A critical point missing from the media hyperventilation over the child refugees arriving from Central America is “what is the cause of Central American countries having devolved into violent narco terrorism states run by drug cartels and gangs?”
Oh, you already know the answer, but you are unwilling to admit it. Nothing pisses me off more than people who defend so-called “recreational” use of illegal drugs. They always claim it is a “victimless” crime.
Anyone who works in the medical profession, or the law enforcement and legal profession knows this is just self-serving rationalization. We have seen how drug use can destroy people’s lives and families.
So fuck you Spicoli, your recreational use of illegal drugs is not a victimless crime. The victims of the drug cartels and gangs you support with your purchase of illegal drugs are now arriving on your doorstep seeking safety and refuge, and your sorry ass wants to turn them away? You owe these children.
Luke Russert of NBC/MSNBC tried to make this point on a segment of MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner on Thursday. He said “If America would actually get its act together and stop fueling this, and basically understand that every time you take a drug you are fueling narco terrorism, then I think we would be a lot better.” The shocked reaction from the host was “wow,” as if Russert had dropped a turd in the punch bowl of polite society. Luke Russert is right. Link to video: Luke Russert on illegal surge (YouTube).
H.A. Goodman at the Huffington Post writes, Dear Tea Party, America’s Addiction to Illegal Drugs Cheap Labor Causes Illegal Immigration:
As for the current immigration crisis with tens of thousands of desperate children at our borders, these young people are fleeing violence and political mayhem in their home countries for a reason. We helped foment this chaos with our drug habit. They’re choosing to risk death in order to immigrate to a country that hires illegal immigrants for a reason. Americans, possibly even Lou Dobbs, hire illegal immigrants. This crisis, and the entire immigration issue, rests squarely upon the shoulders of the American people. If we didn’t buy the drugs that have ruined Central America or employ the illegal immigrants who represent over 5 percent of the U.S. labor force, we would not have an immigration problem. Unlike the Tea Party and Murrieta protesters who think illegal immigrants are invading the country, we caused this immigration fiasco long before courageous young people decided to flee their countries in search of political asylum.
According to MSNBC.com in 2013, the United States is the world’s largest consumer of illegal drugs. As stated by Yardena Schwartz of MSNBC, our war on drugs has entailed, “more than 40 years, $1 trillion, and 2.3 million imprisoned Americans since the war began” and still “the U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug use.” Not only are we tops in the world in drug use, but we’re second only to Scotland in the consumption of cocaine. As of 2008 according to the UN, there were around 6.2 million cocaine users in the United States. Also, about 40 percent of high school students have tried marijuana. The insanity of allowing marijuana to remain a Federal offense is highlighted by the fact that half of the drug seizures in the world are cannabis seizures. Furthermore, if budgets are about values, then a closer look at how much Americans spend for drugs will speak volumes. According to the Rand Corporation, U.S. citizens spend $40.6 billion on marijuana, 28.3 billion on cocaine, 27 billion on heroin, and 13 billion on meth. All this money on drugs should lead to a question that Gov. Rick Perry and the Tea Party will never ask: Who supplies our voracious appetite and demand for drugs?
A Guardian article in 2013 titled, Guatemala’s president: ‘My country bears the scars from the war on drugs’ our demand for drugs is the primary reason Guatemala and other countries in the region are experiencing such profound social and political turmoil:
In any war there are innocent victims. In the 40-year war on drugs, the central American state of Guatemala can lay claim to being just such an innocent casualty. It has been caught in the crossfire between the nations to the south (principally Peru, Colombia and Bolivia) that produce illegal narcotics and the country to the north (America) that has the largest appetite to consume them. Guatemala does little of either.
The problem is that the drugs – principally cocaine – have to be transported from the producing countries to the US, from the south to the north. Unfortunately for Guatemala, it’s in the way…
The situation in Guatemala has become more serious as Mexican cartels – taking refuge from an attempt to militarily defeat them – have inserted themselves into Guatemala and sought to control the trafficking routes through that country. And with the cartels come other nightmares: kidnapping, extortion, contract killers and people trafficking.
The cartels are now posing a serious threat to the Guatemalan state, as Pérez Molina concedes: “Drug traffickers have been able to penetrate the institutions in this country by employing the resources and money they have. We are talking about the security forces, public prosecutors, judges. Drug money has penetrated these institutions and it is an activity that directly threatens the institutions and the democracy of countries.”
