TIME MARCHES BACKWARD. WELCOME TO THE 19TH CENTURY FORWARD TO THE PAST
April, 2017 DL Blewitt, J.D.
The marijuana industry promoters have gone into shock since the change of administration. After all the years hoping, wishing, praying, and civil disobedience, a sizeable section of the population celebrated because they believed that the country had finally come to its senses. There was a convergence between the academic world and the “real” one. Over most of their adult lives, Viet Nam vets have lived with what they believed were insane drug laws. Having served their country and learned about weed in Asia, there was a sense of betrayal when they returned to persecution and prosecution. They knew that the drug war was bull shit, but many saw veteran benefits and other expectations dashed because of the drug war. The freedom that they thought for was turned into something else. It couldn’t be described, but it was definitely felt. They sat by and watched as their free world was privatized, inflation set in, the United States went into a state of perpetual war which they could not understand.
Prisons filled, prosecutions increased in the face of lowering crime rates. Drug laws wrecked citizens and polarized society. Inflation robbed them of their savings and education was limited unless an inordinate amount of debt was taken on. They returned from a war in which they thought they were fighting for freedom to an emerging police state. It took a few decades for them to realize that they were screwed. Middle class shrunk and wealth was being redistributed. No longer were trades sponsoring apprentice programs. The trade schools had been privatized. Pensions were robbed and union funds decimated. There were no more retirement plans, no longevity, no reward for loyalty. All this was done in light of evidence to the contrary.
However, there was one glimmer of hope. The thing that started all the repression and punishment binge. Civil service ranks were thinned as privatization took over, but then one day, a Nixon politician, released from jail and having several decades to reflect, told the people that the whole drug war was a scam to stop civil rights and pacifist movements. It had nothing to do with crime. It had to do with fear and political power. But it also stirred up turmoil and divisiveness in society. The divisiveness was lessoning and after four decades of debate, governments were taking a look at the repressive drug laws. Several states legalized and the sky didn’t fall. Those states thrived and there were no noticeable adverse effects. However, the celebration was premature.
The country hadn’t come to its senses. The same prejudice was there. Bigotry thrived. Reality became denied and folk wisdom and fantasy took over. People didn’t want facts, they wanted justification. We became divided. Reality became irrelevant. Beliefs were important, not ideas, logic, or facts. The public had been conditioned to associate marijuana with evil. Therefore, the reality didn’t matter. If someone believed it was bad, that person was not about to be confused with facts or reality. The world became one of them and us. The good and the bad. Bad had to be stopped, even if it were good. War was peace. We elected a person to be president, not based upon capability of position, but because he appealed to the confused, frustrated, angry masses, who didn’t care about facts or truth. He has appointed cronies to positions of power, chosen to please his constituency, not for capability.
All the appointments had a worldview thing in common. They were selfish, and believed they were good. They were judgmental and everyone who was not in agreement with them was bad. The world was evil, populated by unworthy ruffians. Control over the people was mandatory. And, since it was mandatory, it might as well be profitable. These people were the guardians of our society and deserved to be made rich. The selfish rich won and the masses were about to get screwed, with no institutions or people between them and the predators.
To maintain control, the predators need money to buy robo-police and public relations. The last thing they want is for the population to wise up. Their solution for that is privatization of schools. And after the society is bled of all its assets, there will have to be tight control. There is one way that police and intelligence agencies have always obtained funding. That is through the confiscation laws These funds are not regulated, but are the police’s private slush fund. With outside money, they can’t be controlled. And the best source of unaccounted money is through the confiscation of property through seizures in drug enforcement actions. Since marijuana is the only drug that has an odor, it is necessary to the shakedown of the citizenry. That is why the police state is going to fight tooth and nail against any legalization or decriminalization. Below is an article I wrote quite some time ago. It is still valid.
I wrote this a few years ago. It still applies.
Why Marijuana Won’t be Legalized.
It is essential to the Police shake down
It has been over four decades since I took my first graduate course in criminology. Not much has changed since then, except that findings accepted by social scientists have been denied by people in power who find the science inconvenient. The biggest change is the increase the in ignorance of the general population, followed by the corruption of the government. Only a village idiot could have studied the drug situation and still believed in the gateway drug theory as expounded by BNDD director, Henry J. Anslinger, propagandist extraordinary. He maintained that because most heroin addicts stated they smoked marijuana first, it was a gateway drug to addiction. He persisted in his fictitious version of reefer madness into the sixties, pushing his toxic bull shit to the newly formed Drug Enforcement Agency, who for political rather than logical or factual reasons bought it lock, stock and barrel. Restated, the public is conned into believing that heroin can be controlled by arresting pot offenders.
The theory goes something like this, and I recall from four decades ago. 95% of all heroin addicts stated that they tried marijuana before becoming addicted. Therefore, marijuana is the gateway drug to heroin addiction, which causes your daughters to enter prostitution to support their habit. One could also state that 100% of all heroin addicts breathed before taking heroin. Or, one could say that every biker gang member started out on bicycles. The logic is about the same. There is no assertion of causality, but it plays well to the PTA, Lions, Legionnaires, MADD and other cheerleaders for the lies and fear-mongering of the power structure to subjugate the people and keep them policed.
