Heroin's price decline, 1981-2012. Heroin's price decline, 1981-2012.

Gearing up for the new drug war

A trillion dollars spent and illegal drugs cheaper and more readily available than ever

Since 1973, U.S. taxpayers have spent over a trillion dollars on drug interdiction and enforcement efforts. Adjusted for inflation, illegal drugs are cheaper and more widely available than ever before in the course of human history, while opioid overdoses in the U.S. are rising dramatically.


For its part, Mexico has suffered the loss of more than 120,000 lives since 2006 as result of its war on the drug cartels, with some 26,000 “disappeared” – presumed dead.

Enter FBI Director James Comey, who announced last month, in response to the heroin overdose epidemic in the U.S. (most of which comes from Mexico), that “our job is to try to crack down on the supply, literally, to be very blunt, to drive up the price to make it less and less attractive for people who are addicted to pills to move to heroin.”

That’s the dumbest idea I’ve heard in a long time, even taking into account that it’s been raining dumb ideas in Washington for the last seven weeks – a virtual deluge. The idea that we ought to double down on the drug war is every bit as dumb as then-Mexican president Felipe Calderón’s supply side solution in 2006 of starting a war against the Mexican cartels.

The United States blames Mexico for the supply. Mexico blames the U.S. for the demand. And around and around we go.

“We learn from history that we do not learn from history” is one of my favorite, albeit apocryphal, quotations of all time. Georg Hegel is said to have said those words back in the early 19th century; others attribute them to George Bernard Shaw. No matter, this aphorism has proven to be increasingly prescient in the early 21st century.

Prior to the late 19th century there were basically no drug laws on the books. Drugs like cannabis, cocaine and heroin were widely available on the open, legal market, often in pharmacies. There was no need for a black market, cartels or criminal gangs. The rate of drug use represented a tiny fraction of the population, and an even tinier fraction abused these drugs.


The war on drugs has never been about drugs.

“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.

“We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

The above excerpt is from Dan Baum’s 1994 interview with John Ehrlichman, Richard Nixon’s chief domestic advisor. The modern war on drugs – Nixon’s brainchild – followed a history of social and political control of perceived enemies of the government that began in the 19th century: marijuana prohibition targeting Mexicans and Sikhs in California, heroin and cocaine prohibitions targeting blacks in the south, opium prohibition targeting Chinese immigrants throughout the west, and of course alcohol prohibition targeted against southern European immigrant-imbibers (mostly the Irish and Italians).

The historical evidence is so clear and convincing on this matter that it has become almost banal to talk about it.

But it is what it is.

A trillion dollars spent, and heroin’s price per gram dropped from US $3,260 in 1981 to just $465 in 2012.

Other illegal drugs mirror this precipitous decline in prices. Ironically, prescription drug prices are increasing almost as fast as illegal drug prices are declining. (That’s one reason opioid users are forced into the unregulated illegal market for heroin.)

According to the Drug Policy Institute, the yearly supply of heroin to the U.S. could fit into a single shipping container, and there’s basically no limit to the supply. This makes drug interdiction as a method of reducing supply a purblind pipe dream, the ultimate in naiveté.

Yet that’s this administration’s ostensible strategy. It’s a palliative, giving us comfort that we’re fighting “bad hombres,” but it is no cure.

To be clear, I’m not saying that Comey’s and Donald Trump’s animus for resuscitating the dying drug war with a crash cart of taxpayer money has anything to do with racism or control of political enemies. I’m not a mind reader and don’t like to impute motives that, absent a smoking gun admission, are impossible to prove.

But surely the private prison industry and its lobbyists like the noises they’re hearing from Washington on this issue. And it’s doubtful one would have to twist the arms of the DEA and other law enforcement agencies to take a funding increase.

If the Trump administration is serious about reducing drug use and abuse, and saving $15 billion a year in drug enforcement spending, it would simply get out of the drug enforcement business altogether, and not pump more money into a war that is impossible to win. The same goes for Mexico.

Republicans are big fans of reducing the size of the federal government, cutting spending, cutting regulation, and increasing states’ rights, at least in theory. So let’s treat drug abuse as a public health problem and not a criminal problem, and let the states decide their own drug policies.

The smart states would be free to legalize, regulate and control currently illicit drugs, using the increased tax revenue to fund drug treatment and education instead of prisons and bloated law enforcement bureaucracies. Dumb states (Brownback’s Kansas comes to mind) could continue prohibition and bankrupt themselves at their pleasure.

Of course I’m kidding. That would be the kind of policy shift requiring ideological consistency.

Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a frequent contributor to Mexico News Daily. Some of his other non-academic work can be viewed at glenolives.com

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  • cris_37

    The consumers and the suppliers they both play a role in this “business”. However, if the supplier disappears another one will take its place. As long as there is a demand, there will always be someone willing to provide. The only way to stop the drug epidemics in the USA is just by stopping consuming this poison.

    • Glen Olives

      Yes, a stop in consumption would abviously do it, but of course that will never happen, absent a biblical miracle. All humans, and many mammals, have been using drugs to alter their state of conciousness since time immemorial. Hunter gatherers collected and consumed hallucinogenic plants and the Sumerians took quite a liking to opium. In my view, the only solution is legalization, regulation and control, as is the case for alcohol and tobacco.

      • gypsyken

        I would modestly suggest that one action that could reduce the demand for drugs that is the basis of the problem is to stop spending so much time and money on resuscitating people dying of drug overdoses, so that they can live to overdose again. A significant amount of tax money is currently being used to promote the use of Nacan (naloxone) injectors to save the lives of drug overdosers and to provide supplies of them to police officers, other “first responders,” and even addicts. (Of course, the producer of Nacan injectors is profiting from this expenditure of public funds.)

        • Glen Olives

          I hope you’re joking. In case you’re not, let’s follow your logic to its conclusion. Let’s not treat overweight people who have heart attacks because of their lifestyle choice, or diabetics, or victims of cancer, or people with mental disorders. Eventually the human gene pool will be cleaned up, but that’s not a world I would like to live in.

          • gypsyken

            I am not joking. Addiction to illegal drugs is in a different category of behavior from, for example, overeating and becoming obese, because that behavior does not always, inevitably result in heart attacks; it merely increases the risk for them. Using illegal drugs, on the other hand, always, inevitably results in addiction; everyone who begins to use such drugs knows, or should know, that he/she will become addicted to them; and public funds should not be used to provide “treatment” for them. Addiction is claimed by the enormous and profitable addiction industry to be a disease, but it is a disease only in the sense that once one begins to use illegal drugs, they will cause changes in the chemistry of the brain that will render the individual uncomfortable in the absence of the drugs. I have no sympathy whatsoever with anyone who uses illicit drugs. I would confine people who are apprehended using illegal drugs until they quit “cold turkey” or expire, and I would let people who overdose on them die.

