The marijuana issue is no longer debatable; the public conversation is decidedly finished. Just Say No and D.A.R.E. propaganda didn’t work. The Drug War is a failure. A super-majority of Americans now support full marijuana legalization.
The undemocratic cretins at the Democratic National Committee disagree. Despite the best efforts of marijuana advocates and analysts who just want a sane public policy on drugs to include marijuana reform, DNC leadership just passed a 2020 edition on July 26th that is void of any substantive promises for action on the drug front.
What that means is that American Empire will continue to lock up innocent Americans by the millions for the crime of daring to exercise sovereignty over their own bodies. Further trillions will be flushed down the toilet in police interdiction funding for an issue that has no rightful inclusion in the purview of law enforcement.
How can this be? Didn’t we all learn in our public school indoctrination programs that America is a democracy where everyone comes together in good faith to create solutions that benefit all? Doesn’t the government love us and want us to be happy?
The American Empire doesn’t care at all what the members of its permanent underclass think about how their lives should be managed from on high. Rigorous academic study has proven this statistical reality beyond doubt. Public opinion does not move the needle on public policy one inch. Governance is now the sole domain of the social engineering class.
Apropos to the latest anti-populist developments from the DNC corporate goon squad, the researchers of the above-mentioned Princeton study about who really calls the shots in American political life wrote:
“When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”
Lest the naïve observer assume that American Empire ever was a “democracy,” or that the rules that the engineers foist on the peasantry are for the rabble’s own good, the historical record puts that fantasy to bed.
The Drug War’s motivations were never the protection of American schoolchildren or the suppression of crime; they were always and forever to further instantiate the social and economic dominance of the ruling class into law. Further, the poorly-formed justifications for the Drug War were predicated on pseudoscience from the outset.
The US poster-child of the early years of anti-drug lunacy was a DC Swamp creature named Harry Anslinger. Serving as the first-ever chief of the taxpayer-funded Federal Bureau of Narcotics (predecessor of the DEA) that he himself created, Anslinger went to work building the institutional scope and depth of the bureau’s power with himself at the epicenter.
Hugely ambitious, Anslinger had a dilemma on his hands – how to increase his personal power via the bureau as well as how to justify the lofty budgets he hoped to appropriate from the public treasury.
The bureau’s initial focus on heroin and cocaine were not sufficient to achieve Anslinger’s goals; there were too few users of these substances to jail and too few traffickers with huge shipments to bust for propagandistic photo ops to sensationalize in the newspapers.
Anslinger had a revelation: why not tackle a much larger sector of the illegal drug trade, marijuana? Never mind that the plant was known at that early date to be impossible to overdose on, was used as medicine even then in the early 20th century, and provided a viable means of income to a large swath of poor farmers – there was power to be gained in the DC swamp.
To this end, Anslinger enlisted “expert witness” Dr. James C. Munch to testify under oath that he had taken “two puffs” from a “marijuana cigarette,” turned into a bat, and flew around the room for several minutes.
Imagine having the unmitigated gall to conjure an entire new publicly-funded industry straight from your imagination into law, then appoint yourself to sit at the helm. When pressed in official legal proceedings to justify your new role, your loyal underling then makes up a ludicrous (and perjurious) lie on your behalf. In the end, you are rewarded with a lifetime career in civil service and a healthy retirement pension – all for the privilege of micro-managing other people’s lives.
Officious and despotic swamp creatures like Harry Anslinger are the reason that American rebels fought the American Revolution.
The DNC is unwilling to halt or even meaningfully change the nature of the Drug War because it suits their interests nicely. None of the privileged children of the delegates who make up the DNC platform committee need worry about getting arrested for their drug crimes; the full weight of the legal system is reserved for the peasantry and the peasantry alone.
So, what powerful interests does the Drug War serve and why does the DNC support it accordingly? The answer, as is often the case, is multivariate.
Arguably the most awe-inspiring force that suppresses cannabis is the pharmaceutical industry. In the financial power-rankings, the medical industry consistently ranks in the top 3 largest in the US.
With its trillions in accessible capital, fully-staffed PR departments can orchestrate fast and furious scorched-Earth propaganda campaigns against whatever target they wish – with marijuana being at the top of the list.
Big pharma suppresses any compound or treatment that it cannot patent and turn into windfall profit. Natural health elixirs, which anyone can cultivate on their own, are enemy #1.
Allowing American citizens, for example, to smoke marijuana as a proven way to ease their anxieties or help them sleep would put a dent in the 66-million-patient benzodiazepine market.
Pharmaceutical lobbyists pour millions each election cycle into congressional and presidential candidates. The swamp creatures, in turn, craft anti-populist platforms with no regard for public opinion or well-being.
Such is how the sick American political game is played.
Ben Bartee a Bangkok-based American journalist with opposable thumbs. Contact him via his portfolio or on LinkedIn.