One drug, or rather plant, which is still viciously sought after in the immoral war on drugs is absent from the CDC’s report of overdose deaths. That plant is cannabis.
In spite of some form of cannabis being legal in some fashion in well over half the country, the government still violently and with extreme prejudice continues to seek out those who dare possess it.
If the CDC calculated the number of deaths inflicted by police while enforcing marijuana laws, that number would certainly be shocking and could even be deemed a risk to public health. Marijuana is, indeed, dangerous, but only because of what can happen to you if the police catch you with it.
Nothing highlights the hypocrisy, immorality, and sheer idiocy of the drug war quite like marijuana prohibition. Here we have a medicine that kills cancer cells, saves the lives of countless epileptic children, heals broken bones, relieves pain, treats PTSD, is not dangerous, and exhibits a variety of other incredible benefits – yet the state will kill you over it.
So why do these tyrants keep it illegal?
It is important to point out that several studies have linked schizophrenia and cannabis use to several problems and cannabis is not safe for everyone. However, it has never, in its thousands of years in use, been attributed to a single death. And, because some people are affected by something, it does not mean it should be illegal for all people.
If you want to know who profits from ruining lives and throwing marijuana users in cages, we need only look at who bribes (also known as lobbies) the politicians to keep the war on drugs alive.
Below is a list of the top five industries who need you locked in a cage for possessing a plant in order to ensure their job security.
Police Unions: Coming in as the number one contributor to politicians for their votes to lock you in a cage for a plant are the police themselves. They risk taking massive pay cuts and losing all their expensive militarized toys without the war on drugs.
Private Prison Corporations: No surprise here. The corporatist prison lobby is constantly pushing for stricter laws to keep their stream of tax dollars flowing.
Alcohol and Beer Companies: These giant corporations hate competition, so why not pay millions to keep a cheaper and far safer alcohol alternative off the market?
Pharmaceutical Corporations: The hypocrisy of marijuana remaining a Schedule 1 drug, “No Medical Use Whatsoever,” seems criminal when considering that pharmaceutical companies reproduce a chemical version of THC and can market and sell it as such. Ever hear of Marinol? Big pharma simply uses the force of the state to legislate out their competition; that happens to be nature.
Prison Guard Unions: The prison guard unions are another group, so scared of losing their jobs, that they would rather see thousands of non-violent and morally innocent people thrown into cages than look for another job.
What does it say about a society who’s resolute in enacting violence against their fellow human so they can have a job to go to in the morning?
One would think that with this widespread legalization, which seems to be speeding up, that police officers would start concentrating their efforts elsewhere and arrest actual criminals who hurt people — not kidnap and cage innocent people for using a plant. Sadly, however, the incentives for arresting cannabis users are too addictive and the police state marches on, laying waste to all the lives it touches along the way.
According to the recently released Uniform Crime Report police arrested 545,602 people for cannabis related crimes in 2019. That arrest rate is 9% higher than the 495,871 people arrested for violent crimes the same year.
As Forbes points out, cops aren’t arresting cannabis kingpins with thousands of pounds of pot, they like to prey on the little people, known to cops as the low hanging fruit.
The vast majority of these arrests (92%) were for simple possession of the drug. 500,395 of those arrested for cannabis were simply found in possession of cannabis. Even if we take out all the arrests for being involved in unregulated cannabis commerce and just focus on arrests for cannabis possession, the numbers still outpace arrests for violent crimes.
What’s more, according to the Last Prisoner Project, at least 40,000 prisoners are currently serving sentences for cannabis infractions that are now legal.
“Police across America make a marijuana-related arrest every 58 seconds,” explains Erik Altieri, the Executive Director for cannabis advocacy group NORML. “At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis to be legal and regulated, it is an outrage that many police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession.”
If doing drugs bothers you, don’t do drugs. When you transition from holding an opinion — to using government violence to enforce your personal preference, you become the bad guy. Please, don’t be the bad guy.
By Matt Agorist