          • Glen Olives

            No, public health data does not support your supposition that drug use always leads to addiction. Most people who use the drug of alcohol do not become addicted. Most people who use cannabis or cocaine are not addicted. Only a tiny fraction of illegal drug users can be classified as “addicted” or “dependent.”

            A poor diet increases the risk of early death as you note. And drug use also increases the risk of an early death. These two things are exactly analagous. A poor diet also changes brain chemistry, as does exercise and an innumerable number of other things. We can call addiction as disease or not, or obesity a disease or not. It doesn’t really matter. Binge eating, drug addiction, unsafe sex, among other things, are public health problems, not criminal problems.

            The available literature on this very issue is quite extensive.

          • gypsyken

            I referred to illegal or illicit drugs, which excludes alcohol, tobacco, and unfortunately now, in some jurisdictions, marijuana. (I think on the basis of personal observation that the number of people who become behaviorally addicted to (dependent upon) marijuana is much larger than advocates for its legal use claim, but data on that will be accumulated as its use becomes legal. The first data from Colorado are not, in my opinion, positive relative to legalization.) Cocaine is, however, highly addictive: “Cocaine is addictive due to its effect on the reward pathway in the brain. After a short period of use, there is a high risk that dependence will occur.” (Wikpedia, referring to Pomara, C; Cassano, T; D’Errico, S; Bello, S; Romano, AD; Riezzo, I; Serviddio, G (2012). “Data available on the extent of cocaine use and dependence: biochemistry, pharmacologic effects and global burden of disease of cocaine abusers.”. Current medicinal chemistry. 19 (33): 5647–57.) Perhaps you are referring to the fact that some people addicted to cocaine, especially in the upper classes, continue to function socially and vocationally. Heroin and methamphetamine are also highly addictive. I did not call addiction a “criminal problem” and only addressed “treatment” of it using public funds.

          • Glen Olives

            You’re very obviously sidestepping the point. Is there a scientific/public health reason we should differentiate alcohol and tobacco from drugs like alcohol or cannabis? If someone uses cocaine or cannabis and continues to function socially and vocationally, leading a productive life, how are we to consider them “addicted”? After all, people who use alcohol or tabacco and function socially and vocationally are not labeled “addicted.” People who eat too much aren’t labeled “addicted.” As you mention, people within the upwardly mobile classes, although users, are seldom called abusers. The people who go to jail are the low hanging fruit for law enforcement. Despite this obvious fact, you’re seriously advocating that overdoses should not be treated? Drug users within the upper echelons of socioeconomic demographics who overdose should be treated but the great unwashed abandoned? It seems to me that this is very curious reasoning. Lastly, you’re correct that you didn’t call addiction a “criminal problem.” Good on you. But you did in no uncertain terms say that people suffering from overdoses should be left to die. That is far worse morally than incarcerating them.

          • gypsyken

            I began this conservation by asserting that taxpayer funds should not be used to purchase and provide police, other “first responders,” and even addicts (I did not say “heroin addicts,” but overdoses of heroin or equivalent opioids is what Narcan injectors are used for) with Narcan injectors to resuscitate people dying of drug (heroin) overdoses, an activity that is, of course, promoted by the manufacturer of Narcan injectors who is profiting from their sale. In the interest of space, I did not state everything that could be stated about the matter. Although I did note that “a significant amount of tax money” is being used to provide and promote the use of Narcan injectors, I did not, for example, note that their cost is skyrocketing (www.businessinsider.com/price-of-emergency-medecine-naloxone-narcan-skyrocketing).

            In rejecting my proposal, you claimed to “follow [my] logic to its conclusion. Let’s not treat overweight people who have heart attacks because of their lifestyle choice, or diabetics, or victims of cancer, or people with mental disorders.” That was not “following my logic”; it was an effort to divert attention from the use of Narcan injectors that I had addressed to other matters. (That is, I may note, a technique often used by people advocating legalization of marijuana and other drugs.) I should have replied to your post only by saying that I was addressing only the use of public funds to promote and supply Narcan injectors, but, unfortunately, I did not do that, and I thereby permitted extraneous considerations to be expanded to an extent that now seems to me to be ridiculous, including an assertion that people who are actually addicted to the use of drugs should not be termed addicted if they are nevertheless able to function socially and vocationally, and the false claim that I had asserted that “Drug users within the upper echelons of socioeconomic demographics who overdose should be treated,” while other uses should not be.

            I will, therefore, merely repeat my position that taxpayer funds should not be used to provide Narcan injectors to police, “first responders,” and even heroin addicts, and that people dying of overdoses of heroin or other opioids who could be resuscitated by using Narcan injectors purchased with public funds should simply be let die. I will also reassert my position that the “treatment” of addicts to heroin and similar drugs–I will specify here crack cocaine and methamphetamine–should be confinement until they either stop using the drugs or expire.

          • gildone84 .

            If you don’t want Narcan to be used on anyone, then the best way to do that is legalize, regulate, and control heroin for use by adults. Overdosing is directly related to the illegality of the drug because there is no way to know what dose is in each bag because it has been cut by multiple players and/or dosed with more dangerous things like fentanyl. In countries where “prescription heroin” is made available to addicts, overdoses don’t happen nor do the public health problems associated with drug use (hepatitus, HIV, etc) nor do the petty crimes committed by users to get their fix. It’s all around cheaper than the colossal failure that is the war on drugs.

            I would also suggest that you (and most people, quite frankly) need to learn more about the nature of addiction. It’s not what we’ve been led to believe it is– that’s it’s all about the “chemical hook”. I would recommend the book “Chasing the Scream” as a good place to start for you to get a better understanding of the true nature of addiction.

            And a final though: It’s easy to write other people off when you don’t know them or they aren’t a member of your family.

          • gypsyken

            I never said that I “don’t want Narcan to be used on anyone.” I raised an objection to tax funds being used to purchase Narcan injectors to be provided to police and other “first responders” and to addicts to use on fellow addicts. (I also, by the way,object to using tax funds to supply “clean needles” to addicts who intend to continue their use of drugs.)

            I am not an expert on addiction, but I was a licensed psychologist listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. There are facts about addiction that have been elucidated by use of the scientific method, and there is a large body of mythology about addiction, much of which founded on religious or other supernatural beliefs. (AA’s invoking a nonexistent “higher power” is an example of that.) There is also a large and profitable addiction industry. My own professional organization, the American Psychological Association (of which I am an elected Fellow) helps psychologists to participate in that industry by certifying them as addiction specialists. (My own experience in dealing with people addicted to alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs has been just enough to know how difficult it is and was not something I wanted to do.)

