Pondering causes of the war on drugs

I just signed (another) online petition, this one urging an end to the "war on drugs." "... This expensive war has completely failed to curb the plague of drug addiction, while costing countless lives, devastating communities, and funneling trillions of dollars into violent organized crime networks. Experts all agree that the most sensible policy is to regulate, but politicians are afraid to touch the issue...."

Attempting to understand the "war on drugs" thing, in my Asperger's way, I have come up with some thoughts that don't seem to be in these articles on the subject; thus, this blog post.

(Sure, I know about "a voice crying in the wilderness" and "if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound." Nevermind, blog posting anyway.)

One of these thoughts is the result of a simple protocol that makes sense to me regarding real causes of things; the other is exploring my fantasy about the folks involved in the game.

The first one is applying the principle that "the effects that result from some event, point to the "real" big-picture cause of the event." This principle produces lots of provocative insights, and no doubt would make lots of officials hopping mad. In this case, it comes up with the suggestion that the real big-picture cause of the "war on drugs" is its actual effects that nicely reward some folks: the trillions of dollars funneled into violent crime organizations on the one side, and the prison industries wealth and the exciting jobs of the law-enforcers on the other side. In other words, the real proponents of the "war on drugs" are the benefiters of the jobs and wealth gotten by the "law enforcers" and the trillions of dollars thusly gotten by violent crime organizations. They both would then be behind the scenes, influencing the keeping of the "war on drugs" to continue, not wanting a good thing for them to go away.

The second one, exploring my fantasy about the folks involved in the game, results in first bringing up my memories of playing exciting games with the neighbor kids, games such as "cops and robbers" and "cowboys and indians" (Those were late 1940's times; but probably kids still play similar games in later times.) And so that the game can be played, oneself had to be on one side or the other; did not really matter which. The thing that counted was the running around and chasing after each other, yelling and using imaginary weapons at the kids that took up the other side of the game. I can easily imagine that folks of both side of the game of "war on drugs" derive similar reward for participation in the exciting game that involves real weapons and the stakes are much higher. But, still the same kind of game. And although I can dimly remember playing "cops and robbers; cowboys and indians" I no longer can get enthused about such things; but I have seen lots of people "out there" who apparently really got into the game and have stayed in that mentality, where stalking & assaulting somehow makes their lives better. The support organizations are different, (probably) but the mentality is very similar, badge or not.

Notice that none of this has anything to do with the "drugs" themselves. I recently read that something like a quarter of the American population is on prescription psychotropic drugs, zonking them out as they go about their daily lives. If I had to be a low-paid cashier at a cheap store somewhere, I too probably would ask to be on such a drug to be able to endure the too-often irascible public. And just how different are the prescription drugs from the "illegal" drugs may not be as great as is implied; the main difference possibly is that the illegal drugs are not regulated with moderating instructions to the user, and that they force the person to be somewhat involved with crime organizations as they are likely the only way to get those substances that provide moments of escape from the overwhelming discomforts of parts of their lives. And it is possible that some of the "illegal" drugs sometimes provide more interesting effects beyond simply getting zonked out to some degree; from what I conclude, some of them give the user some incredible mental prowess, enabled to do things - or be aware of things such as extreme remote-viewing capability - that ordinary people did not realize was possible, and thus give them a competitive advantage. Read Castenada, for example. Scientifically exploring the beneficial effects of such psychoactive substances in moderated ways, might provide some very useful benefits to mankind; the many health benefits of marijuana as one example, discovered despite the risk of getting thrown into the jug if caught doing such research. But that would be depriving the stalk&assault types of people of a lawful (or unlawful, in the case of those on the other side of the game) means to exercise their stalk-&-assault cravings.

In other circumstances, I would think that responsible responses to something that very obviously "costs countless lives, devastating communities, and funneling trillions of dollars into violent organized crime networks" would be to stop doing it and stop it right now, this instant, before anyone else dies, another community ruined, one more penny given to violent organizations. And prevent any more taxpayer dollars spent on such clearly causative activity. Done before close of business this very day. And the second thing done would be to shift some of those thusly-freed taxpayer dollars spent on supporting that violence (on both sides,) over to do unbiased research on why people seek to utilize those drugs; obviously people familiar with their use, find them very desirable somehow. Some are not even addictive.

Not that many decades ago, there was a similar cops-and-robbers big game going on with adults playing it with real guns and big money involved, called "Prohibition". How many lives were lost, careers made, misery experienced far and wide, as a result of Prohibition, I wonder. Nowadays, unbiased research has shown several things, such as an ounce or two of ethanol (that formerly prohibited substance) a day, both enables longer lives as well as more pleasant lives; and historical research shows that alcoholic beverages have urged people to get together in peaceable ways from the beginning of civilization; even at times the ethanol was what purified the watery substances from pathogens so that the water could be safely consumed, too. Some research indicates that the need for cultivation and single location for producing beer, was what got people to start leaving the hunter-gatherer way of life and settle down doing agriculture instead. Yet "Prohibition" somehow got started anyway, and the vast ruination that resulted went on for a long time. Seems a very close parallel to the current "war on drugs."

What makes some people do such things as "Prohibition" and "War on drugs", I wonder.

As so often, the bottom line to me is that "people-stuff is very complicated."


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