Cannabis Has Been Legal 99% Of The Time It Has Been Known To Mankind: Enjoy Some Pics Of Hemp and Cannabis Plants

The year 2011 has been a watershed year for the movement working to end our America’s disastrous War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition. Below are the top 9 stories of the year exemplifying the momentum the movement has gained.

#1. World Leaders Make International News By Calling For Cannabis/Hemp Legalization And An End To The War On Drugs

The Global Commission on Drug Policy made worldwide news in more than 3,000 outlets after releasing a stinging report against the EVIl War on Drugs by calling for a paradigm shift in Global Drug Policy, which included alternatives to incarceration and greater emphasis on public health approaches to drug use. It also called for decriminalization and experiments in legal regulation. The Commission is comprised of former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, four former presidents, George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State; Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve and other world leaders.

#2. 40-Year Anniversary Of Nixon’s Launch Of The War On Drugs Met With Nationwide Protests

June 17 marked forty years since corrupt President Richard Nixon went against his own exhaustive Commission that found some of the very same results and recommendations that TGCDP made. He, trying to round up political opponents, citing drug abuse as “public enemy No. 1,” declared a “War on Drugs.” A trillion dollars and millions of ruined lives later, there is a growing political consensus that the War on Drugs is a monumental and counterproductive FAILURE. The Drug Policy Alliance, to raise awareness concerning the utter catastrophic FAILURE of Drug Prohibition, led advocates all across the United States marking the date with a call for an exit strategy from the failed War on Drugs policies.

#3. Gallop Poll Shows Historic Support, With 50% Of Americans Now In Favor Ending Cannabis Prohibition

A Gallup poll has for the very first time found that 50% of Americans support making cannabis legal. Forty years ago support registered at 12%, finally gradually rising to 36% in 2005. But the past six years have seen a dramatic spike in support. Majorities of men, liberals, 18-29 year-olds, Democrats, moderates, Independents, 30-49 year-olds, and voters in Western, Midwestern and Eastern states now support legalizing cannabis.

#4. NYPD Commissioner Directs Police To Stop Improper Cannabis Arrests

The New York City Police Department arrested 50,383 people for low-level cannabis offenses in 2010, with arrests for low-level cannabis possession offenses being the number one arrest in New York City, making up 15% of all arrests. But the law says that under 7/8 of an ounce of cannabis is supposed to be decriminalized in N.Y. and a non-arrestable offense, with the only reason people should be arrested are those with under an ounce if they are smoking it in public or it is in plain view. But the law didn’t stop the NYPD  from stopping and frisking 100,000’s of black and Latino youth and then tricking them to emptying out their pockets. Once “in public view,” they arrested them. So, in response, a campaign was led by the Drug Policy Alliance, the Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Alternatives, and VOCAL as they lobbied for Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD to STOP the racist and unlawful tactics employed during cannabis arrests. In October, NYPD Commission Ray Kelly issued an internal order commanding officers to follow existing NY State law, thereby ending arrests for possession of small amounts of cannabis – as long as it was never in public view.

#5. Thousands In Mexico Take To Street To Protest Drug War

This summer tens of thousands of Mexicans marched across their country to protest their immoral and costly Drug Prohibition War that has led to the death of 50,000 people since President Calderon launched his “surge” against the Mexican Drug Cartels five years ago. The protests were led by journalist and poet Javier Sicilia, whose son was killed in drug prohibition-related violence.

#6. Colorado And Washington To Vote On Legalizing Cannabis In 2012

In 2012 ballot issues will again be brought to the voters in Colorado and Washington State. With winds blowing against the FAILED War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition, the ultimate demise of cannabis prohibition may be at hand, since now the debate is shifting from whether cannabis should be legalized to how.

#7. Portugal Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary Of Decriminalizing Drugs

Ten years ago Portugal decriminalized cannabis as well as ALL drugs including heroin, cocaine and meth, with having small amounts of drugs no longer a criminal offense, but instead a civil offense – like a ticket. The results show a decreased youth drug use, falling overdose and HIV/AIDS rates, less crime, reduced criminal justice expenditures, greater access to drug treatment, and safer and healthier communities.

