"The American government in engaged in a massive program that is in reality a ruinously destructive undeclared tax on the general public and a well orchestrated campaign to eliminate the few remaining civil and human rights of a cowed and terrorized citizenry." Is this outrageous statement the absurd ravings of a lunatic or the clear understanding of a justifiably alarmed defender of liberty? Read on and then decide for yourself.
One of the most questionable aspects of the "drug war" is the emphasis on seizure of private property. The reason for this curious emphasis becomes alarmingly clear when you step back and realize that the drug enforcement agencies are the only parts of the government outside of the IRS that turn a profit. The concept of mixing profit motive with law enforcement has a impressive - if reprehensible - parentage down through history.
One particularly destructive example occurred within the living memory of many people still alive today. Ironically, at about the same time as prohibition (the opening salvo in the "drug war") was being imposed in America, the Nazis in Germany were also finding that mixing profit motive with law enforcement was a very useful tool in funding the Third Reich - as well as suppressing all rational opposition to their stated intention of enslaving the entire free world. Throughout history, the mixing of profit motive and law enforcement has been critical factor in the rise of despotic tyrants.
Think about it. In America today, an organization that is immune to any direct control by or responsibility to the lawful citizenry has been given the power to create and enforce regulations and impose sanctions without any public debate or even knowledge. This organization has been vested with the authority to conceal the details of its operations from the public, engage in intentional violations of the law directly or through paid proxies in order to prosecute "criminals" engaged in those same activities, and to use any level of violence up to and including lethal force to suppress all resistance to its self-defined agenda. Shielded by countless layers of protective bureaucracy and thereby free from accountability for its actions, the organization has created a situation where abusing its authority and creating an ever larger crisis directly profits the organization, while eliminating the problem it is officially charged with solving would result in the destruction of the organization. Scared yet? Welcome to the cold hard reality of the drug war.
All one has to do to unveil the undeclared taxation aspects of the "drug war" is to follow the money. First the government creates an artificially inflated price and demand for a cheap to produce substance such as heroin or cocaine. If you doubt that the government is directly involved in increasing the demand for such substances, just look at the current officially declared crisis level demand versus the relatively insignificant consumption level before the government got involved in "suppressing drug use".
The extremely efficient distribution system of the alternative economy guarantees that the product is available in sufficient quantities to meet any demand - only constricted just enough to maintain the artificially high profit margins of the dealers. The dealer's customers become unofficial tax collectors when they forcibly extract assets from the unwilling general public to pay the artificially inflated prices. The assets flow up the distribution pyramid until they are sufficiently concentrated in the upper levels. After allowing the illegal assets to accumulate, the government moves in and confiscates the wealth and property the dealers have collected for them. The dealers are then released to go back out on the street to start extracting more assets from the public for the government to seize.
If the government propaganda machine needs a sacrificial lamb to prop up the illusion of "progress" and "getting results", an incarcerated dealer can be easily replaced by any of the thousands of damaged souls entangled in the dirty business. In fact, the real effect of the government's enforcement effort has been to make the drug trade so profitable and attractive that it probably ranks as the most effective employment program the government has ever run. Unfortunately, all of the jobs created have been specifically targeted to benefit the lowest dregs of society. It takes a lot less intelligence and hard work to be a successful drug dealer than to create a legitimate business that makes a positive contribution to society. If you have any doubt of this, remember that without the artificially enhanced profits from bootlegging, Al Capone would never have become anything more than a dull witted street thug. With the riches generated by prohibition, Capone was able to adversely effect the lives of every innocent citizen of his era.
Cutting through all the lies and deceptions, just what is the reality of the "drug problem"? Before the "drug war", drugs were freely available without prescription at competitive prices. A minor percentage of people had problems with self administered use of some addictive substances such as morphine and cocaine - but drug abuse was a very minor health problem compared to the number of people who's lives are destroyed one way or another by the drug trade today. No one was in jail for drug crimes. No innocent citizens were being robbed or murdered by either side of the drug war. Criminal gangs were relatively rare, had only minimal organization, and were small in size. Organized crime as we know it today didn't exist. The power and intrusion of Government into the day to day lives of the citizens was very limited.
Today, after over half a century of ever more aggressive efforts to protect us from ourselves, we have paid a terrible price but what has that tragic loss bought us? Are we better off now than before the insanity started? Drug abuse has become epidemic. The drug trade extracts billions of dollars every year from the legitimate economy. A significant percentage of the population is wastefully incarcerated at crushing public expense because of victimless "drug crimes". A wider variety of dangerous substances of higher potency are more easily available now than ever before. The percentage of the lawful population victimized by crime continues to rise. Agencies of the government operate large scale drug trafficking operations in order to fund illegal covert programs that are unacceptable to the citizens and violate the constitution. Employers and others, seeking to invade the constitutionally protected privacy of the individual, cloak their intrusions with the false facade of needing to eliminate the threat to public safety posed by drug use in the work place. Organized crime of the worst kind has been provided an economic foundation and power-base from which to spread its parasitic corruption into every part of the legitimate economy. Profits from the drug trade are a primary source of funding for a wide variety of violent extremist groups such as the Red Brigade, the Shining Path, the Khmer Rouge, etc., in their attempts to destroy civilization and everything we hold of value. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to find any positive effects in the list.
We are now told that we will have to surrender our remaining rights and liberties to "our" Government so that it can "protect" us from our supposed inability to act like responsible adults, and to solve a drug problem that would quickly disappear with a little rational public education if the government would just stop creating the ever growing tragedy in the first place. The government's demands that we must give up our few remaining rights in order for the government to protect us from a crisis the government is itself perpetuating would be an absurd farce if so many citizens weren't so willing to believe it.