            As to writing “other people off when you don’t know them or they aren’t a member of your family” that is what we do all the time as individuals and as members of a society when we ignore homeless people dying on the street or millions of people dying of starvation on another continent, generally not as the result of any action that they have taken or failed to take.

            I will reiterate that the reason I have so little sympathy for addicts is that anyone who begins to use an addictive drugs knows, or should know, that he of she will become addicted to it.

            Kenneth G. Crosby, Ed.D., FAPA

          • gildone84 .

            “I will reiterate that the reason I have so little sympathy for addicts is that anyone who begins to use an addictive drugs knows, or should know, that he of she will become addicted to it.”

            With all due respect, your statement is overly simplistic. Combine it with your callous attitude and, frankly, it’s all quite puzzling coming from a professional psychologist. I would expect this kind of statement from an uneducated lay-person, but not a professional. It also confirms something I have suspected…that so-called professionals are ignorant about the real drivers of drug abuse and true nature of addiction. To be fair, this is not the only issue or profession where overcoming this kind of inertia is a problem. Unfortunately, it is pervasive at all levels of society and in every discipline, even when there is growing evidence to the contrary. The War on Drugs is a very good example with professionals and lay-people alike resistant to changing our approach to illegal drugs.

            Yes there are some facts about addiction that have been elucidated by the scientific method, but one of the biggest so-called facts was arrived at using experiments with flawed methodology or flawed interpretation of results–specifically the idea that the so-called “chemical hook” is the primary driver of addiction. While experiments have shown physical responses in the brain occur when drugs are used, they actually completely miss the bigger picture of addiction. This is a result of the reductionist nature of science. It doesn’t make all science bad, but it does make some of the conclusions we draw from science inaccurate. Anyway, As a place to start, I would turn your attention to the work of Canadian Psychologist Dr. Bruce Alexander to investigate for yourself. I also suggest again the book “Chasing the Scream”. It is written for a lay audience for sure, but it is well researched. It most certainly challenged everything I thought I understood about addiction and prompted me to re-evaluate my views. Are you open-minded enough to challenge your own thinking?

            It’s illogical to display more concern about tax money being spent on Narcan than on the billions per year being wasted on the miserable and overwhelming failure that is the drug war. I already tried to explain why the illegality of heroin leads to overdoses. Make it available in some regulated fashion to adults, overdoses diminish drastically, and little Narcan would be needed. You also save tax money that would otherwise have to be spent on the related public health and crime issues that come with illegal drug use. Even prescription heroin, where it is being employed, is proving to be a much cheaper alternative, and to the surprise of just about everyone, professionals included, bringing the activity out of the shadows and into the open is actually a helpful factor for many users in overcoming their addiction. It seems counter-intuitive, but I would suggest you look into that as well.

            A final thought: just because we fail as a society with problems such as homelessness and understanding addiction is that really an excuse for individual callousness in our personal attitudes?

          • gypsyken

            Thank you for the references, but as I am nearly 89 and drug addicts are not among my principle concerns–I am much more concerned about the millions dying of starvation not as a result of anything they have done or failed to do–I am not going to spend any more time on the matter of drug addiction.

          • gildone84 .

            Wanting to learn and evolve our understanding of something is not a matter of age, it’s a matter of will. If you aren’t willing to evolve your thinking on this issue, then why are you even bothering to have a discussion here? Your words also seem to imply that you find addiction to be a simple matter of personal failure and are judging others accordingly. May you not be judged on the same terms when your day comes… Peace.

          • gypsyken

            I did not intend to imply that I’m uninterested in reading more about addiction because of my age. I simply do not want to spend any time doing it, because addiction is not among my main concerns. I am acquiring more information all the time, including some from your posts, though I do not regard all the information in your posts as valuable.

            Spare me the nonsense about my being judged when my day comes. Your invoking religious mythology makes me question the veracity of your other statements. That led me to a review in The Guardian of “Chasing the Scream,” which you twice recommend, in which I found this: “Chasing the Scream arrives three years after [author Johann] Hari was discovered to have plagiarised other people’s work, misrepresented the material he got from interviews and, under an alias, to have spread malicious falsehoods about other journalists via Wikipedia. . . . what Chasing the Scream betrays is a little more complicated than the zero-sum stuff of truth and fiction. He took the very modern career path of becoming a high-profile polemicist before he had done much reporting, and perhaps as a result his writing is too melodramatic, a little naive, and reluctant to give a fair shout to the other side of the argument” (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/09/chasing-the-scream-johann-hari-war-on-drugs). That review does not suggest to me that I should spend time reading the book.

            I also went to the website of Dr. Bruce Alexander, whose writing you recommend, where I found this introduction: “Global society is drowning in addiction to drug use and a thousand other habits. This is because people around the world, rich and poor alike, are being torn from the close ties to family, culture, and traditional spirituality that constituted the normal fabric of life in pre-modern times.” That, and especially the reference to “traditional spirituality,” does not indicate anything that I would be willing to spend time reading.

            I was trained as a scientist, was once employed as a “research scientist,” always try to operate as a scientist, and therefore accept as fact only those propositions that are supported by evidence obtained through use of the scientific method.

          • W. Jones Jordan

            You are correct. Nothing is always addictive and virtually anything can be; one of Freud’s reported cases was addicted to enemas. There are, however, two kinds of addiction, (1) psychological — relatively common with stimulants such as tobacco, coffee, cocaine, and the selective seratonian inhibitors (which are not proven to inhibit serotonin) and (2) physical, a definite and potentially fatal addiction to some sedatives such as alcohol and the popular benzodiazapiness: xanax, Valium, dalmane, halcion, ativan,and many others, from which withdrawal may end in delerium tremens and death. See Amazon.com book, Drugs,Disorders, and Deceit.