#8. War On Drugs/Drug Prohibition Critique Is All Over TV and Popular Culture

The FAILURES of the immoral and racist War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition have aroused serious debate around Cannabis Policy which have seeped into mainstream, popular culture. HBO weekly shows  viewers the FAILURES of Alcohol Prohibition. A series called Prohibition showed the utter futility of the 18th amendment to ban the sales of alcohol. From movies, to TV, to music, there has been an increased amount of time, energy, thought and discussion about ending the increasingly unpopular War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition.

#9. New And Powerful Voices Join Movement To End Failed War On Drugs/Drug Prohibition

The movement to end the War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition is gaining steam and becoming a bigger, broader and diverse in its effort to bring back common sense to Drug Laws. November saw more than 1,200 people attending the Drug Policy Alliance’s International Reform Conference. It featured panels with dozens of police officers who saw first-hand the utter futility of the War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition and are now speaking out against it, along with students who are just now beginning their activism. There were those in attendance who love drugs, those who hate drugs and people who don’t care about drugs one way or the other.


War on Drugs Partly Racist War By Conservatives, Republicans and Others Against Political Enemies — WARNING: Please Help to End Immoral, EVIL Drug Prohibition Laws!

The way political opposition forces for thousands of years operated by prohibiting only CERTAIN drugs and criminalizing them in attempts to rise or stay in power, is the same way Conservatives, Republicans and others are doing today: criminalize otherwise law-abiding citizens so that many of their political enemies are neutralized and/or silenced.

The War on Drugs started (really its been about 80 years) with a corrupt Republican politician named Richard Nixon, who spied on his enemies and focused on eliminating them by locking them up over simple drug violations. I, supposedly a “good” Conservative Republican (only vote that way because Democrats are worse) supported the War on Drugs. I changed over the years to only wanting to decriminalize Cannabis, but keeping other already illegal drugs illicit, then to legalizing Cannabis but still keeping other illicit drugs illegal, to now knowing I was WRONG about the entire subject and believe ALL drugs now criminalized should be legal so that government regulates them, instead of the ruthless Drug Cartels.

What all of us need to do is ask the two simple, basic questions that should determine whether or not we should support  a law or not. The first basic question is whether the law we support is Constitutional — especially from the standpoint of looking at the law from the viewpoint of Freedom of Religion, Speech and Assembly. The War on Drugs FAILS at protecting all three of these precious rights. Secondly, does the law fulfill the basic premise of Government that it does NOT deprive someone of their pursuit of happiness that all are guaranteed, as long as what they are pursuing doesn’t harm someone else? The War on Drugs FAILS at this very basic question of the very foundation of why Government exists in the first place.

You see, we grew up on D.A.R.E. programs that LIED to us about the severity of illicit drugs and listened to politicians who wanted to make outlaws of those they politically opposed on the issue of illegality of CERTAIN drugs. We now have to realize that we have been lied to about Hemp and Cannabis by many forces, including the Drug Industry, Alcohol Industry and many other industries that have a vested interest in keeping this evil War on Drugs continuing.

From the start, U.S. Drug Policy was determined along racial lines, with the first law banning opium smoking in the late 1800s because it was the favorite of Chinese laborers who were brought here to build the railroads, even though White folks used opium too, but they sipped it in their drinks, which was considered perfectly acceptable.

Cocaine was also a popular drug in the late 19th Century, with cigarettes treated with it, medicines derived from it and even the Sears catalogue offering it for sale. But when the Journal of the American Medical Association published an editorial on cocaine use among blacks in the South, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a racist named Dr. Hamilton Wright to head up his version of the War on Drugs. Wright stirred up anti-black and anti-Latino sentiments.

When the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs was formed in 1930, its head, Harry Anslinger, started a Crusade against Cannabis, which was a drug that was popular among Mexicans and black jazz musicians. Anslinger said the drug “can arouse in blacks and Hispanics a state of menacing fury or homicidal attack.”

Nelson Rockefeller, longtime New York governor is widely remembered as the architect of New York’s draconian drug laws enacted in 1973 mandating that possession of even small amounts of cocaine or heroin be punished with minimum sentences of 15 years to life in prison—even for those with no prior record.

As a result of these laws, some 200,000 men, women and children were condemned to spend decades in prison. Today, nearly 90% of those incarcerated in New York on drug charges are black or Latino, and the Rockefeller laws became the model for drug laws all across the country that eventually imprisoned hundreds of thousands more in the racist War on drugs. The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. has grown eightfold since 1970, with 2.3 million behind bars today — 70% of them Black or Latino.

