What does the US Government gain from the war on drugs?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by floyde, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #1
    It's certainly not a reduction in drug traffic or consumption. Nor does there seem to be any intention to foster peace and security in the US's southern neighbors. So what is it?

    I can't conceive how a policy that has failed for over 40 years, and that has created problems many orders of magnitude greater than those it was meant to fix, can be so stubbornly defended in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it.

    It seems clear to me that the US government (and I emphasize government, this is not directed towards American people themselves) reaps some benefit out of this strategy, and that said benefit has nothing to do with a reduction in drug consumption. And yet I don't really understand what this benefit might be. Does the government profit from the drug trade? If so, how? Or perhaps its just a matter of strong pressure coming from the more conservative forces of US politics? They just really don't want to make Jesus mad by legalizing crazy hippie substances?

    And yes, I'm well aware that the drug trade issues in Latin America have deeper roots that aren't related with US foreign policy, but what I'm saying is that we can't have a change of strategy over here, until the US stops pressuring and calling for military-based approaches.

    I mean let's face it, President Calderon couldn't have gone on his little quest to legitimize his presidency if it hadn't been for the "aid" given by the US through the Merida Initiative. I know politicians can often be incompetent, but they're rarely stupid. They couldn't have possibly thought that Calderon would "win". So why support his doomed and irresponsible cause? What's in it for them?

    </rant>
     
  2. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    It's about control.

    You cannot do anything that interferes with the economic models they revere.

    You must continue to acquire, strive, achieve, consume; not make do with less, and enjoy life, by letting yourself go now and then.

    And pot is not taxable, like smokes, booze, gambling, which is big business for government.

    And any idiot can grow good pot, which is the nub of the issue.

    :p
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Sedulous

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    #3
    Maybe because the alternatives seemed too radical. Unregulated, there are dangers and the concept of regulating drugs like other controlled substances probably seemed even crazier compared with the (now obviously) unwinnable "war on drugs".
     
  4. macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #4
    I'm tired of the term "war on drugs". It always seems to automatically refer to pot. Which in my opinion. Is not a drug.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    Why does it matter?
    #5
    Rich prison owners are the ones who benefit, and politicians get a cut of the profit.
     
  6. macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #6
    The the tax payer pays through the nose (;)) for it. Drug abuse should be treated an illness, not a crime. Dealers should receive severe penalties. With mild drugs like Mary Jane, they should be legalized while providing adequate drug eduction. Of course how much money do we spend on alcohol abuse education? I don't really know.
     
  7. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #7
    When did this thread morph into drug abuse from recreational use??
     
  8. macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #8
    Just what do you think the War On Drugs is all about?
     
  9. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #9
    As I have said before, control. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  10. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #10
    so because they can not stop then make it complete legal?

    So by that logic they should give up stopping speeders or murders because they can not bring those to zero.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #11
    Oh, I'm sorry, do people doing drugs kill people in wild abandon?

    I don't think so.

    You need to update your parallel table.
     
  12. macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #12
    And why did you take issue with my previous statement?
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #13
    I guess the war on drugs is the only thing stopping us from becoming a nation of all out druggies.
     
  14. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #14
    Because you assume that the War On Drugs was about abuse, and I do not share your view.

    And who would dispute that position, given the state of the union at the present time?
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #15
    I have no idea, unless thats a rhetorical question.
     
  16. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #16
    It was, you clever dick. :D

    How better to 'handle' the egregious political **** in the U.S.A. than with drugs.
     
  17. macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #17
    Actually I did not say that. If I did not make it clear, I said what the focus should be on, not locking up people which the War on Drugs is all about.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Sydde

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    #18
    Drug trade is the key. Most large-scale trafficking is managed by some sort of organized crime syndicate, which is then able to launder their take through the Catholic Church in order to lobby the government to keep the drug laws, and thus their own profits, securely in place. No lawmaker wants to be always looking over their shoulder for the big guy in the black suit, or have to check their pillow ever morning to make sure there is no horse's head there.
     
