Midwest Book Review

August 2017 Small Press Bookwatch

 

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, "The Drug War: A Trillion Dollar Con Game" is exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, making it an ideal and very highly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Social Issues collections in general, and Drug War supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students, governmental drug policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Drug War: A Trillion Dollar Con Game " is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Mass Incarceration

  • Every 25 seconds someone is arrested for drug possession.
  • “Three strikes” laws and heavy-handed mandatory minimum sentences are some of the reasons why roughly half of federal prisoners are serving drug charges.
  • For-profit, privately-owned prisons are now responsible for a $4.8 billion industry.
  • The drug war was the catalyst behind civil asset forfeiture laws in which the government can take your property based solely on probable cause without making an arrest.
  • In 2014 the police seized more property via asset forfeiture ($4.5 billion) than all of the nation’s burglars ($3.9 billion).

 

 

Propaganda and Racial Factors

  • The government has manipulated valid scientific research and manufactured faux “studies” to mislead the American public about the dangers of various illegal drugs, in particular, marijuana.
  • The first drug laws were an extension of Jim Crow and secretly benefitted a few crony capitalists.
  • The Jim Crow influence of drug laws is still visible…Black youths with no prior offenses are six times more likely to be sent to prison for the same offense than white youths who have the same record.
  • 75% of drug offenders in state prisons are black and Latino even though studies show that all races use and distribute illegal drugs at relatively the same rate.

 

Legal Marijuana Economy

  • Hemp is grown for commercial purposes in only four states due to ridiculous federal laws and regulations.
  • This eco-friendly resource, hemp, can produce plastic, fuel, construction materials, and electric car batteries, among thousands of other products.
  • With a flick of a pen, Congress could remove billions of dollars from the federal budget overnight by legalizing recreational marijuana. That decision would  add tens of thousands of free-market jobs and billions of dollars of tax revenue.
  • Marijuana remains as a Schedule I drug even though several pharmaceutical companies have patented synthetic marijuana drugs to treat various deadly diseases.

 

(Photo O'Dea WikiCommons)

 

Rigged Game

  • Quid-pro-quo revolving door…65% of the members of Congress who exited in 2012 received lucrative careers as lobbyists.
  • The congressional candidate who raises the most campaign funding wins 93-94% of the time.
  • Members of Congress spend an estimated three hours a day raising money for the next election.
  • The U.S. government in conjunction with various media sources have violated laws that ban covert propaganda to mislead the public about illegal drugs.

 

 

(bigstockphoto.com)

 

Hypocrisy

  • Too Big To Jail… HSBC, Wachovia, Bank of America, among many other major financial giants have been responsible for multi-million dollar cases of money laundering. Yet, none of their employees were sent to prison.
  • Federal agents often use the technicalities of money laundering laws to target law-abiding, legal marijuana dispensaries.
  • America now consumes roughly 40% of the world’s prescription drugs.
  • A variety of legal prescription drugs, such as OxyContin and Ritalin, are nearly identical to illegal street drugs.
  • It is easier to receive a prescription for opioids rather than naloxone, which prevents opioid overdoses, and naloxone, which helps heroin addicts from relapsing.
  • The Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) accepted donations from tobacco and alcohol companies in the past. The PDFA continues to receive donations from pharmaceutical companies that manufacture frequently-abused narcotics.

 

(Photo Chris Potter/Flickr)

 

 

Cold War 2.0

  • The drug war serves as a pretense for the 4,000 U.S. troops who are stationed throughout Latin America.
  • Our tax dollars flow to foreign governments with horrendous human rights records in the form of “counternarcotics training.” These funds have counterproductively led to the formation of the most deadly Mexican cartel, the slaughter of numerous activists throughout Latin America, and enabled a Colombian terrorist organization, among other atrocities.
  • A gift for the military industrial complex...A handful of politically-connected, privately-owned U.S. defense contractors earn billions of dollars to conduct anti-drug operations internationally.
  • We were told that it was necessary, for national security purposes, that the PATRIOT Act maintain its numerous provisions that negate our Constitutional rights to privacy, but the PATRIOT Act is rarely ever used for terrorism cases. Instead, it is primarily used for drug investigations.
  • NSA’s Orwellian-scale database and spying program aren't limited to national security…It was actually based on a DEA program that was developed in 1992.

 

 

Government Supported Drug Trafficking

  • The drug war is a lie and our federal government has recruited, armed, supported, trained, and/or financed major international drug traffickers in China, Italy, France, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia, Haiti, Australia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, among other nations.
  • These rebel groups/warlords/freedom fighters/organized crime figures have been very valuable operatives for our intelligence agencies because their illegal drug proceeds help to fight wars and topple foreign governments.
  • In some cases, our federal government and intelligence agencies have publicly smeared reporters who have covered these scandals, pressured prosecutors to drop charges against major international drug traffickers, mislead investigators, and facilitated their illegal drug distribution, among other complicit actions.

 

 

(Photos WikiMedia Commons)

 

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© Brian Saady