Sunday, March 26, 2017

Convergance

We are victims of the so called War on Drugs.  While we were sleeping Friday night a burglar came in through our doggy door, stole Bobbi's purse, grabbed my car keys, disengaged the overhead door in the garage and stole my Infiniti Hybrid SUV.  They were in the house and we didn't hear a thing.  But, this has been happening in our neighborhood a lot, and I figure the perps were some of those folks who have gone un prosecuted because of poor funding in the DAs Office.  Meanwhile, all the cops could do was shrug.  The insurance agents said it is happening a lot.  The drugs keep flowing and the users keep  using.  And the 'war on drugs' is a joke as it always has been.  This kind of crime would be cut by 90% if these addicts didn't need the money.  Legalization would cure that, along with funding for rehab services funding instead of putting money into Armored Cars for the police.  Here is another view from one of my neighbors on the list serve.

"First, the drug problem is simply a reflection of supply and demand.  As they explain in every economics textbook, whenever there is a demand for a product, there will be someone who will be there to supply it.  Even though we claim to have been fighting a "War on Drugs" for decades, that charade has never been more than a dog and pony show, brought out by politicians at election time to demonstrate that they are not quite as ineffective as they normally appear. 

Second, we as a country really haven't tried very hard at all to lessen the demand.  Here in New Mexico, there is virtually no adequate treatment for addicts who seek treatment for substance abuse.  You can't tell people who seek treatment to come back in a year, or when space opens up, and expect a drug treatment program actually to work.  In a word, the drug treatment we have is a joke, and a very sick, sad and intolerable joke at that. 
    
Third, we have done far less than we could have or should have to diminish the supply.  Take the case of Afghanistan, for example.  We have been at war there since 2001, we have spent something on the order of a trillion dollars fighting the Taliban and various and sundry warlords, and what is the result?  Well, Afghanistan's opium poppy production now goes into more than 90% of heroin worldwide.  Except for the initial year of the war,  Afghanistan has been the world's greatest illicit opium producer in every single year going back to 1992.  Opium production has risen every year since the beginning of the U.S. occupation.  More land is used for opium production in Afghanistan than is used for coca production in all of Latin America put together.  As if that weren't enough, in addiction to heroin, Afghanistan is also the world's largest producer of cannabis, in the form of hashish.  This is not to say that we haven't changed some conditions in the country.  For example, we have built some beautiful roads which have made it much easier for the Taliban to move the opium and other drugs to buyers outside Afghanistan,

Well, I think you get my point.  One can't say that we have really addressed the problem of the supply of opiates.  At the same time, we have done virtually nothing to address the demand for addictive drugs in this country, even with respect, I might add for soldiers like one of our best friends who came home to his wife and kids from Afghanistan not only with PTSD but also addicted to drugs, for which the Marines kindly gave him 30 days of treatment in a rehab facility near Camp Lejeune. 

So where do we go from here?  Well, the current national administration seems to want nothing more than to resurrect Betty Ford's "Just Say No" program of years past, something whose low cost would be equaled only by its ineffectiveness.  Our own Governor, and Mayor and other putative leaders all seem unwilling to even have a serious conversation about legalization (which we favor), never mind providing the funds necessary to address the problems that we face in a substantive way.  And dealing with the current situation will take money, and time, and most importantly the willingness to recognize the gravity of the problems, and finally the empathy required to care about dealing with them.  I'm sorry, friends, we can't wait for crude oil prices to rise, and the oil and gas industry to pour money again into the coffers of our state.  Oddly enough, our problems won't solve themselves or go away on their own.   However, intelligent, knowledgeable leaders, if we can find some, and money, and doctors, and nurses and caring will at least start us on our way.  It's not just our homes and our cars and our safety that are at stake.  It's our sense of honor, and the immense satisfaction of doing the right thing, that hang in the balance here as well."


13 comments:

New Mexican said...

"This kind of crime would be cut by 90% if these addicts didn't need the money. Legalization would cure that,"

Your statement above does not make sense, how would legalization cure that? If drugs were legal, where would drug addicts get the money?

Jim Baca said...

drugs would be handed out free....kill the market and put crime fighting money into rehab. Don't you get that? You cant really believe this 50 year old war is winnable?

Ok, then said...

It was Nancy Reagan, not Betty Ford, who told kids to "Just Say No" to drugs.

New Mexican said...

I would be interested in what others think about "free drugs". I am not sure if the "war" is winnable, but "free drugs"? Come on. Lets see if others chime in.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Reagan championed "just say no."

Betty Ford was an admitted drug addict.

Bubba Muntzer said...

There's some statistical evidence where countries like Spain and the Netherlands have legalized drugs. The media hasn't focused on it but if you google it.

It might be easier to see the dollars and cents logic if you think about drug dealing like any other corporate hierarchy. The common user, i.e. the consumer, sometimes has to steal to get their next fix. Maybe the low level street pusher uses but they are in no condition to run a drug business.

People involved in sale and distribution aren't users. They're all business, serious business. Think of El Chapo, running his multi billion dollar, international enterprise, managing a leadership structure that can organize manufacturing, far flung distribution networks, banking, legal, bribery, and prison escapes. You'll never see him passed out in the gutter.

The drug war is a miserable failure and has been kept going in no small part due to the way it enhances law enforcement power and budgets, from the top to the bottom. APD gets a lot of extra money because of the drug war. Do you think they want to give up a division, its budget and employees? Likewise DEA has grown huge and powerful.

Just read their news releases and listen to how they talk to the media. There's no rationality to it, no hint of a debate or gray area. It's to justify a continuing need for themselves and what they alone can do, i.e., create and perpetuate a need in the public imagination.

Another big part is politicians scared of law enforcement and of what will come when they sound reasonable to reasonable people, like Jim's commenter does, and leave themselves open to shrieking fearmongering. Their continued status, fat salary, gold plated retirement and platinum plated healthcare lie down another path that sometimes touches on the public interest, often doesn't.

That's our responsibility. Like everything else we the people can change drug policy. The reason that doesn't happen is the issue, and it's the same issue as with everything else. Study the past. How did social change come about? Not though the political system. It only reacts, to money, or to an organized us.

Bubba Muntzer said...

I'm sorry you and your wife had to experience that. That really sucks.


Let me know if you need a ride anywhere, like the golf course. I'm retired now and open to caddying.

Anonymous said...

It's a "War For Drugs". Too much $ made by all involved, not just gangs, but law enforcement(asset forfeiture) and money laundering, etc. Secret shadow economy. So comprehensive and entrenched.
Fatal cross of I-25 & I-40 anchors it here?, and our yoyth are sacrificial lambs....
Important that you call it out!

Anonymous said...

That is to bad that your were victims of crime, weird that your dogs didn't hear anything and start barking. The dog door is a great idea for dogs, and a greater idea for criminals. Wonder if the sign in your front yard had anything to do with it? Just Saying........

Anonymous said...

News flash Jim , mayor berry to open free drug distribution center, on the corner of rio grande and Matthew . How do you like free drugs now?

Anonymous said...

The Russians did it.

Anonymous said...

I would be happy to see free drugs at such places, but get serious you idiot. You know that is not how it is going to work.

Jim Baca said...

to the person who mentioned the sign in my front yard, I found out you ip address and have sent it to the police as a possible suspect.