Last month I posted a small e-book and some videos on the evils of our drug war and the response has been overwhelming. Between my channel and a pirated version the videos have been seen 2,500 times. The e-pamphlet was briefly the #1 war on drugs book of any kind on Amazon. There are a couple of arguments I wish I had addressed better in the book or the video, however. I also failed to suggest any next steps for the interested. This blog post is an attempt to address those gaps.
First the arguments.
My stuff does a decent job of pointing to the failures and injustices of the system, but it falls down on the broader philosophical implications, which I care deeply about. This video does a great job, and is worthy of your attention and re-posting
The e-book touches briefly on the fact that our local police departments are becoming paramilitary organizations. This article does a great job of outlining the full horror of it.
Beginning with the Military Cooperation and Law Enforcement Act of 1981, the Pentagon gave local and state police access to surplus military equipment for purposes of drug interdiction. By 1997, local police departments around the country had stockpiled 1.2 million pieces of gear, including thousands of military-style M-16 automatic rifles, body armor, helmets, grenade launchers, night vision goggles, even armored personnel carriers and helicopters.
This arms build-up is out of all proportion to any conceivable threat, and is used exclusively to terrorize American citizens. It strikes me as reminiscent of the growth of local military forces in Lebanon, prior to their disastrous civil war. Thankfully nothing similar seems in prospect in the US, but if it were, the necessary materials are now dispersed throughout the country.
On that depressing note, on to possible actions.
NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws is the granddaddy of drug policy organizations. They have been operating for over 40 years. Their website suggests a number of possible actions.
The Drug Policy Alliance is a somewhat newer, slicker organization. They take a more comprehensive view. They go beyond marijuana legalization to focus on potential treatment options and new approaches to our nation’s drug problem.
Both of these organizations are worthy of your support. They are working to establish a saner, safer, and more just country.
Thanks to all for the interest and support, and I hope you will keep tuning in as we continue to churn out tweets, blog posts, longer form writing, and the occasional video.