For the past few weeks, television newscasts have been replete with coverage of the spillover of drug-related Mexican gang violence into the U.S.
Much of Mexico has become a no-man’s-land as that country’s drug cartels, nurtured and enriched by the War On Drugs, have issued a direct challenge to the elected government and the enitre law-enforcement apparatus.
The War On Drugs has been an abject failure, achieving nothing but the criminalization of millions of Americans and Canadians for simply indulging in recreational drugs, the bringing of law itself into disrepute, and the creation of a vast network of billionaire drug lords all backed by their own private armies.
Indeed, the enitre War On Drugs has become nothing more than an enormous financial sinkhole that has produced enormous violence without any evidence that it has served as any kind of deterrent at all.
Those who would perpetuate the corrupt and morally bankrupt War On Drugs would have it that marijuana is the basic “gateway” drug, leading millions of otherwise-innocent peopleto become slaves to more dangerous drugs.
But marijuana is not even a gatway drug. In fact, many reputable doctors have been heard to describe marijuana as perhaps the most miraculous natural medicine known to man, with undeniable beneficial effects on countless people suffering from debilitating physical and mental illnesses.
The real “gateway drug,” of course, is alcohol, which most “drug users” abuse long before ever having their first toke.
And while marijuana induces its users toward a non-violent, indeed beneficial, mode of bahaviour, alcohol far too often induces violence, aggression and criminal behaviour.
But alcohol, the real gateway drug, will never again be outlawed because far too many “respectable citizens” derive great fortunes from flogging it.
Not that it should be outlawed, because most of its users are not alcoholics or drunks or criminals. Nor are the users of most “hardcore drugs.”
Alcohol, like all the other “hardcore” drugs, should, of course, be heavily regulated and controlled.
But as reggae greats Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, among others, have proudly sung about marijuana, “Don’t criticize it, legalize it.”
Unfortunately, Canadian and American politicians will not legalize marijuana because they are too caught-up in the myths they have promoted about the gentle, harmless herb and too cowed by the corporate proponents of alcohol-promotion and marijuana-criminalization.