  • Stanley R. Boyer

    A seemingly unrecognized part of the illegal drug trade is the corruption, violence and criminal training that is imported with the drugs. How the cartels operate in Mexico and other South American countries is how they operate in the U.S. also. The corruption is silent and insidious. Someone in a strategic position to be of benefit to the transportation and passage of the drug shipments is approached. They are made an offer for their participation. That offer is a two part proposition. We’ll pay you very well for your cooperation or we’ll kill you and/or your family for refusing our offer. They are not joking when they use this terror tactic. Check out the blood wars and degree of corruption they have accomplished in Mexico. This is how they have gained control of Mexico. Cartel leader El Chapo had people marching in the streets of Sinaloa, Mexico, demand his release after he was captured. He had built churches, schools and homes for people in the area and they love him. He was their care taker and they protected him when investigators or raiders were around. In short, he bought them off with generosity to gain their allegience and protection. The same thing is happening in the U.S.. Google “corrupt cops- drugs” and read up on this problem in the U.S.. Keep in mind the person made the offer dare not talk about it as it will get them killed. You will not hear about it or know of it.
    Violence is a necessary and arbitrary part of the drug business. The cartels use terror to get what they want. Mexico is more dangerous than Afghanistan even in this time of war there. More people are killed in the drug wars in Mexico than are killed in the war in Afghanistan each year. The drug related murder rate in the U.S. is climbing as the cartels gain deeper and deeper penetration into our society by moving their business into the smallest of towns out in the country. Eight members of an Ohio family were killed on the same night in three different houses.
    They were growing and selling marijuana which put them in competition with the cartels. To my knowledge these killings were never officially classed as a drug hit but it has all the hallmarks of just that. And the people that did the shooting were probably young people paid as hitmen and enforcers for the cartels.
    About three years ago the Catholic Church released a report that said that their study that the cartels were the No1 employers of youth in Mexico. These young people perform various jobs for the local organizations like transport of drugs to a street seller, moving product from place to place, guarding that product and being trained as killers and enforcers for the cartels that employ them. That is not a “Mexican thing”. That is a drug trade thing and it has been imported into the U.S. with the drugs and drug employees. Very young people are used in our country to look out for cops in the neighborhood and ward the drug operatives of their presence. This is an initiation into the business. With experience they move deeper and deeper into the operation as the years go by. Our young people are being trained in these cartel illegal operations which is training them to be seasoned criminals from a very young age. This is “on job training ” at it’s worst. It is the development of a seasoned and well trained cadre of criminals that we’ll have to live with into the future. Their focus will be making illegal business their business and strengthening the criminal element in our midst.
    What’s the answer to all this ? How do we stop this corruption, violence and development of highly trained criminals ? There’s only one way, legalization of drugs. Legalization as with marijuana in some states where the pot products are available in stores. With the drugs available in stores like liquor, beer and wine are now would produce taxes for government instead of spending huge sums on fighting the Failed War on Drugs. Addicts in trouble could be identified and offered help. Help for addiction could be advertised in the sales locations and taxes collected could be used in prevention, education about drug use and assistance for addicts. It would also take away the “rebellion element”, the “cool factor” that is associated with drug use.by America’s young people.
    Imagine, we’ve stopped spending billions per year on enforcement and interdiction efforts and on top of those savings we’re now collecting taxes on top of those savings. What would that do for the national budget. The U.S. is slowly but surely deteorating due to the corruption creeping into the fabric of our society. We are going to become just like Mexico if we do not change our strategy of confronting drug use. Drug cartel corruption is an irresistable force because of it’s silent, insidious, nature. When it gains control of our institutions we will have lost our ability to resist just like they have in Mexico and other South American countries. Imagine an American cartel leader being the No. 1 hero in some area of the U.S. and protected from the police by those citizens.

  • Dean Becker

    As a former cop and as a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition I produce 9 radio programs per week to examine our nations policy of drug prohibition. Of the more than thousand experts who have guested on my show, less than a dozen were “drug warriors” who love this our nations first eternal war. Stories like this one display the evil underbelly of this war. Whether it be legislators, prosecutors, cops, urine testers or any of the ancillary profiteers and moralists whose “stature and understanding” forces this abomination to continue devouring millions of our children’s futures. All of these drug warriors now stand dreading the near future when their sins against mankind will be on obvious, glaring display for all to see.

    Fifty million US arrests of non violent offenders for minor amounts of drugs, more than a trillion of our tax dollars “invested” in stopping the flow, widespread corruption of cops, prosecutors, border agents, prison guards, etc. Consider the horrible blow back of the drug war, then consider the fact that the drug war has never stopped even one child from getting their hands on drugs. What is the benefit? What do we derive that even begins to offset the horrors we inflict on ourselves and the whole world by continuing to believe in the fairy tale of drug war?

    Time is up for the drug war. Stand, speak, help end this madness, please.

    • TioDon

      So what is your solution to this problem, Mr. 9 radio programs a week?

      • Dean Becker

        Please see my response to Mr. Olives, above. I choose to expose the fraud and misdirection of the drug war because I believe the corruption, deception, bigotry and callousness that writhes within this nation has deep roots in the drug war.

        • TioDon

          Sooooo, you don’t have a solution….thanks for playing.

          • Glen Olives

            Do you have a reading comprehension problem TioDon? The solution is legalization, regulation, taxation and control. Where it’s been tried it has worked. Criminalization and strict enforcement has never worked, in any jurisdiction.

          • 46patrick46

            Read the history of drug abuse and cure of addiction in Japan. Ignorance is Bliss.
            You are very blissful.

          • Glen Olives

            I’ve studied this issue for more than a decade. I’ve looked into Malaysia, Portugal, Sweden, the Phillippines and more than a dozen other countries, including Japan, with a culture extremely different from ours. But Japan has a drug problem too. Our model doesn’t work there either. Talk about ignorance — you’re citing an example counter to your own position.

          • cooncats

            Uh let’s remember it hasn’t been tried on the grand scale of the U.S. More than a few social programs seemed to work in small, homogeneous countries but didn’t do so well in the U.S.

            BTW you forgot treatment of addiction because there will be more of that too.

            Holland has more than a few problems with their policy. It certainly hasn’t stamped out the criminal element.


            One of the serious implications for Mexico is, if drugs are really decriminalized and production legitimized and controlled in the U.S. and Canada, what will the Mexican cartels turn to next given the lack of basic public security there?

    • Glen Olives

      Keep up the good work, Dean. I would be happy to help in any way I can.

      • Dean Becker

        Recognizing the real problem is the first step, next being brave enough to demand that our politicians stop making it so easy for terrorists to buy the weapons aimed at our brave soldiers, all they have to do is be brave enough to grow the flowers we forbid, preposterous logic binds this madness. Call, email, write and visit your elected officials let them know of your recognition of the problem and that the solution is to stop funding terrorists, cartels and the thousands of violent gangs plaguing America. The politicians know most of this, they are just looking for support these days. 7,000 of my radio segments at http://www.drugtruth.net

    • 46patrick46

      You, my friend , are either misguided or uninformed.
      Look to other nations and see how they solved their drug problem. It can be done WITHOUT legalization of drugs. Hint, look to Japan.

      Changing our drug laws via the Treatment Model will endeavor to preclude incarceration yet maintain the control over importation/ manufacture of illicit drugs. Legalizing drugs only leads to addiction.
      Just read the history of narcotics and drug abuse in America to review the epidemics of addiction in American society while drugs were legal. Nevertheless , incarceration is not the answer , Drug Treatment is the correct answer. Treat addiction as a disease, not a crime. Arrest Drug Dealers, not Drug users.

      Another reason to build the Wall… slow down or stop the flow of drugs coming across the border.

