Uncle Sam is Breaking Bad

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posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 08:36 AM
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Uncle Sam is Breaking Bad



The war on drugs... A subject that many on ATS have been chomping at the bit, for years, to be able to discuss here. To everything under the sun there is a season, and it is finally the season for the ATS community to work their magic on this subject! We have the right people, the right tools and now the permission! So without further ado, let's get to it!

Opening



The War on Drugs was first publicly spoken of by former President Richard Nixon at a press conference on June 17, 1971. In this conference he declared that drugs are "public enemy number one in the United States". *1 We will discuss this a bit more later. For now we will simply reference that this "war" actually began much, much earlier than this. In fact more than one-hundred years earlier with the inception of local laws that sought to curb the use of opium that came into being, in the US as early as the 1860's.

By 1906 the Federal government stepped in and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was passed on a National level - an attempt to control patent medicines that tended to contain cannabinoids, alcohol, opiates, coc aine, or excessive amounts of caffeine ( among other things ). These patent medications had been previously unregulated and had been something of a public health blight, both in terms of abuse and in leading to poisonings and overdoses - including products marketed or suggested as being for use specifically for infants.

It is historically interesting to note that caffeine, almost literally the life blood of modern society, narrowly missed being categorized alongside heroin, coc aine, and cannabis as a regulated substance.

It is also of historical note that the build-up toward this act, and the act itself, all played a part in Coca Cola replacing coc aine with caffeine in their soft drink product in 1903.

Alcohol, as we know, was of primary concern in this era as well. The Eighteenth Amendment, in 1919 - and the subsequent National Prohibition ( Volstead ) Act are well documented policy failures that sought to outlaw the production and sale of alcohol in the United States. These were subsequently reversed and repealed by the Twenty First Amendment in 1933 and America was once again able to legally partake.

However alcohol was the exception to the trend, and not the rule. Regulations regarding other substances continued to be demonized, controlled, outlawed and criminalized as time moved forward.

Some high points in this journey were the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 – the Kefauver Harris Amendment of 1962 – and, ultimately, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which created the Drug Enforcement Administration, giving the War on Drugs real teeth... turning a social problem into a criminal one.

The Illusion of War



The above is a very base simplification of the journey that got us to the year 1970. If interested, I suggested following the above links and taking time to read all of the included source materials from the Wiki pages. For the sake of this OP an overview is all that is necessary, so I leave it to the reader to research any specifics at the readers leisure.

Rather than editorialize about my feelings of what the war on drugs has accomplished in the United States over the course of my lifetime – I will simply offer a couple of pictures pulled from Wikipedia. Graphic representations that, I feel, speak more directly to the issue than my verbosity ever could:




These charts are relevant because:


"Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today," writes the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik. "Over all, there are now more people under 'correctional supervision' in America--more than 6 million--than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height."

Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That's not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and Britain--with a rate among the highest--has 153. Even developing countries that are well known for their crime problems have a third of U.S. numbers. Mexico has 208 prisoners per 100,000 citizens, and Brazil has 242. As Robertson pointed out on his TV show, The 700 Club, "We here in America make up 5% of the world's population but we make up 25% of the [world's] jailed prisoners."

That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America's federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession.


Time Magazine – April, 2012

A tenfold increase in incarceration – with four out of five of those convicted were guilty only of possession... Of being users.

At this point in the conversation we should note what the Federal government, itself, has to say about drug addiction and use:


Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Through scientific advances, we know more about how drugs work in the brain than ever, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives.

From the NIH Government website

I added the emphasis – the bolding... the part that says “complex disease”



edit on 7/26/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



+9 more 
posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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Let all of this sink in for a minute... We incarcerate more of our citizens than any other industrialized nation in history – even more than the much vilified Stalinist Russia Gulag system – with the vast majority of those people being guilty only of having what is categorized as a "disease".