The article goes on to explain how Nicaragua is receiving Russian weapons to fight drug cartels and Honduras has become a nation of drug transit. The sad reality of American politics is that Laura Ingram will have no problem advocating that entire families be deported, but will remain silent about our role in causing havoc in countries like Guatemala. In a saner world, the Murrieta protestors would replace their nativism for genuine concern about America’s demand for drugs. As a result of our illegal drug addiction, CNN reports that, “Drug gangs have gained control of major chunks of Central America.” The consequence is that young people have no choice but to flee or “work for the drug lords.” Furthermore, the violence is so horrendous that the choice is to “flee or die.”
Our willingness to employ illegal immigrants to do jobs that Americans won’t do is another reason for the border crisis . . . Americans hire illegal immigrants. According to the Pew Research Center (a non-partisan source) in 2011, illegal immigrants are important to the U.S. economy:
There were 8 million unauthorized immigrants in the workforce in March 2010, down slightly from 2007, when there were 8.4 million. They represent 5.2 percent of the workforce, similar to their proportion for the past half-decade, when they represented 5 percent to 5.5 percent of workers.
States with the largest share of unauthorized immigrants in the workforce include Nevada (10 percent), California (9.7 percent), Texas (9 percent) and New Jersey (8.6 percent). Because unauthorized immigrants are more likely than the overall population to be of working age, their share in a state’s workforce is substantially higher than their share of a state’s population.
Sorry, but when illegal immigrants make up 10 percent of Nevada’s workforce, and at least 9 percent of the workforce in California and Texas, then illegal immigrants are integral to [our] economy. One out of ten employed people is an illegal immigrant in Nevada, so don’t blame the poor people doing the dirty jobs, blame the Americans who hire them.
As for the tired and blatantly false allegation that illegal immigrants drain the country of resources, the Congressional Budget Office analyzed the accusation in 2007:
Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long-term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants — both legal and unauthorized — exceed the cost of the services they use. Generally, such estimates include revenues and spending at the federal, state, and local levels…
The amount that state and local governments spend on services for unauthorized immigrants represents a small percentage of the total amount spent by those
governments to provide such services to residents in their jurisdictions.
If illegal immigrants “exceed the cost of the services they use” just from their taxes, it’s safe to say that their economic impact (taking into account their work in agriculture and other sectors that aren’t filled by citizens) is profound.
Overall, we created the mess at our border. The brave young people currently there deserve political asylum after we negatively impacted their countries because of our drug habit. It’s against the law to buy $28 billion of cocaine and it’s against the law to hire illegal immigrants to pick our crops, but we do both. It’s time to face the reality that we’ve caused the border crisis.
h/t photo The Arizona Republic
Apparently legalization does a lot to stop the Mexican cartels. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-us-marijuana-legalization-would-hurt-mexican-cartels/
Oh but then people will still get high something something reefer madness devastated families marauding hippies and blacks something. Every anti-drug crusader winds up sounding like Rick Santorum talking about the evils of non-procreational sex. Prohibition works about as well as abstinence lectures.
I said I had a second part, but I was having a hard time finding a suitable hook for it, until I thought about the ‘original’ Blue Meanies, and that paean to both music and marijuana, YELLOW SUBMARINE.
That was it! That was the comparison I needed. Not to alcohol, not to tobacco. Because, yes, music too was prohibited — at least non-‘sacred’ music, sometimes all music. It too was considered ‘dangerous,’ ‘immoral,’ ‘mind-warping,’ a ‘gateway to far worse immorality’ etc. It even gave a rallying ground for subversives who would destroy the structure and fabric of society.
And the funny this is that all of this was true, only whether that meant it was dangerous or not depended on how you viewed the consequences.
Music DID do all of these things:
It did lead to more mingling of the sexes;
It did make it far more difficult to chaperone young people;
It did give teenagers the chance to make sexual advances unnoticed;
It did distract people from thinking about the ‘higher things in life’ by leaving silly tunes running through their heads;
It did put money in the pockets of a lot of unsavory characters — long before the rap phenomenon, the mob made good things out of their ownership and control of certain types of music, ask Tommy James or Perry Como.
