Thursday, July 02, 2009
More on drugs in the US
A followup on that excerpt yesterday (from The Huffington Post)—a news story today out of Seattle reported a large of number of arrests of a meth smuggling and distribution ring operating out of Jalisco, Mexico. Aye, Jalisco, as the song goes... As the US cracked down on the marketing of ingredients for manufacturing meth here in the States, the Mexican drug cartels saw an opportunity to expand their product line. The result has been that the distribution of meth has become an international opportunity.
I would think that any free market-worshipping Rethugnican would have foreseen this. I mean, Jesus, you actually think shutting down the domestic supply will eliminate the demand? No, obviously it didn't, any more than Prohibition kept people from drinking. There seems to be an inability to learn from history involved in all this. Tobacco, coffee, opiates—just because you rearrange the marketing pattern doesn't mean you suppress the demand.
A few years ago I went to "Meth Summit" here in Bend. This was when the big push against domestic meth was on. Easy to remember: daily news stories about the horrors of the drug, how easy it was to make, bust after bust of small meth labs. Don't get me completely wrong, I think it is a bad drug; I've used it on occasion over the years, and the price of the high seemed way out of proportion to the quality of the euphoria. The quality deteriorated as well: the last time I took any, twenty-plus years ago, it tasted like something you might consider using to clear out a septic tank. Anyhow, the drug-of-the-year-hype rolled on, and here in Bend we got a "Meth Summit." The big push was to have all employees, in all businesses, randomly tested for drug use. I had the impression that all right-thinking Americans would go volunteer to be tested, too. That way, we were told, drug abusers would be forced out of employment. What a swell idea!
Except...that would raise the crime rate, since people need money to buy drugs. Hmm. Well, maybe if they all got busted and put in prison they'd get clean? Hmm. I guess it would improve the job market, at least for people who wanted to be prison guards... And, of course, we need to consider the number of deaths from meth overdoses vs. the number of deaths from tobacco use.