This Letter to the Editor came in response to the coverage of the Ogden shooting on Jan 4, 2012, which led to the death of Agent Jared Francom of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Task Force. The suspect in the shooting is described by family members as having used drugs to deal with mental issues they say is derived from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Yet another law enforcement officer dies in order that unconscionable transnational corporations, and their media enablers, can continue to abuse, addict and poison us for obscene profits.
According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save roughly $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues. – http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/DrugProhibitionWP.pdf
Thanks to prohibition we now have far more people locked in cages than would normally be the case. Apart from the fact that these extra prisoners are not contributing economically to society, it also costs $50,000 per annum to incarcerate them. Additionally their families often go on government assistance, and it’s again the average tax payer who has to pick up the bill. Their kids may be taken into care or raised by foster parents, again with tax payer money. Now add to all this the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition, like police officers, judges and public defenders and you’ll start to get a fair idea of why “Black Thursday,” Oct. 24, 1929 happened during the period of another of our great experiments – alcohol prohibition.
* The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
* 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population at year-end 2009.
* 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009, that’s approx. 1 percent of US adults.
* Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or parole.
* In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, or incarcerated) in 2009 — about 3.1 percent of adults in the U.S. resident population.
Prohibition has helped fill our prisons and jails to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for so called ‘drug offenders’. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. Prohibition takes violent criminals and turns them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries, including our own. Our drug laws are also funding the Taliban and al-Qaeda whose illegal opium profits allow them to buy weapons and pay its fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan police officer.
Maybe many of the early Prohibitionists did not really intend to kill hundreds of thousands worldwide, or put once in every 30 American adults under supervision of the correctional system. But similar to our “Great Experiment” of the 1920s, the prohibition of various other drugs has once again spawned rampant off-the-scale criminality & corruption, a bust economy, mass unemployment, a mind-boggling incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan and an even higher rate of drug-use (both legal & illegal) than in all other countries that have far more sensible policies.
Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.
Malcolm Kyle, New York City, New York