It did create gatherings of ‘out of control’ people that could get out of hand — not, btw, a trait marijuana shares, see the many Smoke-Ins and Cannabis Cup events;
It did attract political radicals who could use it to change the fabric of society;
It did, by causing a reaction that made people no longer convinced of music’s dangerousness question other statements by the fear mongerers, create a disrespect for authority, tradition, and the words of our traditional leaders;
It did lead to ‘race-mixing’ to ‘inappropriate gender pairings’ and gave far too much economic power (i.e., money) to blacks and gays for their talent in ‘frivolity’…
I suppose I could go on. The fact is that all of these are true. I suppose you could even include the increase in car accidents caused by distracting car radios. Yep, music is a dangerous, dangerous thing — if you think sex, fun, enjoyment, and the mental challenges that music and lyrics can bring are bad, if you feel that revolutionary anthems are as dangerous and as unwanted as revolutions, if you think the mental expansion — and distraction, and even confusion — you experience when hearing music should be discouraged.
So next time you hear ‘it is no worse than tobacco or alcohol’ or ‘we already permit tobacco and alcohol, why should we add yet another permitted vice’ maybe you might ask, instead, if it is not closer to music. And music has its therapeutic uses as well, though none as useful as the medical benefits of marijuana. (I won’t even discuss the strong evidence that has been shown that it has important uses in actually fighting cancer, not just alleviating the symptoms of chemo. But both epidemiology and in vitro studies are raising some very interesting hopes.)
Of course, that’s a very off-the-wall idea, a comparison only a stoned pothead would make. (So if you find it convincing, maybe you might find yet another benefit in the legalization of marijuana, no?)
WOW! It has taken me an hour of running different responses through my head before I could choose the ones I want to make. I do not, for example, want to make the Libertarian “End the War on Drugs” argument — because I don’t accept it. I think every substance discussed under this needs to be discussed on its own merits. I WANT crystal meth and date rape drugs to remain illegal, for example. (I don’t even accept the ‘there’s no difference between crack cocaine and regular cocaine except the skin color of the users’ argument. I was told, by too many regular cocaine users when ‘basing’ first became common, that it was so much more dangerous than regular cocaine. They might even be ‘cutting a line’ when they would advise me, strongly, not to use ‘base’ or ‘freebase’ which is much the same as crack. I’d want more serious research done before I’d be sure how or if I’d differentiate the two, not an automatic response.)
I’m also not making the ‘it’s no worse than alcohol or tobacco, and we know how badly prohibition implodes and makes a situation worse’ argument. It’s true that prohibition never works, I just object to the comparison between marijuana and alcohol or tobacco. I consider the others as ‘mixed’ substances, ones that have strong negatives, but also — yes, even with tobacco — also positives. Prohibition failed for alcohol — and the few times it has been attempted with tobacco — because prohibition always fails, but also because there are benefits to society from both. (Interestingly, the only semi-successful prohibition I know of was when the drug-using community, in the late 60s, started a strong ‘speed kills’ campaign to discourage the use of what we now call ‘meth.’ To a great extent it did drive speed out of the *ahem* ‘hippie community’ and the whole music and drug culture of the time — and only came back into prominence because of its use by the ‘double wide trailer’ crowd and the people who would be future Palinistas. That’s an exaggeration, but the Matunuska Valley –besides growing great marijuana — was always the home of both the extreme Christians and the meth heads and, as with many similar communities, there was substantial overlap between the two.)
But I’m not arguing the comparison because, again, I don’t accept it. I don’t consider marijuana a ‘mixed’ substance, except as far as everything is, that everything has some negatives and some positives. But the negatives for marijuana are so small, and the benefits are so large that I consider it an almost totally positive addition to society.
(In fact, in what will be a second part to this, I will make a rather surprising, but I believe valid, comparison to something else society has frequently banned in the past. And I will be using the source of your name to do it. I should admit I had seen the movie over a dozen times before it ended its initial time in second-run theatres, long before it was shown on tv or available on video cassettes — before video cassettes were available, for that matter. And yes, I was using marijuana when I watched it, and have continued to use it on a daily basis — almost on a chain smoking basis when I could afford it– for most of the intervening 45 years. And my vaporizer is heating up as I type.)
But before I get to this, I want to deal with your specific argument,because, as a ‘child of the fifties’ I saw similar arguments so often in that scared decade of McCarthy and Wertham and segregationists, among many other fear-mongers whose fears were so sadly groundless. But the one that comes to mind — and I never read the entire book, but I saw it and read excerpts and discussions of it — was a book called A $5 BET MEANS MURDER.
