Monday, July 13, 2009
Why They Will Never Legalize Drugs in U.S.
With the tragic death of musical superstar Michael Jackson and the swirling rumors about drug usages, I am drawn to the writings of Ryan Grim, senior congressional correspondent for the Huffington Post. Ryan recently appeared on CNN promoting his new book, “This Is Your Country on Drugs”, and advocating legalization of certain drugs in order to combat the violence associated with illegal drug trafficking.
It behooves the Mexican Cartels and Mafia to keep prohibited drugs illegal. Legalization would reduce the price of drugs and dry up the black market. It would reduce drug related gun violence, and hence the black market for weapons. As it stands now, automatic gun sales keep rising and ammunition sales are off the charts, and so on. Drug trafficking fuels gun sales and gun sales fuel violence.
It is a known technique to distribute drugs among competing gang factions, and then instigating retaliatory violence between them over turf, for the sole purpose of selling more guns. Therefore, it would be no surprise to see the NRA and gun rights advocates oppose legalization. Gun shows, which are legal, have always provided an avenue for gangsters to get their hands on weapons. With more drug money, the more expensive and powerful the weapons sold.
Wherever there is big money, such as that generated by the drug trade, there will always be corrupt officials and police willing to take a piece of the dirty pie. FOR EXAMPLE: There is the story of an informant, willing to testify against his drug supplier in exchange for leniency on another charge. Two police officers arrived at his home and promised to take him and put him into protective custody. He never made it. Instead, the two officers delivered him to the drug kingpin.
No doubt, crooked cops and crooked politicians are probably as prevalent in Mexico today as once in the United States. As long as drugs are kept illegal, they will continue to get a slice of the action. Therefore, opposition to legalization from police associations and politicians may be tainted by the influence of those who now benefit from the trade.
The pharmaceutical industry, like the weapons industry, has a vested interest in seeing illegal drugs remaining a banded “controlled substance”. But most illegal drugs began with the pharmaceutical companies.
Heroin (Diacetylmorphine) was synthesized from morphine in 1874 and brought to market by Bayer in 1898. Coca-Cola was invented in a drugstore by John Pemberton and originally intended as a patent medicine. The formula called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup in 1891. Coca-Cola did once contain an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass, but in 1903 it was removed.
Did cocaine and heroin disappear from market demand? Or, did it seek out a new, more lucrative underground market after becoming a “controlled substance”?