      • Dean Becker

        So you want to fight an eternal war, spend trillions of dollars, enrich barbarous cartels, deadly terrorists and violent US gangs with tens of trillions, ensure more overdose deaths and diseases and give children continuing access to deadly concoctions sold via the black market? We do not think alike, at all.

      • Glen Olives

        You seem to be wanting to have your cake here and eat it too. “Legalizing drugs only leads to addiction.” Catagorically false. Do you think it is easier for a teenager to purchase cocaine or beer? Of course cocaine, because it is unregulated, while alcohol is highly regulated.

        Any fair reading of U.S. drug history indicates that your statement that there was an epidemic of addiction in Amerian society while drugs were legal is frankly laughable. There’s absolutely no credible evidence for that, and a mountain of historical evidence that directly contradicts it; quite frankly, it is an asinine assertion.

        Oddly, you note correctly that we should treat addiction as a disease, not a crime, and that incarceration is not the answer. Agreed, but not arresting drug users would be de facto decriminalization, much like what Portugal has done. Drug users are the low hanging fruit for law enforcement. In 2015, 84% of drug arrests were for use/possession and 16% for sale/manufacture.

        You’re answer to decriminalize drug use and treat drug users instead of jailing them is a half step in the right direction. But assuming that law enforcement can ever be effective at stemming the supply is naive in the extreme. As I mentioned in the above piece, the U.S. yearly heroin supply can fit into a single shipping container. Einstien said that the definition of insanity to doing the same over and over while expecting a different result. I know of no person who has seriously studied drug policy and does not have a dog in the hunt who thinks that our current drug policy is sane, or pragmatic, or has even the remotest chance at efficacy.

        Also consider that the U.S. has one of the highest rates of drug use in the world and also some of the strictest drug laws. It seems extraordinarily unlikely that this is a coincidence.

    • cooncats

      Dean, the war on drugs is one of the greatest government rackets ever conceived. It makes prohibition look like child’s play. Like foreign military misadventurism, American politicians are hooked on both well, like a drug.

      There is huge money in both sides of the drug racket. Neither side wants this game to go away. Unfortunately it won’t. While I was no fan of the last administration, I did hope they would really try to wind this down but instead the budgets just kept going up and all we got was a bunch of lip service.

      It remains to be seen whether we will now just get lip service in the opposite direction or whether these guys will really throw good money after bad. Remember, Trump’s history is somewhat socially libertarian and although Sessions is yapping about this, he isn’t the POTUS. Lotta talk right now, let’s see what happens.

  • Three score and ten

    This time we agree, Glen. I wish I had the stamina to stand with you and scream about the stupidity of the drug war, but after 50 years of it, I’m tired. If Americans have not seen the parallel between the drug war and prohibition (another obviously stupid failure) after all this time, I doubt they ever will. Keep up the fight as long as you can.

    • Glen Olives

      Glad we can agree on something.

  • K. Chris C.

    The trillion dollars in theft was actually used to wage an Article 3, Section 3, treason, war against the American people. Much of that stolen wealth ended up in the pockets of pols, crats, and the connected, while much of the American population was impoverished, oppressed, persecuted, and 13th. Amendment enslaved.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • frankania

    Stop prohibition now!
    Big brother, leave us alone…

  • Peter Maiz

    Good, realistic article from Glen. It’s very well written.

    • TioDon

      “Hey, Eddie, did you already put Maiz on the stupid list? You did? ok”.

  • Donald Blair Godier

    Unbelievable, I swear Glen you are perhaps the stupidest of stupid liberals, why not just all throw up our hands and surrender to the murderers and thieves in society, after all if we turn over the US and Mexico to the cartels we can save a couple bucks and become slaves to the cartels, hey, maybe in 10 years they can reduce the population by a couple hundred million and your precious population control can be achieved simultaneously. I could eliminate not only the drug problem but Radical Islam in 2 or three years, the answer is not appeasement, which everyone doing the supposed job does now, you can only eliminate these threats by killing everyone involved in the drug trade and every radical islamist, no quarter, no prisons, no second chances, until that happens you WILL never change things. And if you truly believe that drugs is a passive non violent crime, go Live on the South side of Chicago for a week. You can’t ignore the carnage of drugs and legalize and think it will just go away, ignoring problems and standing around doing nothing is why Donald Trump is President. You should be licked up in some asylum in Sonora somewhere so that thinking people don’t have to listen to your lunatic ravings!

    • Glen Olives

      Even countries where drug possession is a capital offense have significant drug use and abuse problems. Countries where drugs have been decriminalized do not. Your opinion presents the classic example of the most ignorant among us also having the most conviction in their positions.

      • We are of one mind on this issue, Glen. I makes me nervous a little bit.

      • Donald Blair Godier

        And your typically a liberal lunatic who contributes nothing but a perpetual violence to level headed ideas people like you should all get together and buy some island somewhere in the middle of nowhere and establish your own country… let’s call it Loonville and damage yourselves instead of damaging people that actually work for a living, let’s see if you can make a go of it with no wage earners and only leaches for a population, that’s your only answer to anything, oh please give me a grant “so I never have to actually work and produce anything with my miserable life”. So basically anything you have to say to justify your pathetic excuse for a life means nothing to me and won’t ever, you see I have for the freedoms you trash daily, so basically your breathing the air I provided for you to breathe, try living in Syria! You’d last about 10 minutes!

        • Glen Olives

          A very interesting word salad of unconnected ideas. Syria? Really? But I am able to decipher (I think) that you think I’m against freedom. How you read this piece and think that is the case is anyone’s guess. The freedom to ingest what you please into your body without the fear of arrest and incarceration is against freedom? Giving the states the right to decide their own drug policies is against freedom?

    • Margarita Foglio

      I could hardly finish reading your comment… People like you make me stay away from this kind of shit. My mistake

      • cooncats

        Well you could try crafting a rebuttal or clear statement of your own viewpoint. (grin)

    • Hailey Mannering

      Legalized and controlled sales of drugs, such as Canada is planning with marijuana, will weaken the cartels financially.

  • Peter Maiz

    Al Capone?

  • TioDon

    You don’t seem to mention that Obuckwheat and his gang has 8 years to do something about this and all it did was increase in scope….nope, must’ve slipped your liberal, Whitney mind.

    • Glen Olives

      Spoiler alert: the POTUS is now Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. I do admire, though, that you’re an open racist and don’t try to hide it. It’s refereshing to not have to try to decipher all of the dog whistles of mainstream “cuckservatives.”

      • cooncats

        Ah yes, everyone who disagrees with the left is a racist to a flaming liberal. LOL Sheesh, can’t you great intellectuals come up with some new pejoratives?

