The War on Drugs Has Taken a Devastating Toll on Children and Young People Throughout the World — Do Drug Prohibitionists Care? Did They Ever?

Looking at available data, one thing surely stands out that the proponents of the War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition cannot escape: the War on Drugs has had a devastating impact on children and young people — and especially black youngsters and children. So this War is both devastating to the very people who the proponents of the 40-year-old FAILED and evil War say they want to help, all the while their policies help to DESTROY young lives BY THE MILLIONS all around the globe!!!

Children and young people have experienced the loss of a parent or loved one due to HIV/AIDS or overdose, since the government doesn’t regulate illicit substances they used so that they could get treatment instead of jail time or prison time. And when children are sent to Juvenile Hall and young people are sent to jail or prison, they learned all about segregation of Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, and so many of these later become racists of their own respective shades of skin. Some were raped (some many times) and became “bitches” for older, more sophisticated criminals. There some learned to become criminals or better streetwise criminals. Some committed suicide soon after incarceration, while some lives were ruined and totally altered in a negative way. Some of these were just caught with a joint, a bag of cannabis or small amounts of harder illegal drugs. Some had what seemed like great careers ahead of them, while others didn’t realize that they could actually spend time with murders, molesters, gang-bangers and racists just for smoking a herb that makes them laugh.

Children and young people have seen their communities uprooted in parts of the world due to crop eradication programmes or drug fuelled conflict to become statistics of human displacement. They have seen their neighborhoods become gang-infested, dangerous places that no children should be forced to experience, where nighttime brings the constant sounds of gunshots and sirens till early the next day. They have seen their mothers become whores for drugs and so they dealt drugs to keep their mother from selling herself for her habit, since the state wouldn’t regulate it to a market-oriented price and keep addicts from prostitution or crime to get their drugs. They also have seen their mothers overdose, because the drug dealer gave them bad drugs or drugs that were too potent, whereas government regulation would have normally solved tainted or mixture problems.

Children and young people have seen their parents murdered in Mexico and other parts of the globe due to the War on Drugs that corrupt politician, Republican Richard Nixon, started. In Mexico, they hear grenades and shootouts, with tens of thousands murdered in that country just since 2006. Whole towns have no real authority but the drug cartels, with children and young people being abused, used and even forced to join the cartels by coercion or threats of violence. around the world many orphans have been created and many families experience the loss of one parent because of the War on Drugs.

In Mexico, this article explains, knowing the level of violence seen by these children, as they seek cover from gunfire and grenades and watch terrifyingly and tearfully as ruthless gunmen grab people from their homes and vehicles, would be able to recognize these children and adolescents as the ‘Bang Bang Generation.’

The name Bang Bang Generation was given by Francisco Benavides as a way to refer to those under the age of 20 who are growing up in a society terrorized by violence.

“The Bang Bang Generation experience and suffer, directly or indirectly, the extreme and bloody violence unleashed in our country by the battle between drug gangs and federal Government armed forces. It is a violence, that since 2006, has continued to dramatically increase, day by day: the amount and types of drug related events, as well as the types and numbers of victims and casualties”, said Benavides

War Child International, a network of independent organizations working around the world to help children affected by war, warns that the most vulnerable and innocent — children —  are the first victims of armed conflict.

“All those families who deny the lure and do not get involved with drug trade, those who maintain strong values, but continue living in poverty, are forced to suffer immensely,” says director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Colombia.

“For many of these people, the resentment, rage and social dissatisfaction continues to grow, to a point where it eventually explodes into violence.”

The “narco mentality” is to think about getting as much as one can as quickly as possible — by any means necessary.

Beatriz Prieto, psychotherapists, says that the most affected by Drug Prohibition policies are teenagers.

“They have already, before this started, been permitted to have a social life outside of the family.”

They don’t even consider us, maybe because they had a peaceful adolescence,” says 13-year-old Maria, who has lost all privileges for parties and get-togethers for fear violence and shootings. “Now we want the same, we want safe streets. We want to go out without seeing masked men carrying weapons.

“What do we do now? We aren’t allowed to go out, the weekend get-togethers are over, if Facebook didn’t exist, what would we do? It’s the only thing we have left, they only way we can communicate.

If you would just put yourself in our shoes, and feel what it is like to be a teenager now. We have little faith that these words will make a complete change, but we do have hope that you will respect our place so we can go through our adolescence, even if it is during an uncontrolled war, with happiness.”

So, why isn’t President Obama and the U.S. Congress STOPPING the War on Drugs for the sake of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF CHILDREN whose lives are being negatively and sometime permanently altered because of the consequences of the War? Have you ever heard of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America? It is sponsored by the alcohol industry. Yea, get off pot and get on alcohol — and get pregnant, in fights, sick enough to make intimate contact with a toilet bowls, get in accidents and damage your lives — sometime permanently — by binge drinking.

“It bothers me that I am not allowed go out by myself or at night, and we always have to be very attentive, listening for gunshots, watching for kidnappers, says Emiliano. “We must always be careful.”

It’s tiring to always be so attentive, I would really like to just relax a little.” says the 13-year-old.

So what has the War on Drugs turned kids into in some parts of the world? Soldiers against anything and anyone who gets in their way.  