This brings us to the moment of outrage... the moment where even the most anti-drug use among us is left shaking our heads. This is just the first in a long line of reasons why the "War on Drugs" is an abysmal failure that has cost the tax payers trillions of dollars over the years ( Fear not... the War on Drugs is actually a HUGE moneymaker... it's only that the profits get recorded in different colums on the ledgers... Well discuss that in a bit as well ). Even the most conservative, gung-ho, patriotic, pro-Government person alive cannot justify this particular travesty... they cannot explain exactly how imprisoning sick people is a socially viable or even vaguely rational thing to do.

And yet this is our current status quo. Incarceration. Zero tolerance policies. Three strikes you're out laws. Rampant criminalization of personal choice or illness ( depending upon personal POV ). Bad piled upon bad.

One would almost think that there would have to be ulterior motives at play here. I mean surely there has to be some method to this madness!?!

Actually there is. Profit. Capitolism. Opportunism. The few feeding on the many. CIA black budgets in need of endless streams of money. Bribery. Dirty politicians getting paid. Government, both Federal and Local gaining the right to profit from seized property... and so much more.

I am sure the good folks at Corrections Corporation of America - a private company that runs jails and prisons in the US are huge fans of the war on drugs. After all - it allows them to treat US citizens as goods, on demand revenue streams, and slave labor. Not a bad deal at all for them - nor for Government, on all levels, which does the same.

Add this to the fact that there beyond a shadow of a doubt proof that the Government itself engages in drug trafficing ( Just a few high notes along the way ) - and a very troubling picture begins to form...

The United States Government has created a nearly endless revenue stream by engaging in the act of trafficing narcotics. They can literally control the flow of drugs ( keeping prices high - the Fed by another name ), control supply ( targeting specific regions when "slave labor" or "assets" are needed in that area ), manipulate and totally control all players and actors involved in the process ( through threat of arbitrary and on-demand arrest and detention ), and then confiscate, at will, the products they've sold, the money it sold for, and the property ( in toto ) of anyone that they have sold their product to! Oh, and after they sell you this product, threaten you, arrest you, and detain your property? Guess what. Then you are their willing slave labor and, in many areas... you have to pay THEM for your room and board during this time!!!

It's the ultimate expression of free market capitalism gone horribly, horribly wrong. And it's the most immoral and reprehensible thing that any government has ever perpetrated upon its citizens.

Closing Thoughts



Obviously I have not said anything here that many on ATS were not already aware of. It was not my intent to break new ground here. Given that this is a subject recently opened back up to our forums I only wished to begin a dialogue... create a jumping off spot for discussion... set a tone if you will.

Many of us have been furious about these travesties but have been unable to voice our rage here. Now we can.

I ask that anyone replying please understand the rules regarding this subject. Statements of personal use are still prohibited. This is not the place to come and discuss which highs you prefer over others or to post 420 references just for giggles. There are legalities involved that ATS simply cannot and will not violate. I, personally, would hate to see anyone on ATS ever asked, by their local police, to explain a post they made here ( and no, ATS would never guide the police to your posts... but if they decide to look at you, it follows they might come across what you post online ). What we can discuss is conspiracies involving the War on Drugs... We can tear away the rhetoric and expose this failed policy for what it is... An unconstitutional and immoral travesty against the American people... A propaganda campaign involving Governments the world over ( South America, Asia, and the Middle East ), and quite possibly the biggest crime ever perpetrated upon a people by any Government - ever.

Thanks ATS!
edit on 7/26/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


In my view, the war on drugs isn't really a war against drug use. It's a war to stop money flowing out of one country and into another. For example, drug users in the U.S. buy drugs originating in country X. Money flows out of the U.S. -American Govt. sees that as bad as no tariffs/taxes/etc paid on imported goods. Money flows into country X, good for the cartels there, bad for country X's govt, since they aren't getting a cut or as much of a cut as they like. That may explain why they allow the U.S. to operate within their borders. Countries not allowing U.S. access are, possibly, getting a good enough pay-off that it's not worth the hassle of American operatives trying to stifle drug trafficking. Nonetheless, this "war" is still a failure.
edit on 26-7-2013 by FatherStacks because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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so glad we can finally discuss this here. it has been so frustrating! great thread heff.
s&f.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


The war on drugs is a farce, and unenforceable, and there's no winning. Prime example, Afghanistan is arguably the biggest exporter of heroin on earth, well not arguably, they are......