The gateway theory has been cited by “experts” who obviously failed logic but passed rhetoric and are intellectually challenged. Additionally, the demonization of the gateway product is in full force, blaming marijuana on auto accidents, pregnancies, sterility, stupidity and all other kinds of ailments. It has become a key ingredient in the Theocrats’ attack on science. Image and message trumps science. Superstition, prejudice and ignorance trumps science. Science is demonic, ungodly, heathen and bad for the country (at least the 1 per-centers). Over the decades, theory and study of crime causality has taken a back seat to punitive measures and mass incarceration. The country has become statistically challenged.
When I first studied criminology many decades ago, the concerns were organized crime, price fixing by the big electrical companies of hydroelectric generators, extortion, robbery, murder, predatory behavior of the con-artists and the like. I spent hours poring over the records of the McClellan and Kefauver committees. I studied causality of crime, not paranoid dreamt up scenarios from someone’s imagination. Greedy corporate executives had slightly higher status than garbage collectors and lawyers. There was a movement to stop predatory practices of the corporations and have truth in lending for consumers. The new Uniform Commercial Code was being adapted and there was change in the winds. The people were not fair game for the rich and powerful. The common person had some recourse and were protected by the law against exploitation. Black people had a trial before they were lynched and some even got to vote and lived to tell about it. There was a sense of community and cohesion. Taverns and bars were looked at as community centers where consensus and opinion were created, not dens of evil. The corporations answered this cohesion with well-funded diversions focusing union corruption and patriotism.
Then came the civil unrest of the Nixon years and things changed. The saying “give them an inch and they will take a mile” was the favorite saying of the radical whites in the country. Civil rights were here, but the blacks weren’t satisfied. They wanted more than rights. They wanted equality. When it didn’t come fast enough, the blacks got restless and rioted in some cities. Of course, the disoriented nervous whites got anxious and even scared. The Viet Nam war gearing up, which was not too popular. The rulers were fearful of a public they could not control or manipulate. TV showed Buddhists monks engaging in self-emoliation and Black Panthers brandishing assault rifles and bandoliers at the Reagan Capital in Sacramento. Reagan walked around with a load in his pants that day. Law and order became the mantra of the fearful and confused. This was code for “stop the blacks.” And both races knew it. So, after a spectacular convention in Chicago which decimated the Democrats, the Republicans elected Richard Nixon.
The marijuana war intensified rather than gearing down. The country became preoccupied with drugs, causing the US to have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Although crime rates listed by the FBI remained somewhat static, incarcerations increased. Law enforcement was becoming the “rogue elephant.” When Denver passed an ordinance making enforcement of Marijuana law the lowest of police priorities, marijuana arrests almost doubled the next year. This isn’t the result of a few rogue elephants, it is a stampede, the result of institutionalized behavior. The same phenomenon has been reported in New York. President Obama promised drug law reform, yet the justice department is loudly protesting and waging fear campaigns on the marijuana users. To the uninitiated, this seems confusing.
Why all the enforcement activity? Doesn’t the government realize how much money in taxes the marijuana industry generates? Why are they killing the goose laying the golden egg? The Denver Post’s John Ingold reported $2.2 million in sales tax for marijuana tax revenue in November, 2010. This was only for part of the year. The Attorney General of Colorado responded that “…the new revenue stream doesn’t change his opinion of dispensaries.” (said through a spokesman) The revenue stream from medicinal marijuana comes from fees charged dispensaries, care givers and patients and sales tax on the substance sold in dispensaries. The tax revenues go mainly to cities and the state to fund their projects. The fees go to the Department of Revenue. So, with that kind of revenue, “why are the cops whining”, ask the naive and innocent?
I ask in return, “Didn’t you see the videos of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, Las Angeles, Oakland and Berkeley? If not go look at them. Look at the police. Look at their equipment. They are all dressed in expensive riot gear.” That shit costs money. Compare this with the dress of the Chicago Police at the 1968 Democratic convention. The difference in equipment is due to the drug war. The money comes from the drug war budget, which is bloated by confiscations and forfeitures. With legalization, the cops are left out, and the gravy train grinds to a halt. Instead the proceeds are going to such things as roads, schools, health care, assistance to poor and disabled, and infra structure, things that used to be a priority before the advent of the police state. Additionally, the corruption J. Edgar Hoover referred to when he forbade FBI agents to engage in drug enforcement, would cease. Cops would afford fewer donuts, planes and condominiums.
For years, I believed that the police were ignorant dunderheads. They followed orders like good martinets and did not question things. They were true believers, not confused by facts or evidence. Concepts such as fairness, justice, due process and the Constitution were for bleeding hearts. They would not let ideology or justice interfere with their duty. These simple people believed they were just doing their jobs. They would blindly follow, because they were brainwashed. Then, I conquered my prejudice and ignorance. Cops actually were not stupid. Most detectives had attended college. How then, could they then ignore all the reports and recommendations of experts since the Eisenhower report in the ‘50’s? Some were unaware of existence of reports. Some didn’t care, because they believed in what they were doing. And, some were just sadistic bastards, drunk with power fueled by their bigotry and ignorance. And, some were in it for the money.