  • W. Jones Jordan

    The Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s proved, after a decade of that previous drug war, that prohibition is not control, but publicity. And this drug war –authorized by Nixon’s Executive Order– is also doomed to fail. It protects only the pharmaceutical industry by banning natural, usually safer, and far less expensive natural products.

    • 46patrick46

      Nixon ???

      Drug laws were on the books almost a hundred years before Nixon. Read some history before you opine.

      • W. Jones Jordan

        My undergraduate degree is in history, and I was referring to the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1908, under which I practiced medicine in Texas for decades before retirement. I introduced Nixon because he declined to act on the advice of a committee he authorized and, rather than legalize marijuana, formed the DEA.

  • Güerito

    All good.

    As long as you don’t think legalization in the US will lead to less violence in Mexico. At least in the short term, it will most certainly increase violence in Mexico.

    And acknowledge legalization is viewed more favorably in the US than in Mexico.

    And recognize drug use in Mexico is skyrocketing, and a lot of the recent violence in several regions of the country is over the control of the market for retail sales. And this most likely will get worse with returning deportees from the US.

    And that Mexico and the US have only made baby steps toward legalizing one drug: marijuana. And in this case, the US is way out front.

    And no one in either country is even talking about legalizing heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, meth except a tiny libertarian faction found in the two major US parties.

    • Glen Olives

      Yes, many of the things you mention are true, with the exception of the decriminalization (not legalization but let’s not split hairs at this point) of all drugs in Portugal has had dramatically good results, as had cannabis legalization in various counties as well as US states. The right direction to proceed seems clear, and the first step toward a sane drug policy is recognizing what has not worked. We haven’t gotten there yet, and yes that includes many Democratic leaders. If Clinton had been elected and had been making the same tough-on-drugs noises that Trump is now making (as she had when her husband was in office) I would have been even more critical of her administration. But of course Donald Trump is POTUS now.

      • cooncats

        I sincerely doubt you would be bashing Clinton the way you are Trump. Really, don’t make us laugh.

        • Glen Olives

          You mistake me for an ideologue, which is what ideologues do when someone disagrees with their ideology. I’ve been plenty critical of Bill, Hillary, and yes Obama too. I have a book scheduled for publication in which I excoriate many of Bill Clinton’s policies. Liberals are going to hate it. You’ll love it though — or at least the chapters where I take progressives to task for some of their asinine ideas — but not because of any substance it might contain.

    • Consumption of drugs is not illegal in Mexico and a reform was made in 2012 to article 195 of the Federal Penal code which says that a person in possession of small quantities of drugs for his/her personal consumption is not to be prosecuted. The doses that are considered for personal consumption are listed in the article 475 of the Federal law, “Ley General de Salud” and are: Opium – 2 grams, heroin, 50 mg., cannabis 5 grams, cocaine 500 mg, LSD 0.015 mg, meth 40 mg, A Mexican adult will not be prosecuted for the above amounts, if they say that it is for their personal consumption. Distribution or production is prosecuted and foreigners are deported. This is not legalization, it is referred to as “Depenalización” and is focused on not locking up consumers only traffickers. A consumer in this situation can receive a notice that is sent to the Secretaría de Salud, 3 such warnings can be used to force a person into rehabilitation.

      • Güerito

        About the tiny amounts allowed for possession, I grant Mexico is ahead of the US on that.

        I don’t claim expertise on this issue, but I assume in many cases in the US these small amounts are not prosecuted either, using prosecutorial discretion. Probably most cops wouldn’t waste the time on them.

        But, what about the sale of marijuana? As far as I know, completely prohibited in Mexico. But in the US, many states have legalization, with investors from all over putting money down on marijuana production, distribution and sale. All legal.

        • The Mexican Supreme Court has opened the doors for legalization of marijuana by the finding that the prohibition to grow and use marijuana is unconstitutional. This does not have the same effect as in the US, but the Supreme Court by their finding means that there is a legal basis for it. Five persons promoted an Amparo to defend their constitutional right to grow and use marijuana and the Court supported them which means the authorities cannot touch those persons. Theoretically, anyone that wants to grow and use marijuana could also promote an Amparo and it would be granted. We could end up with a situation similar to that of same sex marriage. Same sex marriage is not legal in most states but the reality is that any same sex couple (with the money to pay an attorney) can promote an Amparo, will win and can marry anywhere in Mexico and it will be recognized legally.

          • Güerito

            It’s my understanding that the Mexican Supreme Court ruling last year, which has the limited application to which you refer, dealt exclusively with the issue of medicinal use of marijuana. Not general recreational use.

          • On October 04, 2014 – The Amparo 748/2015 was approved by four persons (Josefina Ricaño, José Francisco Torres Landa, Armando Santacruz y José Pablo Girault) to consume marijuana (para consumir la planta de manera lúdica y recreativa) for fun and recreational purposes by declaring 5 articles of the Ley General de Salud unconstitutional that prohibit the Secretary of Health (SSA) from authorizing acts related to the personal consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes.

            They declared the articles 233, 237, 245, 247 and 248 of the Ley General de Salud unconstitutional. Those articles prohibit the planting, cultivation, harvesting, preparing, possessing, and transporting of marijuana. They do not deal with commercial distribution.

            You can look for this Amparo on the Supreme Court web site as Amparo en Revisión 748/2015

            You may have this confused with an Amparo also approved by the Supreme Court dated April 11, 2016 that also declared unconstitutional the prohibition of medical marijuana. These 2 are not the only Amparos are not the only ones approved for recreational and medical marijuana.

            I track and read all the Supreme Court decisions – if you cannot find a copy of the Amparo, contact me and I will send you a copy.

          • Güerito

            I was not aware of the 2014 amparo. I trust your legal expertise.

            It seems strange that the 2016 decision (amparo) was needed, if the recreational amparo was issued two years earlier. Unless, these amparos truly are limited to the persons involved in that case. That would mean this limitation is not a mere technicality – it makes these amparos essentially meaningless for the population at large, especially those lacking resources for extended court battles.

            It’s important to note that following the 2016 amparo, there was a push to get that codified in federal law, but the attempt was rejected by the legislature. I believe it died in the Senate, where it was introduced. Still a long way to go.

            But as I said in my first post, neither country has even started the legalization debate on what are called “harder drugs.” If those are not legalized or de-criminalized, nothing will really change in the US or Mexico regarding the “War on Drugs.”

          • An Amparo is promoted by a person or persons to protect them from unconstitutional acts of the authorities. It is an order protecting the person promoting it from those acts or from an unconstitutional law enforced by an authority. It does not necessarily have to be respected by a lower court. It is not jurisprudence – jurisprudence is only created when the Supreme Court has the same finding in 5 similar cases or when it resolves two competing theses from lower courts. This has not happened yet. When that has occurred, people will still have to go to court to protect themselves until the Federal and State governments reform their respective penal codes. It is not inexpensive to promote an Amparo and then appeal to the Supreme Court when it is denied.

