Ordinary folk who support the war on drugs do not realize that they are being conned. It is also doubtful that more than a handful of politicians admit even to themselves that the real raison d’etre behind the many laws recently introduced is purely and simply to allow Big Brother to get his hands on yet more of your money. Apparently Big Brother will not rest until everyone is reduced to that status of a serf on his own land. Serfs, that is, to the government and its hordes of do-good bureaucrats who need every last dollar you earn to pay for a war that they are clearly losing, if they were ever really fighting it in the first place.
The fact of the matter is that when examined rationally, the war on drugs just doesn’t make sense. Anyone who steps back to look at the larger picture will quickly realize that a war on drugs could never be won for the pure and simple reason of economics. For example, consider that sugar cane and heroin are largely comparable crops.
They grow in the same sort of climates and require much the same harvesting, refining, packaging and shipping procedures. The difference? Sugar sells wholesale for anywhere from one to one and a half dollars per kilo, heroin, on the other hand, commonly fetches as much as US $35,000 per kilo wholesale. t his enormous amount of revenue means that by producing heroin rather than sugar, countries MMJI a Bolivia, Columbia and Peru ensure that a steady stream of hard currency moves in their direction. The drug industry is the number one employer in each of these countries.
The drug industry is also quite likely the largest in existence. Just consider the statistics. More money is spent worldwide on illicit drugs than on food. At least three Columbian drug cartel members are rumored to be among the top five richest men in the world. Even their lieutenants are commonly worth more than such impoverished individuals as the Queen of England. Drug traffickers operating just in America and Europe are estimated to launder in the area of US $100 billion a year. This figure is larger than the GNP of 90 per cent of all UN member states. Similarly, in many countries, the revenue generated by the drug trade far exceeds that collected by the government. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who really holds the power in such banana republics.
The international drug trade is not some fly-by-night cowboy operation. It has been around for a long time, will continue to be around for even longer and is highly efficient. Just consider the outcome of the efforts made by US bureaucrats to date when they have actually tried to rid America of its drug problem through force. In 1992 to 93, the US spent in the area of US $1.1 billion trying to intercept drug smugglers. Both the US Coast Guard and the US Navy made use of all of their toys. Fully armed guided missile cruisers constantly patrolled both the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. The result, according to one classified document issued by the National Security Council was “abject failure”. Of the operation, Attorney General Janet Reno said, “General interdiction, which has been very costly, does not work.”
Still, at least this campaign went a little more smoothly than one arranged by the CIA during the Bush administration. In a plan designed to catch drug traffickers, government agents successfully smuggled a ton of cocaine from Venezuela into the US. Three years later it was discovered by a CBS investigator, that instead of helping government agents in the war on drugs, this drug shipment made its way to the streets. What did the CIA have to say? Such an outcome was “most regrettable”. Other do-good programs run similarly afoul. One plan in Afghanistan tried to convince locals to substitute orchids for opium poppies. The result was complete failure again. In spite of their good intentions, the missionaries failed to realize that orchids cannot grow in the Afghan climate.
Even if orchids were better suited to Afghan weather, most peasant farmers would have decided to stay with their known cash crop. As pretty as orchids may be, they are no substitution for feeding a family. It is simple economics that would lead Afghan farmers to choose opium over orchids every time. Similarly, any government reach-out program in the West has quite a task ahead of itself. Again, it is economics that leads inner city-youth into the drug trade. Once a poor kid from the ghetto gets used to making a thousand dollars every day, no amount of persuasion will convince him to get excited about a seven dollar per hour job flipping hamburgers.