Gallery C

Attacking The Black Market
Page 3
Page 2

Pot Legalization Is U.S. Hitting Drug Cartel

By James Donahue

It happened after we did away with prohibition. The illegal business of mob bootlegging and speakeasies went away. Why did we not think the problem we have been having with the ultra-violent drug cartels at the Mexican border wouldn’t go away if we legalized marijuana?

Well, the slow shift toward the legalization of marijuana is showing signs of doing just that. As more and more states agree to permit the home growth and use of marijuana, even if only for medical purposes, the impact on Mexican marijuana growers is beginning to hit. It may not be long before Mexico will be a safe and friendly place for American tourists to visit without fear of being caught in gang warfare.

One recent report noted that even with just the states of Washington and Colorado legalizing marijuana and allowing for domestic production, Mexican farmers and cartels are watching wholesale prices slashed as high as 75 percent. They fear that if the United States keeps moving in this direction, they will be driven completely out of the pot business.

It seems that the people who make such laws in Washington and in state governments are not reading their history books. There is always someone out there willing to meet a demand for a product, especially when it is declared to be illegal. And the big money lies in black marketing. Big money attracts organized crime. 

We have always recommended the legalization of marijuana in the United States. It is a much safer substance than alcohol, which the prohibitionists failed to take off the market a century ago. The harder lawmakers try to prohibit the use of these products, the more popular they appear to become.
There was a time when cocaine, heroin, amphetamine and opium were substances that could be obtained at American drug stores. They were used in pain elixirs, cough medicine and a variety of other substances. Laboratory made amphetamine was once sold openly as a performance enhancer, treatment for nasal congestion, depression and obesity.
All of the above drugs are now on the government’s list of controlled and illegal substances. And all of them are readily available on the black market to anyone with the money to pay the price. Instead of pharmaceutical grade, however, these illegal substances are being cooked in private labs and often with dangerous chemicals. Thus America’s insane drug war has been a total failure.

President Richard Nixon, a known amphetamine user, declared the nation’s war on drugs in 1971. Since then the government has spent over a trillion dollars trying to curb narcotics use. Consequently we have about 2.3 million people in jails and prisons, with over half a million of them incarcerated for drug law violation.

In his appeal to Americans to abandon prohibition, American writer H. L. Mencken wrote: “Prohibition has not only failed in its promises but actually created additional serious and disturbing social problems throughout society. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic but more. There is not less crime, but more. The cost of government is not smaller but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased but diminished.”

We can insert the words drugs for alcohol in the above argument and the words ring just as true today.

It is time to legalize all of the narcotics . . . even the addictive ones . . . and put them in locked pharmacy cabinets. Addicts should be allowed to register and then buy the pharmaceutical grade drug they need for as long as they need it.
Changing the law will get organized crime out of the drug business altogether, reduce America’s overcrowded prison population, and provide safer quality narcotics for the addicts that need them, at a reduced price they can afford. That means they probably won’t have to steal to cover the cost of their daily “fix.”