This article points out that when one looks “at the lower socio-economic classes of Mexico, the Mexican Drug War represents a chance to make some money, have a cell phone, lap tops, nice clothes, all these things we take for granted. These kids may come from low-income families with little option or choice of schooling, and a future. The money is there and that’s attractive to young kids – and this is where the cartels recruit.

The article goes on to say that there have been reports of young child hit-men taking jobs for cartels in return for an income, with CNN reporting that a fourteen-year-old was threatened by a cartel boss, and ended up accepting a job as a hit-man, describing his own killings in horrific detail, saying, “I slit their throats.”

Here is a place with a video with a voice on it purporting to say, “When we don’t find the rivals, we kill innocent people,” an unidentified boy says in the YouTube video. The report says that the drug cartels prey on 14, 15 and 16-year-old males who get high on paint thinner who later become cold killers.

Here is an article (in 2010) explaining that 1,200 children have been killed just in Mexico by the Drug Prohibition policies since 2006.

This article says that since last January, the NGO estimated that 30,000 children were currently working in organized crime, with salaries reportedly of between $165 per month and $960 per month, depending on the region where the children were working.

Now let’s take a closer look at what is happening to the family unit as a consequence of the War on Drugs.

Forty years and 40 millions arrest later, because of the concentration of imprisonment by gender, race/ethnicity and age, the family effects are particular to the groups involved. Here’s a graph:

Incarceration in Fragile Families, by Christopher Wildeman and Bruce Western in The Future of Children.

“…the effects of this sea change in the imprisonment rate … have been concentrated among those most likely to form fragile families: poor and minority men with little schooling. Imprisonment diminishes the earnings of adult men, compromises their health, reduces familial resources, and contributes to family breakup. It also adds to the deficits of poor children, thus ensuring that the effects of imprisonment on inequality are transferred intergenerationally. … Because having a parent go to prison is now so common for poor, minority children and so negatively affects them, the authors argue that mass imprisonment may increase future racial and class inequality — and may even lead to more crime in the long-term, thereby undoing any benefits of the prison boom. U.S. crime policy has thus, in the name of public safety, produced more vulnerable families and reduced the life chances of their children.”

Paternal Incarceration and Support for Children in Fragile Families, by Amanda Geller, Irwin Garfinkel and Bruce Western, in Demography.

“Because most men in jail and prison are fathers, a large number of children may be placed at considerable risk by policies of incarceration. … Both cross-sectional and longitudinal regressions indicate that formerly incarcerated men are less likely to contribute to their families, and those who do contribute provide significantly less. The negative effects of incarceration on fathers’ financial support are due not only to the low earnings of formerly incarcerated men but also to their increased likelihood to live apart from their children. Men contribute far less through child support (formal or informal) than they do when they share their earnings within their household, suggesting that the destabilizing effects of incarceration on family relationships place children at significant economic disadvantage.”

Parental Imprisonment, the Prison Boom, and the Concentration of Childhood Disadvantage, by Christopher Wildeman, in Demography.

Results show the following:

  1. 1 in 40 white children born in 1978 and 1 in 25 white children born in 1990 had a parent imprisoned;
  2. 1 in 7 black children born in 1978 and 1 in 4 black children born in 1990 had a parent imprisoned;
  3. inequality in the risk of parental imprisonment between white children of college-educated parents and all other children is growing; and
  4. by age 14, 50.5% of black children born in 1990 to high school dropouts had a father imprisoned.

Now let’s look at what the Prohibitionists teach our children. This article points out that right now, the vast majority of U.S. kids are taught some version of the D.A.R.E. program, which sends police into schools to talk to kids, primarily grade schoolers, about the dangers of illegal drugs. But D.A.R.E.’s message that “all drugs are extremely dangerous” without differentiating between substances, is not only overly simplistic, but false. Once kids discover that cannabis, for example, is often used by  older peers without dramatic negative impact on their lives, they tend to disregard D.A.R.E.’s warnings about much more dangerous and addictive drugs. D.A.R.E. curriculum sends the WRONG message that all use is abuse, further oversimplifying the realities that kids will face in the world around them, and telling them outright lies.

Major studies say the evidence shows that kids who participate in D.A.R.E. are no less likely to use drugs as young teenagers than kids who did not participate. At least one of the studies showed that kids who took the D.A.R.E. program were MORE likely to use drugs than their peers. One study, titled “In Their Own Voices,” interviewed hundreds of D.A.R.E. graduates and found that three years after completion of the program, many students indicated that they felt they had been lied to in an effort to scare them away from drugs.

This article says that the majority of wasted American counter-narcotics dollars are awarded to five big corporations: DynCorp, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, ITT and ARINC.

It’s become increasingly clear that our efforts to rein in the narcotics trade in Latin America, especially as it relates to the government’s use of contractors, have largely failed,” Sen. McCaskill said.

So, to sum up the effects of the War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition on children and young people, they are LESS safe, MORE addicted to legal and illegal drugs, minorities have seen their communities devastated, Mexico has given birth to the “Bang Bang Generation,” and children are learning how to cut off limbs and other body parts for drug gangs.

From a former Comrade in the Communism which is the War on Drugs, 777denny

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