I started examining the curriculum of the courses offered police. I didn’t expect them to have the same education as I for many reasons. However, most colleges or universities teach the same facts, discuss the same research and theories. Then, a friend in the political science department provided me with some government publications regarding grants and research proposals. None of the grants dealt with causality. They dealt with mechanics of arrest, trial and confinement. Some dealt with procedures that streamlined the assembly line to incarcerate more persons efficiently. Management by objective ruled and political policies were geared toward punishment and revenge. Police action was calculated to make the public feel good or secure, not to be effective. Image was everything. There was always enough fear from the police to insure generous budgets. This worked like the mafia protection racket. Theoretical criminology was ignored. It was inconvenient and contradicted what the politicians wanted. The criminal justice area was almost void of any intellectual content. If the students aren’t taught anything, they can’t be expected to act intelligently. They also don’t rock the boat and agitate for change. Causality didn’t matter, only public perception of protection counted. Image was all.
There is also a more insidious side to the drug war policy. Several would be cops joined vice and narcotics to get rich. The opportunity for bribes and extra money is almost boundless. Additionally, oversight was sloppy or negligible. I was involved in several cases where the evidence confiscated from the defendants ended back into the market place, placed there by police or Government. Courts and prosecutors turned a blind eye to the evidence of corruption. If that weren’t enough, the police state became self-funding through fines and forfeitures, perpetuating corruption on a massive scale. Crime enforcement has become the new aphrodisiac for the perverts and bullies. Several abuse cases have been reported such as the broom handle rape in New York, the killing of arrestees, and other atrocities that may or may not have made the papers. Instead of constraints, sanctions and oversight, things are concealed or covered up. Judges, coming from the police establishment conspire with the officers and prosecutors to encourage perjury, sadism and other misconduct, imbued with a belief that the ends justify the means. They identify with the imaginary problems of the police in following the rules, which might result in a less than desired result. Judges don’t view their purpose as protecting the citizenry. They believe they should expedite convictions to help fill the jails, and reward their police constituency. The Constitution is no longer the law of the land, but an impediment to efficient enforcement of assembly line justice, where any judge can rationalize ignoring the citizens for the sake of exigency. Get the guilty has replaced the idea of protecting the innocent. We have a post-legal society.
Presently, close to 75 % of drug arrests are for marijuana1. It is an easily identifiable commodity with a distinct smell, look, and fan base. As long as the police and public buy in to the gateway fiction, the police can justify their budgets by claiming they are preventing heroin addiction by enforcing the draconian marijuana laws. They are protecting the public with the crusade against marijuana. Not so. They are perpetuating a bureaucracy. They are protecting their status and budgets.
Drug enforcement policy has nothing to do with protecting the public, preventing harm to the youth, and other bullshit reasons given for the drug war by the cynical enforcement cabal. Instead, it has everything to do with money. Look how the additional funding for police enforcement is utilized. It is used for surveillance and riot equipment and other means of repression, not to solve crime. Marijuana arrests justify the drug budget. Heroin and cocaine are hard to detect and therefore the case numbers won’t justify the budget. But as long as we have a fearful population and lying, corrupt police and officials, we will have marijuana prohibition to perpetuate the fiction of good policing. The officials know better. They aren’t stupid (no matter how hard they try to look that way). They want to control us in order to be able to exploit us. That is why they now are proposing domestic surveillance drones. Fear equates to greater budgets and more toys.
It is time for the citizenry to wake up and smell the weeds. They are in the police agencies and greedy politicians, fed by greedy corporate predators. They are perpetuating a fearful society. They are destroying the societal fabric with suspicion and jealousy and no end is in sight. They are relying on ignorance and lack of interest. They count on a docile population, just as a King of France and his wife Marie once did. It is time for the people to be heard. It is time for dialogue and discussion. It is time for action. You can’t fool all the people all the time! (Hopefully). We have to make officials and politicians know that we want safe roads, bridges, water, hospitals, sanitation and the rest of the infrastructure. Show them we value education over incarceration. We want to lead the world in freedom, not in repression and incarceration. We were a democratic republic, not a totalitarian police state. Show them we no longer tremble in fear of your imaginary bogey man. It is time they fear us–the people, not the press and public relations consultants. Start writing your council, legislature, commissioner, governor, congress, senate and president. Let them hear people rather than money. If they don’t listen, shun them. Embarrass them, berate them and expose their greed and ignorance to others. Stand up and be counted. Destroy a prison, build a bridge. Be courageous. Be free.
1 Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with possession only. The remaining 99,815 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes virtually all cultivation offenses. Crime in America: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2008 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, 2008),
Incarceration in the United States is one of the main forms of punishment and/or rehabilitation for the commission of felony and other offenses. The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. At year-end 2009 it was 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2010 — about 7% of adults in the U.S. resident population.  Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or on parole.  In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2009 — about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.
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