THE ENCOD BULLETIN ON DRUG POLICIES IN EUROPE
Chicago’s former police superintendent Garry McCarthy said eighty percent of Chicago homicides are gang fights over drug prohibition turf. McCarthy was fired, not over the number of homicides, but rather because tough, racist, Chicago policing was captured on video when a white police officer emptied his firearm into the back of a distant black kid who held a knife in his hand.
Chicago, America and the world could legalize all popularly consumed illicit drugs and stop most of the violence propagated by drug prohibition, its black markets and its eye-for-an-eye street justice. Violence has reached epidemic levels with nearly 800 people killed in Chicago in 2016 alone, some 10,000 people a year killed in Mexico and over 3,000 users and dealers have been killed by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte in the few months since he assumed power.
But there is reason NOT to legalize ALL drugs!
Drugs are bad and should be outlawed, the thinking goes. Legalization would make drugs more available to kids. And what message would it sent to our kids? Drug use destroys families and communities. Government has a responsibility to protect people from themselves, as people cannot seem to avoid drug use on their own without governmental intervention.
The 21st Century has seen a new 11th Commandment, perhaps from God himself: “Thou shalt not legalize drugs.” Which drugs? You know: cannabis, opioid derivatives from the poppy plant and pep-powdered drugs made from coca leaves.
Some ask: But did not God also create those plants?
Yes, my Sunday School, synagogue, mosque, temple and Mother Nature upbringing taught me who created “drug plants” but even the Divine Deity tried to correct His (or Her) mistake with the Great Flood.
No, not Katrina, the other one. But how did drugs get onto the hallowed Ark, and how do drugs get into every prison in the United States (and the world)?
Man is suspected. One of God’s own creatures would have sneaked two of each “bad” plant species onto Noah’s Ark, much to the chagrin of Noah, Mohammed, Buddha, Christ and Mother Nature. Decades later, millenniums really, everybody knows you cannot rid the world of drugs. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America and a United Nation Political Action Declaration have both proved it.
Drugs are here to stay.
The late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman suggested we legalize drugs, because economic laws regarding supply and demand, price, prohibition and black markets guarantee increasing drug prices, availability and harms. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron has also advocated the legalization of drugs for decades. University of Chicago economist Gary Becker and successful Chicago commodities trader Richard Dennis are both of the same mind. But what do they know?
I get my legalization dope, information and opinion from the leaders I elect: mayors, presidents, legislators and congressmen. I march to the beat of my own drummer, religious leaders like Chicago’s Father Michael Pfleger and Rev. Jesse Jackson. I don’t hear them saying legalize all drugs.
I do my own thinking and the War on Drugs is a plan to save our kids, even the 780 humans that died this year in Chicago. The War on Drugs “solution” was intended to save the kids, including congressman Danny Davis’ grandson and congressman Bobby Rush’s son who allegedly welshed on a $100,000 drug deal.
You don’t hear the Chicago Tribune editorializing for legalized drugs. You don’t hear the Chicago Sun-Times (“The Pfleger Times”) editorializing for legalized drugs. Name me one major American newspaper that is editorially calling for the legalization of ALL drugs and I’ll eat my hat. See, there you have it.
The War on Drugs is the Second Great Experiment, following American Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s. The First Great Experiment lasted 13 years; the Second Great Experiment has lasted from 1971 to 2017 and is still ticking, not even a half century yet. Give neo-prohibition a little time. We should all be patient in our homicide grief.
Hope is unseen and just around the corner. In the meantime, march with the Father Pfleger for an end to the violence. Take away the guns and bullets, and drugs. Pass some tough anti-gun, anti-gang and anti-drug laws. Simple as that.
And if drug prohibition doesn’t start producing some constructive results, someday, then, eventually, some new editorial board members, publishers, editors, public officials and candidates for public office will come along, see the light and proclaim a great and obvious truth.
And that truth is this: The War on Drugs does not work. It does not stop drugs. And it’s a killer just as much as any war.
More succinctly, Humanity: Legalize all drugs.
by James E. Gierach
News from the Secretariat:
Enrico Fletzer stepped in as new President of Encod. The staff and the steering committee wish to thank Janko Belin for acting as chairman in the difficult times faced by the European coalition after the death of Joep Oomen. Encod will continue its efforts to empower the global drug reform movement. Enrico Fletzer is a Radio and Newspaper Journalist, famous for his cannabis related translations, and has been among the founders of the Italian Mass Movement Against Prohibition-MDMA. He speaks the main European languages and wants to get more proficient in Dutch, Spanish and Greek . But he is also looking forward to real breakthroughs, starting with the Iboga conference planned in the Italian Parliament. Encod will participate at the Canapamundi Fair in Rome 17-19th in February 2017.