Yet Another GWOT (Giant Waste Of Time)

Saturday, August 19, 2006 at 07:45 AM

Cute piece in the Times courtesy Raw Story, which could be filed under "Told Ya So!"......

The headline says it all:

"Six-year, $4.7b effort to slash Colombia's coca crop has left price, quality, availability of cocaine on US streets unchanged"

I guess things like this bring out the Ferengi in me, eh? Of course we cannot win the Great War On Drugs. We can't seem to kill the main reason for it to begin with.


Yeah, I know, my 'tude on drugs reads a bit too much on the Libertarian side, but it's rife with Reality 101: Why would anyone want to make, manufacture, handle, market and sell a really bad product to begin with? Cocaine, crack, meth, grass, whatever...we've been killing ourselves for years attempting to shut all these down, and golly, we just can't, and why the heck not?

Profitability. A few hundred in drain cleaner, a shack, some basic knowledge of chemistry, and viola...a product now worth $125,000 cash. True, meth production is like building your own nuclear weapon, as the stuff leftover is dangerously unstable, so, why would anyone want to do this? Or handle coke distribution? Grow marijuana and sell it?

I know, the do-gooders among us cry fowl when I remind them of this, it's not about drugs, it's about cashflow: Anything that someone wants that is illegal is also extremely profitable, gee, wasn't that simple?

Let's go back to Prohibition. We rednecks down here in Dixie made shine, it was then toted by bootleggers (which became NASCAR, BTW!), and sold in "speakeasies" up nawth. Yes, the mob was involved. Now, shining is a talent that oft gets you in trouble with BATF. So is bootlegging. So, why do we not have shine stills dotting the Carolinas anymore?

Profitability, dude, madam. Some shmuck eeking out whiskey in a cabin, well, competing with Jack Daniels, Anheiser-Busch, Adolph Coors, well, where's the money it it? Why bother, when anyone can stroll down to an ABC store and pay, oh, golly, much, much less and for a better product?

See, when Prohibition disappeared, so did the shiners, the stills, the bootleggers (except for the good ones who became NASCAR legends...), and well, the mob went off to handle things. Like drugs.

I know, and most howl at my solution: Legalize everything. Immediately. Like that.

Overnight, the marijuana growers are out of it, they won't be able to compete with farmers and John Deeres. Cocaine? One big outfit can make it faster and cheaper. Meth? Easier and safer under strict lab conditions. Oh, yes, and the bad part to this? Cheaper. Prices drop and hard.

Which puts the meth labs out. The grass growers can go back to Beefeaters. Oh, yes, the local distribution networks, well, they'll have to file for unemployment.

"Six! You're totally insane! Do you realize what that will do???"

Yes. Within time, the amount of addicted persons will fall, fade. No, it won't go away, see the postings around the world on alcoholism. But, nobody worries anymore about explosive stills in their neighborhood anymore, do they not?

That's the problem with the so-called war on drugs: Until we can dissolve the profitability issue, then, there will always be those high-stakes persons who decide, "Illegal, yes, and profitable, too!". Fact is fact: Anything illegal or illicit is extremely profitable.

George Carlin suggests we start jailing bankers for handling the monies. I say, no, just make it all perfectly legal, and then, let the meth labs compete with Big Pharma. Once the price plummets to that of, say, Ibuprofen, well?

But, such advice on my part would only work where humans tackle something called common sense, and so far, we do not seem interested in such a thing.