  • The first Prohibition (against booze) did not work. The current Prohibition, over 40 years now, has not worked. It’s dumb, dumb, dumb. Some things you just cannot outlaw because folks are gonna do them come hell or high water. Might as well try to outlaw sex. See how that goes. About as well as outlawing booze and drugs.

  • cooncats

    I see. So you try and spin an announcement by an FBI director about a drug war that was cranked up by Nixon into yet another one of your lame brained attacks on Trump as if in 7 weeks he had any influence on this situation or said FBI director whom he didn’t appoint and he can’t fire at all.

    I hope the reader will note that although you only quote Comey and have nothing to quote from Trump to justify your latest attack on him, that doesn’t stop you from yet another one of your anti-Trump diatribes.

    Here’s what Trump has said about drug and the drug war over the years:


    Of course you couldn’t just stick to the fact the drug war is a colossal act of stupidity involving politicians of all stripes of both countries for decades. That would deny you your favorite rant and the opportunity to demonstrate how little you know about Trump and U.S. politics.

    You actually could have redeemed yourself a little from all those biased and stupid Trump rants you’ve been posting here with an honest essay about the futility of the drug war on which I think you’ll find a great deal of agreement from almost all of us. Too bad you can’t control your bias or personal rancor.

    • Glen Olives

      You’re quite right that the war and drugs has been supported by politicians on both sides of the political fence. But who’s in office now? Who didn’t throw shade on Comey’s comments? Who praised Phillippine President Duterte’s bloody drug war? Of course Trump is all over the map on drug policy. He is, after all, Donald Trump. As I said, though, you have to look at what he does. I of course would be pleasantly surprised if he takes a pragmatic line on drug policy, and would be happy eat my words. Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath.

      • cooncats

        Don’t try and hide your intellectual dishonesty and bias. Trump has been in office 7 weeks and is under constant assault from the likes of you. He’s made no proposals about drugs, you quoted him on nothing and thus he was not germane to your main theme. His past statements on the record indicate he is a lot more liberal on this topic than you give him credit for.

        BTW, have you reviewed the performance of his two predecessors regarding this? Certainly your boy Obama, a drug user himself, would have been expected to do a lot more

        • Glen Olives

          I guess you haven’t been keeping up with the news and Trump’s statements about drugs. That aside, what exactly was I dishonest about? Did I miss something in my facts and analysis?

          You’re right about Obama and Clinton, and I published an academic paper critical of their drug policies, but you know they’re no longer in office, right? Trump is.

          Trump may be under constant assault by the likes of me, but his administration’s string of errors and scandals are self inflicted. As far as the drug war goes, if you think Trump is going get squishy and progressive all of a sudden, and go against a 15 billion dollar a year enforcement machine, you are more credulous than I ever imagined.

          • cooncats

            You left out Bush. You were probably still getting brainwashed when I was out in the real world and watching the entire Nixon-Johnson mess. And BTW I was out there demonstrating against Vietnam.

            You have no idea what Trump is going to do but your bias assures us that you will assume the worst. Your obvious bias kills any credibility you might otherwise have even on a topic that there is broad agreement across the political spectrum.

            Here BTW is a good example of a real policy analyst addressing this issue: Unlike you he actually cited Trump’s preliminary statements to back up his argument.


            Learn from it.

          • Glen Olives

            Did you actually read Conrad’s piece or assume that because it was published in National Review it would counter my argument? It doesn’t. It makes the same point.

            You seem to like the word “bias” quite a lot. So does the Fox/Breitbart/InfoWars trifecta of pursposeful ignorance. But you’re right. I’m have bias for good ideas and a bias against bad ideas. I am very definately biased in my belief that the Earth is round. There is nothing wrong with bias, unless of course it is so strong that one’s mind can not be changed in the face of contrary evidence.

            Which brings me to an observation: you may have noticed that quite a few conservitives who regularly excoriate my opinions are in agreement with me on this one. Thoughtful and effective conservative commentators (Guerito comes to mind) discuss facts, and how they might be analyzed differently. You do not. You simply parrot memes and slogans.

            Trump is a cult of personality for the alt-right and quite obviously your hero. That’s fine. We don’t like our heros to be critisized, do we? But criticism of public leaders is crucial if democracy has any meaning at all.

            So when you say someone is being “dishonest” you should cite an example, preferrably one that offers a different conclusion.

          • cooncats

            It does make the same point but does it without the bias. To begin with, it cites specifics about Trump statements which you NEVER have done, either in your op ed or rebuttals.

            You are so dense you haven’t even noticed that I am also in agreement about the futility of the war on drugs. However, I seem to be able to grasp the long term big picture whereas you are so obsessed with attacking Trump you left all that out. Which is why the National Review piece is a far more honest and in-depth discussion of this topic than your thinly hidden latest attempt to rant about Trump.

            Quite obviously you don’t read much of what I post because if you did you would know how ill informed that “Trump is your hero” crap is. No he’s not. He’s also not some nemesis I’m obsessed with as is obviously your problem. I’ve made no secret of my belief that the U.S. has a serious leadership crisis going back several decades because the two party system is so broken it can only produce candidates like Clinton, Trump, Obama, McCain, Bush, et. al.

            And you’d also know I have a much broader policy spectrum than your petty definition of “conservative” which basically comes down to “anything that is not far left and anti Republican like Glen.”

            Your argument is dishonest because it selectively singles out only one politician and makes blatantly negative assumptions about what he will do based on your personal rancor towards him. This is a topic with a very long history and a thorough and honest analyst doesn’t ignore all that, particularly the failure of the previous administration after 8 LONG YEARS to do anything of substance about it.

            There’s your example.

          • Glen Olives

            Again, Trump is the President, not Obama or Bush or Clinton. I’ve been plenty critical of their public policies on this very issue. So no, your response is not an example of describing where I’ve got my facts or analysis wrong. It almost entirely based on how unfair and biased you think I am against Trump. Of course I don’t like Trump, not unlike the majority of Americans. So what? Plenty of people like you hated Obama, but I never whined about it when they published articles critisizing his policies. I talked about the policies and either defended them or joined in the criticism of them. Or is Trump your dad or something?

          • cooncats

            Trump inherits polices stretching back decades. He isn’t operating in a vacuum although you’d like to make it seem so. I’ll bet you were too lazy to look at the expenditure figures in my citation going all the way back to 2003.

            The fallacy here is that he has no policies yet. He has some stump speeches and off the cuff remarks. Yet you are trying to spin it like you already know what he’s going to do when you don’t. And then you build a whole rant around it and try and pretend it is anything resembling serious policy analysis.

