January 2, 2020
Hypocritical America Embraces Drug War Fascismby Ballard Quass
a warning to any remaining friends of freedom
This morning I searched the vast image catalog of Shutterstock for some photographs that illustrated the general concept of abolishing the drug war. I was sure I'd find something since the site has over a billion images submitted by well over half a million contributors.
To my dismay, there were very few if any images that suggested, even obliquely, that the drug war was folly. Instead, the site was full of propaganda images that associated cocaine in particular with all manner of vice. First we see an image of a white tabletop littered with bloody bullet casings and a credit card half covered with cocaine. Next we see a handgun lying in front of a half-dozen plastic bags full of white powder. One row down, there are the trademark lines of cocaine starkly displayed on a black tabletop, just waiting for some hedonist hit man to snort, no doubt before taking a scantily clad mistress in his arms and lavishing her with a highly salacious kiss. (Needless to say there are no images of Sherlock Holmes, using related substances to hone his observational skills, nor of Freud, using such substances to ensure the prolific output whereby he achieved self-actualization in life.)
Is America blind? Does no one realize that the dystopia thus depicted on Shutterstock is caused by the Drug War itself, the very war that we assume will solve our problems? Just as Prohibition created the Mafia, the Drug War has turned inner cities into shooting galleries.
The answer is obvious: decriminalize drugs, cocaine first and foremost, since it seems to be the natural substance of choice for marketing illegally.
Meanwhile, take all the billions that is currently going into the fascist militarization of our police forces and give that money to clinics that will treat drug addiction rationally, rather than throwing a million people a year into jail merely for possessing natural substances. Such treatment will be far effective than the current status quo when we allow clinicians to use any psychoactive substance in the world, rather than tyrannically limiting them to a handful of addictive medicines supplied by Big Pharma. The current criminal approach is just a make-work program for law enforcement, after all, and turns America into a police state, as our record-breaking prison population testifies loudly and clearly to the dismayed champions of freedom around the world. Besides, all the problems that we associate with so-called drug use are actually caused by the drug war itself, starting with the fact that the drug war demonizes illicit substances, thereby denying would-be users with the objective knowledge they could use to partake wisely.
Meanwhile those who fret about the addictive potential of substances like cocaine should drop their hypocritical hand-wringing, since almost all of them are ignoring the big addiction of our time: namely the fact that 1 in 8 American men and 1 in 4 American women are hooked on Big Pharma antidepressants, many of them harder to quit than heroin. But the drug warrior doesn't even notice this problem, let alone wring their hands about it. What drug war hypocrisy. What a clear sign that the drug war is not about the health of Americans' bodies, but rather about the health of Americans' wallets -- or rather the wallets of the so-called 1% who are getting filthy rich on drug profits from addicting America to legal antidepressants.
Not only is the fascist drug war unfair to minorities who constitute the predominant arrestees, but it results in a perversion of our electoral system, since it all but guarantees the election and re-election of fascist drug war advocates. Why? Because those who would vote them out of office are in jail, many having lost their right to vote thanks to their possession of proscribed natural substances.
America is seeing the ascendancy of anti-democratic forces, and the evidence is not just on Shutterstock.
Hollywood releases more movies every year whose plots seek to justify torture and premeditated murder as reasonable means of fighting so-called drug trafficking. In the 2019 movie "Running with the Devil," the self-righteous DEA "hero" cold-bloodedly murders a man who had the temerity to sell naturally occurring substances. What's more, she murdered the "drug dealer" while she herself was smoking a cigarette containing tobacco, one of the most harmful drugs in the world.
Hypocrite, America! Wake up! We're knowingly heading down the path of fascism, dimming the beacon of freedom that we had once hoped to be to the world.
PS How can we look Chinese President Xi Jinping in the eye and criticize his anti-democratic measures when we are arresting Americans for merely possessing the plants and fungi that grow at their very feet?!
Nor is it just the minorities that take a hit stateside. The Drug War has inexcusably blocked research on therapeutic drugs, all because of the fascist tendency to place law enforcement above every other consideration, and patients be damned.