Since the US led invasion, the price of heroin has dropped, the purity has increased, and the availability has increased. In fact, as the war on drugs took on pot, prices of that substance went up lock and stock in tune with heroin going down.

Cocaine the powder, gets you less time than crack coc aine. Crack being the drug of choice for the poor because of the relative cheapness, and quick high, while being insanely addictive.

Many many people in jail don't need to be there, a burden on the system, they need medical help to quit their addictions. Crime would go down, a lot of crime is drug related, like it or not, and just locking them up, where they still have access to drugs, then releasing them into the streets, isn't helping one bit.

How much money from the war on drugs could have been diverted to social programs that would actually benefit people?



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


With hindsight, it is obvious now that the "War on drugs" was nothing more than an expansion of government control, manipulation, intrusion, and power.

My timid 2 cents on a once taboo subject.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Great Post Heff,


The United States Government has created a nearly endless revenue stream by engaging in the act of trafficing narcotics. They can literally control the flow of drugs ( keeping prices high - the Fed by another name ), control supply ( targeting specific regions when "slave labor" or "assets" are needed in that area ), manipulate and totally control all players and actors involved in the process ( through threat of arbitrary and on-demand arrest and detention ), and then confiscate, at will, the products they've sold, the money it sold for, and the property ( in toto ) of anyone that they have sold their product to! Oh, and after they sell you this product, threaten you, arrest you, and detain your property? Guess what. Then you are their willing slave labor and, in many areas... you have to pay THEM for your room and board during this time!!!


Very well articulated and incredibly chilling.

Many have called for an end to the War on Drugs based on the futility of the matter. Little do many know of this perpetual cycle, destined to repeat itself in order to fill coffers and assert control over particular segments of the population.

Narcotic Teams in Law Enforcement are subject to close scrutiny due to the environment and type of products they are involved with to avoid corruption, collusion and down right criminal activity. Its inherent to the world they are involved in. Who oversees the US government?

Well the logical answer would be, the people. The practically and reality of that, is an entire thread in itself...
edit on 26-7-2013 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 10:24 AM
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The war on drugs:

Cocaine, Heroin, Canaboids were used in many Medicines in early American history. You know Doctor Maguilicuty and his magic medicine? For a tooth ache and whatever symptoms you may have? Yea ~ common knowledge that many of these drinks had 1 or all 3 of the drugs included in the Witch's Brew of Relief.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Very good OP, Heff!

This subject infuriates me and more so recently than ever before, I must say. Earlier this year, due to changes in our nation's medical system and regulations from the federal level, issuance of pain killers for chronic pain has become a whole different world. Many have been cut off without notice, help or compassion after years of being ignored for asking to have something OTHER than an Rx pad. The solution was ironically, along those lines ..but so brutal as to leave myself and others speechless by how it's been done.

On to my point.....You point out that drug addiction is a disease, and I agree in most cases. Not all, as not all abused stuff is even addictive in the same way. However, for most, this is true. My wife was among those who got the cold turkey cut off for pain killers on chronic, degenerative conditions that will continue getting worse for the rest of her life.

There is a point here and it's a big one...... When she was cut off, I looked everywhere to get her professional help. I did not want nor have the skill to do what I ended up having to do. Sit with her and care for her through over a month of some of the most vicious withdrawals anyone ever wants to see a loved one suffer. I try not to think about it now, mostly.


WHY did I have to sit my wife through withdrawals caused by a medical system that fed her this junk for years? Well, because THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH is what I was quoted, LOWEST in this area, for in-patient assistance in breaking opium based pain pill addiction. It may have been the same for all, I don't know. I didn't ask about street drugs. They DID offer a cheaper alternative. ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for what they called a "3 day shock therapy". Not electrical, they assured me of that ...but didn't get into what 72 hours would hold to make up for 30 days of doing it the hard way.


