Friday, April 24, 2009

So Legalize It, Already Part II

What if...
...the moneys spent by the government on farm subsidies--approximately $20 billion annually--were instead given to US farmers willing to grow marijuana, poppies and coca? a few years the United States could produce all the now-illicit drugs the country presently consumes?
...the North American drug clientele found a better deal at home, available legally and safely and because of this the Mexican drug cartels went out of business?
...the production of drugs in the US was taxed at several levels, as are the production and sales of tobacco products?
...the Afghans had no buyers for their opium and our war there ended?

And what if all the money saved in...
...our futile effort to control drugs
...our war in Afghanistan
...our interdiction programs
...the war in our streets financed largely by guns and drugs
...our expenditures to house thousand upon thousands of prisoners guilty of drug-related infractions
...the legal costs involved in putting them there...

What if all that money was spent on more highly esteemed programs like education, better treatment of our vets and elderly, more low-cost housing, a national health insurance system, music and arts programs for kids, and repairs to the country's infrastructure--our roads and highways, bridges, public transportation and hospital.

As the Beach Boys once sang, wouldn't it be nice?

It's time to legalize drugs, to free ourselves of a yoke that has already broken the back of nations to our south and now threatens ours. The bad guys are winning the war, folks. It has already cost us more more in dollars and lives than World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined and there's no end in sight.
It's time to stop it and make better use of the vast riches such a peace might produce.

Here's installment 82 of Wasted Miracles.
Mollie Catfish squared the pile of bills in front of her. It wasn’t as tall as she’d hoped. She had closed her checking account, maxed out both her credit cards and sold the stuff she’d bought with them for twenty-five cents on the dollar to another girl at the club. She’d borrowed $500 from Bennie the bouncer. There was $3,472.32 and it was all she could come up with. She remembered the Rolex she’d lifted from a trucker, found it, rushed from her apartment. An hour later she was back, seething. The pawnshop owner had offered her a tenner for it. “It’s a fake, honey. Twenty bucks on K Street.” She’d taken the ten, balled the ticket in her hand and tossed it angrily into the gutter.
Three-thousand four-hundred and eighty-two dollars would have to do. There was no time to plan a scam, no time even to turn a few tricks. In spite of herself, she felt vaguely thankful for that.

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