Showing posts with label marijuana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marijuana. Show all posts

Friday, January 7, 2022


Your tax dollars at work

                                      Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay 

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional meltdown.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"When the president does it, that means it's not illegal" -Richard M. Nixon

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

I thought I was well on my way to becoming an expert on the Mexican drug cartels until I was halfway through the latest season of Narcos: Mexico (Season 3) on Netflix when I found out there isn't going to be a fourth season.

I was hoping that I might be able to make a few bucks by passing myself off as a consultant to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and maybe get a small taste of some of their $3 billion (and change) budgeted bucks. 

The current season, historically speaking, ends in the late 1990s because according to one of its co-creators, Carlo Benard, the story of how we arrived at the situation Mexico now finds itself in has prevailed ever since. 

In an article in the Hollywood Reporter, Bernard is quoted as saying that "...stopping at the moment where we had delivered the world that we now live in today made sense, thematically and narratively.”

The "world that we now live in" is a world in which the cartels control as much as 40% of Mexican territory and profits from smuggling people across the border is a "billion-dollar business."

The war on drugs has been raging for 48 years. We pulled out of the Graveyard of Empires (Afghanistan) after only 20 futile years. 

The DEA was created in 1973 by President Richard Nixon by merging some existing government agencies together. Nowadays it employs over 10,000 people, and as mentioned, has an annual budget of over $3,000,000,000.

On their website you can " what appears to you as a possible violation of controlled substances laws and regulations." Given that the DEA considers the planet Earth its jurisdiction they must use a helluva algorithm.   

They also have a recently reopened museum you can visit the next time you find yourself in D.C. and are looking for something to visit besides the same old, same old tourist traps like the Lincoln Memorial.  

"After a two-year renovation, the all-new DEA museum is now open." It's free, open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 to 4, and has its own website. The gift shop isn't open yet but they're working on it. 

{Five days a week from ten to four? You should try to get a job working there.} 

Nah, I'd have to live in the Swamp, Dana. If I were a consultant I'd only have to show up in D.C. once in a while and take a bureaucrat or two out for an overpriced but deductible lunch. 

A current exhibit at the museum features a Harley confiscated from the Hells Angels that demonstrates the importance of asset seizures to the law enforcement community in fighting crime.

From a Wikipedia entry: "In 2014 law enforcement took more property than burglars did from American citizens."

There's another Wikipedia entry about America's first national prohibition of a recreational pharmaceutical, "...a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933." 

In the section that describes the increase of various and sundry crimes across the board caused by the prohibition of alcohol, it mentions that the budget of the Bureau of Prohibition tripled in the course of the 1920s.  

Sound familiar? 

{So what are you trying to say? We should legalize all drugs, even the obviously dangerous and addictive ones?}

Nope. I'm saying we should decriminalize the use of all drugs like they did in Portugal — 20 years ago — where selling drugs is a criminal offense, but using them is an administrative offense. Drugs addicts are considered to be a public health problem, not criminals, and are dealt with accordingly. 

The experiment has been a hooge success.   

{Interesting article... But Mexico would still be a mess, and the cartel's best customers, us, would still be awash in hard drugs.}

Easy-peasy. All we have to do is invade Mexico. 

We can set them free, do something about violent crime rates (particularly femicide), get a much smaller southern border to deal with, and...

{We don't do that sort of thing anymore, we...}

And we can tell China that until they stop exporting precursor chemicals for the manufacture of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and the like to the Western Hemisphere we're going to ban all Chinese imports. 

{We don't do that sort of thing anymore either...and we'd have to start making all sorts of stuff ourselves.} 

Yeah, wouldn't that be awful?

Poppa loves you,
P.S. Although it's legal to smoke marijuana in 36 states if a doctor prescribes it, 18 states have approved "recreational use," and the Apocolypse has yet to commence, the DEA ain't letting up on its effort to eradicate the Devil's weed. 

A weed that can easily be grown by drug lords — or grandma to treat her glaucoma and liven up things at the senior center.

GAO report estimates that the DEA spent roughly $17,000,000 a year from 2015 to 2018 on its Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (just try to get more recent numbers, I dare you). 

Bottom line? The DEO can't account for how all the money was spent or what the results were. "DEA officials said they are now working to address this issue, but they have not developed a plan with specific actions and time frames for completion."

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