THE TRUE COST OF THE “HIGH”

Have you stopped to consider the cost of that gram of cocaine, ounce of pot, bag of heroin, tablet of ecstasy, snort of meth? I am not talking about the cost to you, but the cost to the people of México, Columbia, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Gangs in those countries are fighting for the right to supply drugs to you.

The borders are closed to stop the flow of drugs you “ordered up.” People fleeing the crime, the poverty and death are trapped and can’t escape because of the border restrictions. They are killed for the few dollars they carry, women raped, body parts harvested for sale to willing hospitals.

150,000 Mexican have died in the past 6 years, cartels fighting for control lucrative drug trade. It is not the cartel members being killed, it is innocent people who are robbed, raped, and killed by young men on drugs who do not get a fair share of the cartel profits and must freelance. It is the army who kill people for the cartels to supplement their meager pay.

San Pedro Sula, El Salvador is the most violent city in the world, with 187 homicides per 100,000 people. In Honduras, murders of women and girls increased by 264 percent from 2005 to 2013. Honduras had a rate of 82.1 homicides per 100,000. El Salvador 66 per 100,000 people. By comparison, the United States had a homicide rate of 5 per 100,000.

All these people are killed due to the fight for control of the drug routes.

The cartels come into a town and kill some police, then put the names of the police it will kill next on a list and hang the list from a bridge or from a building. Then the news-papers are paid off to report only what the cartels tell them. Then the mayors are paid off so they can say everything is alright and people create an image in their mind that life is normal and there is hope.

And, where do you think the CIA gets the money to operate since they can’t ask the government to fund a covert, illegal, amoral operations? They’re in the most profitable business in the world! Drugs and money laundering. All those coups de etad? Financed by drug sales.

The sale of drugs to you.

Thousands killed, democratically elected leaders assassinated. All financed by the drugs you shoot and snort and swallow.

How does it feel now?

The drug war is a product of the transnational drug trade, which is worth up to five hundred billion a year and accounts for about four percent of all international trade.
The American government maintains that there is no alternative but to vigorously prosecute their zero tolerance policy of arresting drug users and their dealers. That’s led to the incarceration of over five hundred thousand Americans for non-violent crimes.

Meanwhile the flood of illegal drugs into America… and to you, continues.

If any member of the public is caught in possession of a few grams of coke or heroin you can bet your bottom dollar they will be going down to serve some hard time.

The cartels stay in business because the CIA needs silenced money to run their covert operations. So the CIA gets a cut. The cartel money goes into the U.S. banking system where it is “laundered,” earning billions of dollars in profits for the big banks because it boosts the amount of money the banks can loan. The money is loaned to the private prison system that builds more for-profit jails.

Drugs are flowing into the country across porous borders and there are plenty of young, innocent drug uses to keep the jails filled. The private prison system is making millions, which it then feeds to legislatures to passed stricter drug laws.

When the state governments were considering decriminalizing certain drug offenses and taking away mandatory sentences, the private prison system had the balls to write a letter to the legislatures explaining that such action would hurt their bottom line and limit their ability to support their reelection campaigns. Those measures died in committee. The lesson is, if you’re Mexican and become involved in the drug trade, you should expect to die within a few years. If you’re a poor American, you should expect to spend decades in prison. But if you’re a wealthy banker, you can expect to live a long life of luxury.

Mass incarceration, of the people who sell you the drugs you want, provides a gigantic windfall for the private prison industry – even as current incarceration levels harm the country as a whole.

If the banks didn’t launder the money for the cartels, the global drug trade would suffer. The cartels devote a portion of their fabulous wealth to bribing politicians, regulators, judges and police – from the heights of power in Washington down to the local police precinct – to make sure their wealth is protected and they remain immune from criminal prosecution.

The war on drugs is no failure at all, but a success. Can we say it has failed? Has it failed the drug money-laundering banks? No. Has it failed the key Western financial centers? No. Has it failed the cartels Colombia – or the Muhajedem in Afghanistan, where we can see similar patterns emerging? No. Is it a success in maintaining political corruption? Absolutely.

While the nation’s unprecedented rate of imprisonment deprives individuals of freedom, wrests loved ones from their families, and drains the resources of governments, communities, and tax-payers, the private prison industry reaps lucrative rewards. As the public good suffers from mass incarceration, private prison companies obtain more and more government dollars, and private prison executives at the leading companies rake in enormous compensation packages, in some cases totaling millions of dollars.

Your tax money pays for the prisons and for the guards and the rest goes into the pockets of the private prison system.

The United States imprisons more people – both per capita and in absolute terms – than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China, and Iran. Over the past four decades, imprisonment in the United States has skyrocketed, spurred by criminal
laws that impose steep sentences and curtail the opportunity to earn probation and
parole. The current incarceration rate deprives record numbers of individuals of their
liberty, disproportionately affects people of color, and has at best a minimal effect on
public safety. Meanwhile, the crippling cost of imprisoning increasing numbers of
Americans saddles government budgets with rising debt and exacerbates the current fiscal crises confronting states across the nation.

And it is your insatiable appetite for drugs that fuels this entire process. I hope you enjoy your next high. All you have to do is forget about the deaths and crime and suffering and corruption that result from it.

My political commentary is meant to bring a heightened consciousness and real discussion to people intent on changing social, political, and economic conditions. Politics as usual is destroying our Democracy. Government corruption demands real political change, not just a new candidate in the old system. Political leadership only leads to self-serving agendas and self aggrandizement. Politicians eschew social causes for personal enrichment. Political power corrupt morality and rationality. The result is criminal behavior and Constitutional crimes.

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