A 2009 report by the New York Civil Liberties Union said that the Rockefeller laws are “New York’s Jim Crow Laws.” In the 1950s, when Jim Crow segregation was still legal in the South, Black Americans made up 30% of the national prison population. But today, as a result of the War on Drugs, Blacks, which account for only 13% of the U.S. population, make up over 50% of prison inmates, eight times the rate of imprisonment for Whites. And according to a 2007 Justice Policy Institute report, Black men are sent to prison on drug charges at ten times the rate of white men, even though their drug use is about the same.

Between 1994 and 2003 the average time served by blacks for drug crimes grew by 62%, compared to 17% for Whites. And on average, Black men and women spend nearly as much time in prison on drug charges as Whites convicted of violent crimes. The federal drug laws for crack and cocaine possession seem blatantly racist, punishing those for possession of crack far more severely than those for powder cocaine, which Whites mostly use. Crack cocaine is simply the cheaper version of the same substance cocaine is derived from, although some say it is more addictive.

According to a Human Rights Watch report, 82.6 million White people in the U.S. have used an illicit drug in their lifetime compared with 12.5 million Black Americans. A total of 5.6 million Whites have used crack cocaine compared to 1.5 million Blacks. And between 2005-2006 2.5 million Whites sold illicit drugs compared with 712,000 Blacks.

A study by The Sentencing Project reveals that a Black person is 3.4 times more likely to be arrested for illegal drugs than a White person. with all 43 major U.S. cities having more Black people (per capita) being arrested than White people (per capita).

Former New York Police Commissioner Lee Brown explain it this way:

“In most large cities, the police focus their attention on where they see conspicuous drug use… Conspicuous drug use is generally in your low-income neighborhoods that generally turn out to be your minority neighborhoods….It’s easier for police to make an arrest when you have people selling drugs on the street corner than those who are in the suburbs or in office buildings. The end result is that more blacks are arrested than whites because of the relative ease in making those arrests.”

Blacks Americans are also incarcerated more than Whites for drug crimes, with the Drug Policy Alliance Network showing that Blacks constitute 13% of drug users, but are 38% of people arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those convicted. The discrepancy between Blacks and Whites incarcerated for drug crimes transcends all 50 states, with every state having more Black Americans incarcerated for drug crimes (per capita) than White Americans — and by large margins.

Michael Tonry, author of the book, ‘the War on Drugs has failed,’ says it this way:

“If policy makers’ aim in setting drug and crime control policies had been to reduce poor black men’s chances of earning a decent living, or becoming a good husband and father, or being socialized into positive social values, it is hard to see how they could have done it more effectively.”

The Congressional Black Caucus was very much in favor of the 1986 “100-to-1” law resulting in penalizing the possession of crack more severely than powdered cocaine. They were aware that this would disproportionately affect black communities, but they nonetheless used these laws to try to lessen the murderous violence that open-air drug selling entails. So, there is a non-racist motivation that MOST Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats and others are espousing, but the effects have been horrible for the Black community in America.

These same Conservatives, Republicans, Liberals and others ARE in fact Communists, though, since they are still targeting their political opponents through laws that criminalize drugs that THEY deem evil, though it is partly the EFFECTS of the drugs they are really trying to control. If they were just trying to CONTROL the actual drugs, then the violence associated with leaving drug control to ruthless criminal gangs would virtuously disappear within a short amount of time. So, it is BEHAVIOR that really is the key point concerning D.P., with DISAGREEMENT by Americans on whether Drug Prohibition laws are Constitutional or not. And if that is the real question, then the whole notion of a so-called War on Drugs is not only un-American, but truly evil and against foundational principles of Governance ceeding an absolute right to individual liberty — no matter how political or socially repulsive it is to others — so that one can practice their Religious Beliefs without government retribution, as long as by doing so they do not infringe on the enumerated rights of others.

Turning to Cannabis, according to the CJCJ, half of California’s cannabis possession arrestees were non white in 1990, with 28% under age 20. Last year, 62% were non white and 42% were under age 20. Cannabis possession arrests of youth of color rose from approximately 3,100 in 1990 to about 16,300 in 2008 — 300% greater than the rate of population growth in that group.

Black Americans, who make up less than 7% of the state population,  account for 22% of people arrested for all Cannabis offenses and 33% of all Cannabis felony arrests.

