Posted byat 20th April, 2009
(When we last visited Brainiac On Banjo last week – http://www.michaeldavisworld.com/cgi/wp/?p=369 – Gold rambled endlessly about the stupidity of provincial moralism as it affects our nation’s drug laws. Not being content to leave well enough alone, Gold babbles further on the subject.)
So who benefits from our nation’s obsessively stupid drug policies? As journalism students were taught back when there was a vague possibility of getting a job: follow the money.
You might think the police departments make out nicely, but they don’t. Many cops either smoke dope today or did as kids, and police always protect their own. Cops are no different from the rest of us, except more of them spent time in that alternate drug haven, the military. The bureaucrats and the politicians who profit from their acts would get much better coverage if all their resources were focused on real crime and not on busting people’s kids… and they know it.
You might think the “mob” profits from our laws. After all, the easiest way to knocking down organized crime is to legalize drugs the way we did gambling. This would leave our dapper dans to concentrate on prostitution. Today’s mobs no longer have the type of political pull they used to have, and besides there are a lot more street gangs out there and competition is fierce. Those who profit from the drug laws have little clout.
So who makes out?
Lots of people, but the hands-down winner is our nation’s “health” industry. Big Pharm and Big Med make a big fortune hospitalizing drug users, giving them therapy, legal drugs, hospital beds, detox hotels, and medical attention. You’d think that these people would make just as much money – if not more – were drugs to be legalized: one would think greater access would lead to more risk-taking behavior, and, therefore, greater need for their services.
So why do they fight legalization? Because they know this is crap. Legalize the stuff and you remove the social stigma from drug use. Moreover, you remove the “go to detox and avoid prison” maneuver. Legalization would cost these guys big-time (and save the taxpayer a fortune) and, as Hillary Clinton discovered a long time ago, you don’t take on Big Pharm and Big Med.
Other drug war profiteers include the Religious Right, who still wants to save our souls, even if they have to deny our so-called freedom of religion to do so, as well as those conservative and Libertarian politicians who will commit unnatural sex acts to maintain the massive financial contributions of the Religious Right. And by “unnatural,” I mean stuff that would make Rick Santorum get a hard-on without resorting to zoophilia. Unless he wants to.
Of course, we also have the government’s self-serving interests: sundry federal agencies such as the DEA and Immigration. As Mel Brooks wisely said in Blazing Saddles, “Gentlemen, we’ve got to protect our phony-baloney jobs here.” And there’s the prison system, which is becoming increasingly privatized. Big business makes big, big bucks putting dope smokers behind bars.
Finally, and sadly, there are my friends in the education and child-care agencies. They get a lot of money for their drug awareness classes and for cheesy, failure-oriented counter-productive hustles like D.A.R.E.
There are others, but you get the point. The mightiest drug in America, the most abused drug in America, the most dangerous drug is America, is the good ol’ American dollar bill.
Mike’s Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind rants can be heard every Monday and Friday on The Point podcasts, available right here at www.michaeldavisworld.com, as well as at comicmix.com, getthepointradio.com, zzcomics.com, and ravenwolfstudios.com. You can subscribe to The Point at iTunes by searching under “The Point Radio.”