Uncle Sam is a cold bastard. We can read about virtual civil unrest being happily risked and even taunted so we can have birth control paid for and freely dispensed to children in high school and abortion on demand for everyone, regardless of age. Oh yes.. we can do this in this nation....but if you need help breaking an addiction THEY HELPED CAUSE? Oh, your S.O.L and they'll wish you well that you survive the process (and for anyone who has NOT seen a person suffer opium withdrawal, SURVIVE is NOT being over-dramatic. They warned me ..but I could never have prepared for what it would be to live through....neither could she).

Uncle Sam needs a frontal lobotomy while we go hunt a new guy to take his place. He's turned into a sadistic SOB. The Drug War and the human damage done by it are just an example but a very good one. By the way, abuse of pain killers and Washington's "solution" is what doctors are explaining to patients this is being done for.
It's inhuman to do LIKE it's done here.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Wrabbit... I also have skin in this game. Due to my PTSD the medication I need in order just to function falls under the same umbrella... Anxiety medications can be highly addictive and are abused by a lot of people. For about three decades I have lived with the stigma of this - in various ways - even though I am exceptionally responsible and take great care to avoid addiction ( I take a woefully low dose of these medications and switch them at least 2-3 times per year from one variant to another - to offset risks of dependence. ).

Even with the fact that I have a reputable doctor, a prescription, and a responsible approach... I've lost friends who felt that "medications are no better than drugs" or that "a crutch is a crutch is a crutch". I've also faced silent judgement from people in the past.... friends and employers ( I am fairly certain that I once lost a job over my medication - though the employer insisted that this was not the case ).

The high point came about 20 years ago when I was pulled over by a police car that had two officers in it. I was pulled over a few blocks from my own home for what was absolutely a gratuitous motive... Just two cops out to give tickets.

I was on my way home from the pharmacy and my medications were in a bag on my passenger seat.

As I was dealing with one of the officers through my drivers side window ( license, registration, insurance ) the other officer suddenly appeared in my peripheral vision on the passenger side. He screamed "DRUGS... WE'VE GOT DRUGS HERE" and then smashed my passenger side window with his flashlight. As this happened the officer I was dealing with then pulled his gun on me, pointing it at my head and the "procedure" initiated. I was asked to step out of my car, at gunpoint, instructed to put my hands on my head, turn around, drop to my knees... and so on.

I was cuffed ( in a parking lot in the most active part of town - at the height of rush hour traffic ) and tossed into the back of a police cruiser.

After about 20 minutes I was "released". No apology. No replacement to my shattered _ Nothing. I suppose the fact that my medication was legal, that I had no criminal record, and was totally legal and in the right saved me from prison that day. But I am always left imagining... Had those cops been a hair less "ethical"... what would have happened if they'd have just lied a little bit and railroaded me into prison?

The only thing offered was a statement that I shouldn't have my medication in public. Ironic since having medication in the bottles they were prescribed in IS actually the law.

The domino effect on my life would have potentially been staggering.

That's just one story of many - though an extreme case. I have also been denied emergency room care for unrelated issues simply because I listed my medications on my admission paperwork. In fact one doctor, when I sought treatment for a broken wrist, took one look at my paperwork and told me he was refusing to treat me and diagnosed me with a "panic attack" and then discharged me.

The entire system is broken and there are a lot of people with stories like yours... and mine.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:41 AM
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If all above is true, then why have anything to do with drugs?

Did you laugh and snicker when they showed the movie "Scaried Straight" in high school?

As Nancy Reagon said "Just say no!" Millions listened...wisely.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I did a search of the OP hoping to find the term "Posse Comitatus" in order to better understand what the title of the thread has to do with Hefficide's discussion on drug usage and the so-called "War on Drugs" in America.