This was an anti-gambling tract that argued in a very similar manner. The same ‘this victimless crime actually fuels all the mob’s other activities,’ the same ‘how silly it is to think that permitting legalized gambling would do anything but strengthen the mob; the same ‘yes, it is silly to permit betting at the track but not with bookies, yes it is absurd that gambling should be legal in Nevada but only there — but that is an argument against betting at the track, against the existence of Las Vegas, not an argument for widening the permitting of the vice of gambling.’
And the horror stories — usually somehow working a good tie in to prostitution to make the argument — in both senses — ‘sexier.’ There even was a little hint of implied racism when lotteries were being introduced and opposed — again, not absent from at least the original anti-marijuana push in the 30s. After all, lotteries were meant to be competitors to the numbers game, but — unlike bookies and illegal casinos that had mostly ‘white’ clients, few police worried about the numbers game or prosecuted them, because it was only blacks that were losing their money. Much easier just to ‘tax them’ by collecting payoffs and control them that way, by keeping them honest and protecting them from competition that could get into violence.
We were told the horror stories of the evils that would come with winking at and ignoring illegal gambling, with allowing it to expand and finally legalizing much of it. The mob would be running the country, nobody would be working as they all chased the elusive ‘big payoff’ Las Vegas and any other city would become totally nob-ruled centers of sin, evil, and destruction — ironically which was much truer when the predictions were being made, much less true in today’s Vegas or Atlantic City, or in the casinos that are around everywhere two ‘Indians’ can be found to take ownership.
So maybe, Meanie, you should see if you could find a copy of that decades old book, read it, and compare those arguments to the ones you made. Maybe you might see why I don’t find them convincing. (And for fellow rememberers of the 50s, no, comic books didn’t cause juvenile delinquency either — it wasn’t until the 60s that the culprit was supposed to be ‘rock ‘n’ roll.’)
So legalize weed everywhere and grow it here. Our experiment with banning alcohol should have taught us not to try that again but, no, we’re doing the same thing (and for a lot longer) with other drugs.
Thank you for posting this. I have been saying this same thing for years and watching it only get worse. My neighbors hire nannies, cooks, housekeepers, groundskeepers and pool maintenance (from which truckloads of young men arive to perform the services) all of which are more than likely here illegally and they then they bad mouth illegal immigration at parties. And it doesn’t take much to know the drugs are there, as well. If you wonder what our future is, look no further than the Roman Empire. Our fall won’t be as bloody (I hope) but the parallel is there. Truly wealthy nations cannot survive their own excesses. I fear that before we will give up cheap labor and illegal drugs we will destroy ourselves as a Nation. Whether it is through the “Nanny State” of the Democrats or the “Military State” of the Republicans, we are going to fail. The addictions are too strong.
Well HELLo there. Didn’t realize this was another place you trolled. Nurture this guy, folks, he may help fill the void left by the departure of Thucky. Wait till he gets going on some of his other pet issues.
You heard the man folks! Nurture me…I am like a little caterpillar that will soon bloom into a beautiful butterfly that you will truly appreciate.
Sure – and Al Capone was caused by those American citizens that wanted a beer after work.
It is the declaring things illegal – and our war on drugs – that are the cause of the Drug Cartels and violence, not someone that wants to smoke a joint.
I’m sure we will see a decrease in violence in Colorado and Washington, which may penetrate into the blockheaded politicians anxious to pursue a war on drugs.
Don’t get me wrong — I support decriminalization of certain drug offenses and sentencing reform. There are far too many people in prison for simple possession with intent to sell. The point is that Americans disassociate their own behavior from any consequences. The drug cartels are a multi-billion dollar business because Americans have an insatiable appetite for what are now “illegal” drugs. The cartel money comes from Americans. And the cartels use that money to destabilize countries that are now narco terrorism states controlled by drug cartels and gangs. Is that any kind of life for these children? Americans created this mess, Americans have an obligation to clean up their own mess. Simply sending these children back to their own countries under these circumstances in inhumane, and wrongly absolves the U.S. of its own culpability.
Decriminalization does nothing to solve the problem of drug cartels – they continue to produce and smuggle marijuana because it is still profitable.
Legalization (as in Colo and Wash) allows us to raise and sell our own produce in the US and puts the Cartels out of business.
You are correct that Americans created this mess, but it wasn’t marijuana consumption that did it, it was prohibition – and it the people who oppose legalization who are responsible for the Cartels and their very profitable and violent business, just as it was the first Prohibitionists that were responsible for Al Capone.