The FACTS reveal that the history of Hemp and Cannabis is filled with:

  • Racism
  • Fear
  • Protection of Corporate Profits
  • Yellow Journalism
  • Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators
  • Personal Career Advancement and Greed
  • Cannabis has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it’s been in use
  • Its known uses go back further than 7,000 B.C.
  • The hemp plant has an incredible 25,000 uses today, with the earliest known woven fabric apparently made of hemp. Over time it has been used for food, paper, rope, cloth, incense, cloth, rope, oil and much more.
  • The first U.S. Cannabis law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. These Puritans knew that hemp would be invaluable to them so they proceeded in “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hempseed.
  • Several other “must grow” Cannabis laws were enacted over the next 200 years (a person could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767)
  • During most of that time hemp was legal tender (you could pay your taxes with hemp)
  • Hemp was such a critical crop that the government strongly encourage people to grow it.
  • The U.S. Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and other things such as the cordage used for bailing cotton
  • In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions with the influx of Mexican-Americans, with California apparently passed the first state Cannabis Law, outlawing “preparations of hemp, or loco weed
  • Other states quickly followed with Cannabis Prohibition laws, including Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927), with the laws tending to be specifically targeted against the Mexican-American population
  • When Montana outlawed Cannabis in 1927, the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator’s comment: “When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff…he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts out to execute all his political enemies.”
  • In Texas, a Senator said on the floor of the Senate: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy.”
  • In the eastern states, the “problem” of Cannabis was attributed to a combination of Latin Americans and Black jazz musicians, where Cannabis became part of the music scene (Louis Armstrong’s “Muggles”, Cab Calloway’s “That Funny Reefer Man,” Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag”)
  • Newspapers in 1934 editorialized: “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”
  • Dr. A. E. Fossier wrote in the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal: “Under the influence of hashish those fanatics would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre every one within their grasp.”
  • Within a short period of time, Cannabis began being linked with violent behavior.

It is important to note that earlier (1914), the Harrison Act was passed, which provided federal tax penalties for opiates and cocaine. It was considered at the time that the federal government did not have the constitutional power to actually outlaw alcohol or drugs, and this is why Alcohol Prohibition required a Constitutional Amendment.

At that time the judiciary regularly placed the Tenth Amendment in the path of Congressional regulation of “local” affairs, with the direct regulation of medical practice considered beyond Congressional power under the Commerce Clause. But since drugs couldn’t be outlawed at the federal level, they decided to use federal taxes as a way around the restriction. The Harrison Act caused legal uses of opiates and cocaine to be taxed (supposedly as a way to get revenue, as this was the only way it would hold up in the Courts).

Starting in 1930 with a new division in the Treasury Department being established called the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Harry J. Anslinger as its director, marked the beginning of an all-out war against Cannabis.

Here are some quotes which have been attributed to Anslinger and his Gore Files:

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

“Marijuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”

“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

“In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marijuana, and it is from the Arabs’ ‘hashashin’ that we have the English word ‘assassin.’”

Harry Anslinger got some help with his Crusade from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had hated Mexicans and had invested heavily in the timber industry, seeing hemp as a direct threat to his newspaper chain and didn’t want to see the development of hemp paper in competition.

Here are a couple of outlandish quotes of his:

“By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marijuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marijuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”

“Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim’s life in Los Angeles?… THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES — that is a matter of cold record.”

Here are some more sources of information about Cannabis and Hemp:

The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States By Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School.


The Consumers Union Report  – Licit and Illicit Drugs 
By Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports Magazine

The History of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
By David F. Musto, M.D., New Haven, Conn.

The Report of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse
Control of Marijuana, Alcohol and Tobacco. History of Marijuana Legislation

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
The history of how the Marijuana Tax Act came to be the law of the land

Marijuana – The First Twelve Thousand Years By Ernest L. Abel

Remember that one of the very first things people say when asked about Drug Prohibition and the War on Drugs is a COLLECTIVE ARGUMENT response about the “safety” of society (or children) or a POLITICAL ARGUMENT about whether illegal drugs are “good” for an individual. Remember too, that you can put the words “food,” “cigarettes,” “alcohol,” “caffeine” and virtuously any other “dangerous” drug or entity that one can consume in place of “cannabis” or “cocaine” or “hash.” So, because Conservatives, Republicans and others have supported the War on Drugs in the past, they should now speak out  against the War on Drugs, since they really are not racist nor Communist at heart — or are they???

Thanks for listening, 777denny

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