How Are We "The Land of the Free" Again, Exactly?
- The drug war has failed, and is weighing down our system with nonviolent criminals
- People go in non-violent, working addicts and come out hardened criminals. Our system essentially recruits people into the criminal underground
- The government has been caught red-handed smuggling drugs into the country and using the money to fund proxy wars
- We can't call ourselves "The Land of the Free" while depriving more citizens of their freedom than any other nation on Earth for a nonviolent vice
- Portuguese drug policy centered on decriminalization, prevention education, and treatment that views addiction as a mental health issue and not a criminal one is proven to cut drug use rates in half
- Logically, that implies if we really want to "win" the war on drugs, we'd abandon it
Today I gotta talk to you guys about something that means a whole lot to me:
Overincarceration and the failed drug war.
This is easily the political issue I've spent the most time discussing, debating, and working to correct. The fact that I haven't forced this one on you guys yet is mind boggling to me
The thing about this is that it's different from pretty much everything else in our political landscape because it has one very clear, undeniable cause with absolutely no uncertainty or nuance, and that cause is misguided drug policy and the failed drug war.
I don't factcheck for people, because they tend to not believe statistics handed to them by others. If I give you my sources for this information, you'll say they're biased or that I spun them to fit my agenda. I know you'll believe all this more if you factcheck it yourself, so I'm encouraging you to factcheck the shit out of all this.
The moment the drug war began, our prison population exploded and began growing exponentially, and has continued growing at an accelerated rate. The vast majority of prisoners in our corrections system are there for non-violent drug offenses, most often consumer level possesion of hard drugs. Most of those non-violent offenders hold down jobs to support their drug habits, only the most hardcore addicts support their habits through crime.
They go in non-violent, non-criminals at least. Our broken prison system then shatters their mind and teaches them how to be criminals, and they come out hardcore gang members with a PhD in fuckin' shit up.
Read up on it: Our prison system encourages recidivism and teaches people how to commit crimes.
*We're essentially recruiting people into the criminal underground with our failed policy.*
The thing most people fail to accept is that by nature drug addicts are not bad people, they're sick people.
Addiction is a crippling mental illness. People think an addict can go "Okay I wanna stop now, time to stop" then hit some 12-step meetings and that'll be that. It really isn't that easy. 12-step programs actually carry the same effectiveness as doing nothing, statistically speaking.
We also need to reform our drug treatment systems for this to truly be effective, but we need to start treating drug addiction as a mental illness not a crime for that to matter.
The real kicker here is, the government has a history of trafficking drugs to fund black ops and proxy armies around the world. They're essentially abusing the addicts for their mental illness, and then locking them up for the addictions they actively created and fed.
Now that may sound like conspiracy theory, but it's actually conspiracy fact. They've been caught red-handed doing it, and they were literally forced to admit it after the evidence piled up over years of denials. If you don't believe me, look into the Iran-Contra scandal, and a man name "Freeway" Ricky Ross. The CIA had a literal crack empire in Southern California, and was using it to fund a proxy army called the Contras fighting a civil war in Nicaragua.
The book that blew the lid off the whole thing is called "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb. Its by far one of the most impressive and important pieces of investigative journalism ever.
If you believe that's the only time they've pulled a stunt like that, or they stopped just cause they got caught once, there's a bridge I wanna sell ya in the desert.
I really struggle finding much more to say on this. All this should be enough to get you banging on peoples doors to get the word out and writing your congressional representatives. I'm gonna try anyway, because god damn does this whole thing piss me off and what I've said so far hasn't been enough to get people moving in all my time marching for this cause.
I've never been to prison for drug possession; I don't people want thinking this has anything to do with something like that. I've only been locked up in county jails for stupid shit I've done while I was drunk off my ass, and all of my county jail time was well deserved. Nobody I know is in prison for drugs either, so don't think I'm trying to get a buddy freed.
It just irritates me that this is the country I spend so much time defending to people in online debates, and I do spend *a lot* of time defending America to people in online debates.
I love you America, but if you think we've got the right to call ourselves "The Land of the Free", you're dead fuckin' wrong.
There's something America's ideological defenders need to understand in order to make an effective argument against our detractors that will be taken seriously: Our nation has the largest total prison population in the world, beating out nations with many times our population that should logically occupy that slot. Take China for example, nearly four times our total population, yet there's more people in American prisons than Chinese ones.
How can we be #1 in freedom and liberty when we're the nation depriving the most people of their freedom? We call out the DPRK for being a tyrannical dictatorship, but we're locking up more prisoners per capita than they are, so who's the real tyrants?
You'd think this would be a way bigger deal to people than it is, but I almost never hear about it. No significant portion of either side's propaganda machine has ever committed any meaningful effort to the issue. Bernie occasionally raises the point, but that's about it. When people try forcing the issue into the dialogue the way I am now, it's almost universally ignored.
People need to start caring about this more than they care about where a transgender person poops. This matters more.
I'm not saying transgender people aren't discriminated against or that they don't matter. What I'm saying is which public bathroom they prefer to use won't matter when our society collapses because we've turned too many people into career criminals with our busted system.
Now, you may be asking "Well what do we do then? Just let the cartels win and sell heroin at gas stations next to the cigarettes?".
Not exactly, there's a middle ground, but the most successful drug policy in the world does center around blanket decriminalization of consumer level quantities.
That drug policy is Portugal's, and by "most successful" I mean by instituting these policies, Portugal cut their crime and drug use rates by 50% in under a year. They still go after the trafficking, manufacturing, and distribution portions of the drug trade criminally, but the consumers are treated as mentally ill people and given treatment for their mental illness. This is what America needs to do if we want to prevent the nation from imploding on itself.
The first step is unlearning all the misinformation you've been taught about drugs and drug addiction, which I fully intend to address in future essays.
Adopting the Portuguese drug policies would actually take money out of the cartels hands. It makes drugs less valuable on the black market, since they no longer carry the massive risks they do for people carrying small quantities. It also removes a lot of the cartel's customers because it focuses on treating their addictions. It all adds up to cartels don't have the grip on our national testes they're using to squeeze our balls anymore.
I'm just at a loss. More people cared about Anthony Weiner e-mailing Hillary extra d-pics in the last election than people who cared about this. Tons of voters really love to call out Trump about his golf schedule, but a lot less people are calling out his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for his atrocious stance on marijuana. I'd say its a matter of not devoting enough money to getting it talked about in MSM, but even the Koch brothers are dumping cash on this and people still won't listen.
These fuckers are forcing me to agree with the Koch brothers... Do you understand how much I hate the Koch brothers?
Get out there. Talk about this everywhere. Strike up conversations on the bus and on the subway. Write a congressman while you call your cousin in Utah to bitch about it. Make political propaganda memes out of it and spam them to your Facepage timeline daily. Do whatever you gotta do to fix this America, cause if you don't, this country won't last much longer and all we've done in the name of freedom will be wasted effort.