Heff - Would you please be more specific and draw the parallel for us? I would like to know because inasmuch as you have seemingly set the 'tenor and tone' of the conversation to favor a discussion on drugs and/or the so-called drug war in America (and the world) rather than on the broader issue of the abuse of the ""Posse Comitatus Act;" at least your opening remark(s) would certainly indicate that anyway -"The war on drugs... A subject that many on ATS have been chomping at the bit, for years, to be able to discuss here. To everything under the sun there is a season, and it is finally the season for the ATS community to work their magic on this subject! We have the right people, the right tools and now the permission! So without further ado, let's get to it! "

As far I have seen - the problems of drug abuse in America as relates to the overall abuse of the 'Posse Comitatus Act' does play a part, but the role that it has in the overall scheme of things is not as great as some are making it out to be. In fact, if I were designing this Forum I would have given this whole drug issue a Forum of its own, and simply allowed the present conversation to continue - with or without the mention of drug use and abuse or the (phony) "War on Drugs."
edit on 26-7-2013 by Lysistrata because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by Granite
If all above is true, then why have anything to do with drugs?

Did you laugh and snicker when they showed the movie "Scaried Straight" in high school?

As Nancy Reagon said "Just say no!" Millions listened...wisely.


Would it be safe to say you've never had a injury or illness that required heavy medication? If not, your entire post is hypocritical at the very least.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by Lysistrata
 


Absolutely!

The "War on Drugs" seems to me to be a direct circumvention of The Posse Comitatus Act by Federalization of drug enforcement - specifically the DEA and FBI. Though not military in the strictest sense, these are, IMO, very militarized Federal agencies - tantamount to a military interference in States rights.

The very use of the word "War" tends to add credence to my feelings.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by Granite
If all above is true, then why have anything to do with drugs?

Did you laugh and snicker when they showed the movie "Scaried Straight" in high school?

As Nancy Reagon said "Just say no!" Millions listened...wisely.


I never said that I did, nor even that I support the idea of drug use. In fact my premise, as stated, I think lends more to the notion that I am arguing that addiction is a disease and not a crime and that labeling it as a crime is nothing more than a means of control and corruption - allowing for the illegal removal of property and freedoms from American citizens in absolute contradiction to Constitutional principle.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I'd like to point out that in order to win a rigged game, the only solution is not to play.

Now, the odds are stacked against the people here, but ultimately the fittest survive.

The people who either,

A) Never participate in illegal drug use

or

B) Never allow their selves to be addicted to illegal drugs

Don't become a statistic.

The government wins in every which way, unless people choose not to play into the game, and take the easy way out (drug use for personal problems in their lives).

It's a thinly veiled eugenic process. As anti-social as it is to admit, it's ultimately self-evident that the fittest win out in this situation, and without such stressors towards society, we'd regress as a species.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by QuantriQueptidez
 


I'd like to point out that some of the greatest minds and musician's were illegal drug users and not anti-social. The 70's proved that. There's a fine line that the OP is talking about and circumventing a thread as your the second individual who came in here saying Don't Do Drugs, et cetera are not understanding the OP. So it's to my understanding that you as well have never experianced a traumatic experiance, illness, injury that "REQUIRED" a heavy medication that was highly addictive that was "PRESCRIBED" by a doctor.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 




Uncle Sam is Breaking Bad


If I may be so bold... it seems that ATS is breaking with a little bad itself, first with this forum and then with such OPs as this... almost unimaginable at one time.

No complaints whatsoever... just noting it as changes like this don't happen without thought and reason



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by QuantriQueptidez
 


I absolutely agree with "not playing". But that doesn't change the systemic and unconstitutional aspects involved here. I see it as a case of "First they came for...." Our laws are meant to protect everyone - equally. Once we allow emotion or opinion to vilify any group and then allow that vilification to result in impropriety? We all lose.

Be it the "War on Drugs" or the "War on Terror" or whatever else.

Every time we allow the bar to be moved, we risk too much. We are already seeing arrests currently for Facebook posts, for example. Something that would have been absolutely unheard of just a few years ago.

The fact that the Government has its hands in all sides of this cookie jar is what pushes this single issue over the edge IMO. There is an unfathomable conflict of interest and ethical violation involved here that cannot be kept silent.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions





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