laws they are money makers for law enforcement. think about that for just a moment. the police have a profit motive in arresting you. chances are in many states you'll then be incarcerated in a contract, for profit prison where they have zero interest in your release.

if you have the bad luck to have your property siezed and you're innocent there is a long, involved process to recover what is taken from you. you, an american, are put in the position of having to prove your innocence to the authorities.

it is bullshit. but as long as there is upwards of 50 billion a year up for grabs, nobody's going to walk away from that kind of money.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 1:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$50 billion - That's the "over the table" funding incentive to the law enforcement/penal biz.

There's untold profits made under the table. In larger drug busts there's almost always cash and good dope that doesn't make it into evidence rooms. It's a rare cop that can resist the ntural and very human temptations that abound in these situations.

avedis

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 2:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Kootenay said...

Yo Ranger, maybe you should copyright PWOD too - the war on drugs is just as phony as the war on terror. My neighbour says some Vietnam vets told him the CIA is primarily funded with drug money. Not to say that if a vet says it, it's necessarily true, just they might know something I don't, having been around the block a few more times than me. Like Lisa says, the drug trade is bad except when it's good - isn't that the essence of phoniness?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Kootenay,
Yep' , it's all a bunch of phoniness.
I have no hard time believing that the CIA uses drugs to fund black ops.
Look at the Reagan years and the Contra tie in to drugs,GHWB and his friendship with Noriega !
Drugs?
I bet so.
jim

Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 7:11:00 AM GMT-5  

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