Pubdate: Wed, 25 Jul 2012
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 The Toronto Star
Author: Andy Turnbull


Re: MDs join call to end 'war on drugs,' July 24

We can all applaud doctors Evan Wood and Julio Montaner's plea to end
the war on drugs, but don't hold your breath. The harm done by the war
has long been recognized around the world, but North American
governments keep their eye on the economic ball.

Hemp makes better paper than trees, and uses less land, so the paper
industry has to support the war. Hemp also makes a nice fabric and
hemp oil is good feedstock for chemical plants and for biofuel, so the
cotton, chemical and oil industries support the war on drugs.

The American Drug Enforcement Agency buys lots of helicopters and
weapons, for their own use and to give to foreign armies, so the
military industrial complex supports the war on drugs.

Tens of thousands of North American policemen - especially undercover
drug cops who can dress as they please, drink on the job and have
hefty expense accounts - support the war. So do the tens of thousands
of prison guards who watch the hundreds of thousands of prisoners who
are jailed for minor drug offenses.

The businesses of building prisons, operating private prisons and
using prisoners as slave labour to produce commercial products also
support the war on drugs.

Yes, there are a few drawbacks. The spread of AIDS is one, and the
maintenance of drug dealing and the occasional shootout in a food
court or block party are regrettable. As civilians we don't like them
but we have to understand that these are economic benefits to the
police and prisons establishment.

Like it or not, the war will continue. It's not morality or public
safety, it's just economics.

Andy Turnbull,

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt