I beg to differ with the argument that the “government” is making money off the drug protection rackets. Sure, there’s a lot of fluff and lard and ridiculous pork in government budgets at every level to pay for a drug czar and his minions. There are plenty of government representatives in many countries at every level with their finger in the drug-payoffs pie. But there’s also a very lucrative international corporate business in rehab for addicts, methadone production/clinics (actually designed to keep addicts addicted – not to cure them), counseling centers, drug production and marketing, etc. Banks are making big-time money off the drug lords and money-laundering, as well as a healthy share in corporate addiction creation and rehabilitation. Pharmaceutical companies are making incredible bucks from design of more and more addictive drugs. Insurance companies are making bigger and bigger profits from increased rates because of the potential liabilities presented by addicts in the workplace, on the road, in the neighborhood.
The rampant corruption of the illegal drug traffic exists at every level, but it’s those of us on the ground level that lose the most.
We, the taxpayers at the bottom level of this addiction feeding trough, are hemorrhaging money hand-over-fist by paying welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, medical care, crime-related expenses for generational addicts, particularly addicted parents who can’t or won’t hold a job, can’t feed or mind their children, but who can always find enough money for drugs; supporting prison populations with over 70% of the prisoners have drug-related criminal convictions; supporting medical expenses for addicted and/or preemie newborns of addicted mothers, whole foster care and child welfare systems to pick up the tab on the neglected and abused children of addicts, who too often grow up themselves to be addicts or criminals. We’re footing the bill for the higher price of insurance premiums and uninsured medical costs of addicts in our hospitals. Their failure to pay becomes our community burden. Their failure to parent becomes our community burden. And they’re breaking our backs.
The addicts are the weak link in the chain of progress. American society can’t go faster, longer, harder because the addicts in the system can’t hold together. They aren’t pulling their weight and they’re a drag on the rest of us. It’s time to cut them out and let them go.
The British tried to redeem addicts by rewarding them with government sponsored substances for their “highs” if they kept working, kept abiding by the law. As a result, they have a bumper-crop of neglected, abused, murdered children, rampant domestic and street violence, and a staggeringly overwhelmed medical system – smashed by the tsunami expenses of support for addicts, their damaged children and the bottomless pit of their drug habits and lousy life choices.
Instead of hundreds of thousands of welfare dollars to addicted mothers and their children, a one-time payment of $1,000 start-up, a free tubal ligation to prevent any other pregnancies, and the surrender of any children to the State – no more welfare for addicts. Now Mom can go smoke dope and not have to worry about the stress of motherhood. For any child of an addicted parent, straight to pre-screened, non-relative family for mentoring in a clean, healthy, productive environment. They don’t get hundreds of thousands of dollars in Independent Living Funds and a free ticket to college as a given when they age out of the system, either. They only get subsistence money if they have no truancies, no disciplinary actions, no criminal actions and obtain certification in a vocation or a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Failure to comply equals loss of all funds and straight to a detention center until they age-out. No more freebies for bad behavior.
Guys coming out of prison or pending sentencing for a first criminal offense may waive all court costs and fees and child support for a one-time payment of $1,000 and a free vasectomy. Make no mistake. We’re getting a bargain by ending procreative abilities and supporting whatever children are already in the system. The average criminal or addict will never pay for what he does. He’ll never do anything but claw around to get high. He’ll steal the food from the mouths of his children or the children of whatever dumb broad is willing to take him in just to feed his addiction. But at least he won’t be making any more two-legged social liabilities for the rest of us to shoulder.
We’re not tough enough on addicts. A conviction for certain offenses should carry a life-long ban from certain professions. One criminal conviction for illegal drugs or alcohol abuse should result in an immediate year-long suspension of your driver’s license and a year-long ban from certain types of employment. Two convictions for illegal drugs, alcohol abuse and you have a life-long ban on driving and a permanent, national ban on certain professions and a complete loss of security clearances and international travel rights. Three convictions send the addicts to a one-way institution to use all the drugs they want, no limits, no restrictions, no medical interventions, and where they get to leave in a body-bag, dead but smiling.
Then we can wash our hands of them because the choice has been theirs all along. I decry the constant handwringing and “oh, we must help them” – those benighted knuckleheads who continuously seek to soothe the damage to their psyches through pharmaceuticals and other substances to the exclusion of any realistic solution. Addiction is the black hole of our society and it will take everything we have and keep demanding more. You can’t cure addicts. You can cut them off and walk away. Tough love, it’s called. Survival of the fittest is more apt. Scrape them off and move on.
And interestingly enough, I believe that we can’t get well on the illegal drug trade as long as so many corporate and government fingers are in that money-making pie. It is not in their best financial interest to deal with the illegal trade and they’re sufficiently insulated from the consequences as to be socially oblivious. But I can’t fix them because the system is rigged. All I have as a woman in this country is a right to vote. I don’t really have equal protection under the law, but I can act like I do. I’ll never make enough money or have enough power to influence even one of these drug profiteers.
But I think anyone who wants to de-regulate illegal drugs needs to spend some time going around with DCF to examine the lifestyles of addict parents and see what happens to their hapless kids while mommy and daddy are stoned, getting stoned, or finding a way to get stoned. Addiction is a 24/7 job – they don’t have anything left to be parents. They need to interview a few hundred of the street people and recognize this is a life-choice for too many; not a social or medical disorder.
I think the reason we can’t get a handle on illegal immigration is the same reason as our lack of progress in the illegal drug trade; too many political and corporate profiteers don’t want to break their rice bowl and damn the rest of us common people who aren’t being paid a living wage or getting tax breaks while simultaneously making profit from cheap labor.
Pay attention to the disconnect. This is another example of the dichotomy of political v. citizen social and economic values which brought the Soviet Union to its knees in the 80’s. I’m not sure if we can consolidate from the wreckage and come back as a nation with so many fragments…led for them.