  19. floyde, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #19
    What do you call a policy that is meant to mitigate an issue and yet it not only fails to do this, but you can clearly observe that the incidence of the issue is rising? A failure.

    The problem is, the current policy isn't just ineffective. It has the troubling side-effect of creating a huge black market with excessive profit margins. Such a market could not exist without prohibition. So basically, you create a situation in which you provide your enemies (the cartels) with much greater monetary resources than your own, and then you go out and fight them. It's not a very good idea.

    You've made an analogy about murder, and that tells me that you view drug consumption as a great evil. No doubt it is an extremely undesirable thing, but believe me, if you ever get to experience the true side effects of the war on drugs (that is, the military approach), I'm pretty sure that you'll change your mind about which is the lesser of the two evils. Have you ever been caught up in the middle of a shootout on your drive home? I have, and I can tell you that it is much worse than drug use, or any of its consequences.

    You guys don't yet realize this, because the violence hasn't spread that far over the border. But trust me, you don't want to keep giving more power to the drug lords by giving them great business opportunities on a silver platter by supporting the current policy.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    mudslag

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    #20

    I think it's a bit more then just that. Each year the war on drugs costs the tax payers around 15 billion dollars, some argue its closer to 30-40 billion. Either way its a hell of a lot of money and that money goes into the pockets of some very large industries, specialty groups and so on. These collection of groups and what not that have no intent of losing that income. In return they spend a large part of that money back on lobbing the gov to keep spending more. So yes that is a form of control but the aspect of money itself is end result that is looked for.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #21
    obeygiant, this is an intuitive thought, but I think it is flawed nonetheless. Drug supply is never scarce. Anyone who's interested in drugs can easily find them. What good reason is there to assume that legalization would dramatically increase use?

    The idea that drug use would increase with legalization is not based on real world data. The few countries that have implemented policies based on decriminalization have had positive results in reducing not just crime, but also consumption (albeit moderately, but it still much more successful than the US's approach). I think that this sort of evidence should trump intuition.

    Besides, when I speak about the "war on drugs", I'm specifically referring to going out with guns a-blazing trying to capture the traffickers. I'm not suggesting that we stop fighting these criminals, but rather that we do it in a more rational and effective fashion, by attacking the root causes rather than focusing on the side-effects. That is, we eliminate the black market and focus our money and efforts on prevention and rehabilitation, implement anti-laundering policies, improve the living conditions of the latin american youths who end up joining the ranks of the cartels, etc.
     
  22. Guest

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    #22
    Right, because it's not like we didn't elect them or anything. :rolleyes:

    At least own up to the punches you pull.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #23
    Well I'm sorry, but should I refrain to speak about things which I think are wrong and detrimental to both your country and mine, just to avoid disturbing people's patriotic sensibilities?

    It is not my intention to throw punches. I posted this mostly to understand how this issue is seen from an American perspective, because it makes little sense to me from over here.

    In this case I am talking specifically about the US government, since I'm arguing that the current drug policy is of little benefit to the people, and thus its longevity must be due to there being a benefit for people higher up the ladder. For example, corrupt politicians or big corporations, etc.

    Regardless of our nationality, we all mostly tend to elect our politicians with the best of our intentions, but that doesn't mean that they will represent our interests once they are elected, or even that we will always get it right. So I don't see how my post is an insult to you personally.
     
  24. macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #24
    Well since the schedule which criminalizes pot and other drugs was passed in 1970, there probably isn't a majority of people left today who can say that they voted for the criminalization of these drugs. And given how hard it is to pass a law, least of all a controversial one, this is probably something we can blame on our government.

    It's also the open secret in the legal and political community that the war on drugs needs to come to an end, and that it's one of the few bipartisan issues left these days. The difficulty is in figuring out how to wind down the massive bureaucracy that's been built around it and getting 535 people to openly admit to their constituents that this is an open secret.

    Given the unusually high levels of incumbent retirees in 2012 and the impending explosion of echo boom voters, maybe we'll see some changes by 2020.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

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    #25
    it's about getting votes from the law and order crowd
     

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