            That’s dishonest. There’s a saying about this, “having one’s pain in advance.” That describes you pretty well I think.

            And your last sentence says more about you than it ever will about me. Sounds like something a teenage would blurt out.

            BTW, I’m older than the man.

          • Glen Olives

            Of course he inherited policies, every president does. So what? The question is: What is he going to do on this issue? The answer is staring both of us in the face, but you’re the one pretending that you don’t know. That, sir, is dishonest. But keep defending your hero against every real or imagined slight as you like. It is extraordinarily unlikely he will be our President in 2018. Then social media will be filled with conspiracy theories of “silent coups,” the “deep state” and all other manner of hogwash. It should be a fascinating ride. If he manages to survive his term in office, though, none of this will matter. What little we have left of a republican democracy will be weakened to the point of being unrecognizable. Panem et circenses.

          • cooncats

            Anybody who has followed Trump knows he is unpredictable. Not assuming something I don’t know isn’t dishonest, it is realistic when it comes to this guy. You all have thrown everything you got at him and here he is, sucker. Get used to it.

            Yes, I admire anyone who has accomplished what he has in life, which quite frankly makes your dinky little professorship at a nowhere college, and my own accomplishment in engineering and real estate rather pale by comparison. The difference between you and me is that I’m not hateful and jealous about someone who has gone a lot further in life.

            That, of course, is easily figured out when one reads all your other anti-Trump rants. Unfortunately, I’m certain we haven’t seen the last of those.

            As for the rest, you are delusional and just merely showing that you have no objectivity about this subject at all and are not to be taken seriously. It in unfortunate you are out there polluting the young and gullible with the kind of stinking thinking you show us here. Unfortunately the colleges are full of your ilk which is why they turn out a bunch of indoctrinated dummies who can’t read, write or think clearly. Nice work.

            Take a minute to contemplate the component parts of the word “assume” since you seem to quite like doing it. For sure you are making an “ass” out of “u” but not “me” because I don’t play your little game. I’ll wait until I see the actual proposals. Political grownups understand the difference between rhetoric and actual policies of any administration.

            Glad you mentioned a “Republican Democracy” your whining about the election results did make me wonder if you understand that the U.S. is a combination of democracy and union of states with decision making split between the two, hence the electoral college.

            In this case, it saved us from having two states without voter ID and openly advocating voting by non citizens determine the outcome of the election.

          • Glen Olives

            States openly advocating for non-citizen voting? You might try a non-fake news website (e.g., not Brietbart). And of course you’re free admire anyone you choose. My first choice wouldn’t be a con man who can always be found by the trail of lawsuits he leaves in his wake. But that’s just me.

          • cooncats

            You should take a lesson from Maddow, Glen. She, and you, are examples of what happens when personal rancor overcomes common sense and results in making a fool not of Trump but of yourselves.

            Have you ever seen me cite Breitbart? Of course you haven’t. Just another one of your pejorative utterances that shows just how intellectually bankrupt you are since you constantly make stuff up.

            Trail of lawsuits? LOL Just be glad you can’t get sued for educational malpractice.

          • Glen Olives

            I guess I missed the Reuters piece about states encouraging voter fraud. Funny that fake news conservative websites picked up the voter fraud memes from Brietbart, and nobody has produced a shred of evidence.

            Your hero has been involved in over 4,095 lawsuits, and another 50 just since his inaugaration. But I’m sure that’s just because he is a great businessman. After all, Warren Buffett, the 2nd richest man in the world has had around a dozen, after 50 years in business.

            You do have a talent, though, for stating the obvious: I don’t like Trump. No, I don’t like racists who commit open fraud and have severe narcissistic personality disorders. But again, that’s just me. Unlike your “Obuckwheat” racist friends, my “personal rancor” against Trump has nothing to do with the color of his skin and everything to do with the content of his character.

          • cooncats


            Like most ideologues and ranters you miss a lot.

            Oh now the “Obuckwheat guy” is one of my racist friends? And just where did you find that bit of information?

            “The Our Gang series is notable for being one of the first in cinema history in which blacks and whites were portrayed as equals. The four African-American child actors who held main roles in the series were Ernie “Sunshine Sammy” Morrison, Allen “Farina” Hoskins, Matthew “Stymie” Beard and Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas. Ernie Morrison was, in fact, the first African-American actor signed to a long-term contract in Hollywood history[7] and the first major African-American star in Hollywood history.[8]

            In their adult years, Morrison, Beard and Thomas became some of Our Gang’s staunchest defenders, maintaining that its integrated cast and innocent story lines were far from racist. They explained that the white children’s characters in the series were similarly stereotyped: the “freckle-faced kid”, the “fat kid”, the “neighborhood bully”, the “pretty blond girl”, and the “mischievous toddler”. “We were just a group of kids who were having fun”, Stymie Beard recalled.[9] Ernie Morrison stated, “When it came to race, Hal Roach was color-blind.”[10] Other minorities, including the Asian Americans (Sing Joy [George “Sonny Boy” Warde], Allen Tong (also known as Alan Dong), and Edward Soo Hoo and the Italian American actor (Mickey Gubitosi), were depicted in the series with varying levels of stereotyping.”


            I notice you don’t have the balls to cite the source of your highly suspect lawsuit numbers once again. That’s probably because you do get most of your information from the leftist wacko equivalents of Breitbart and you know that will be quite obvious as soon as you do cite them. You probably don’t also know that Bill Gates firm Microsoft has paid out $9 billion in settlement of thousands of lawsuits.

            Yes, it is quite obvious you can’t control your personal rancor and the intellectual dishonesty resulting therefrom. And you aren’t bright enough to realize that the only one this hurts in your own credibility. We have you pegged here as an inconsequential academic from an inconsequential school and just another leftist hack. “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.”

          • Glen Olives

            Nice Wikipedia paste. You’re a Hollywood scholar too! Sure, “Obuckwheat” and “Buckwheat” are not racist terms. Neither are “Midnight” and “Coon” and “Boy.” Where did this reference come from? You’re memory is short. Just scroll up a bit.

            Trump’s lawsuit numbers are not in dispute, and it’s a bit curious as to why you would think that they are.


            No response to the Buffett comparison? Instead you’d prefer the world’s richest man Bill Gates instead? Fine. How many times has Gates been personally sued for not paying contractors, running fake universities, discriminating against minorities, or sexual misconduct? Spoiler alert: 0. All lawsuits including consolidated antitrust cases? About 20. I’m not sure what math method you were taught in middle school, but I think that might be less than “thousands.” Do you require a cited source for that as well?

            And you talk about credibility?

            I’m beginning to understand why the alt-right isn’t especially fond of facts. They’re inconvenient as hell.

          • cooncats

            I didn’t dispute the guy hasn’t been sued. Any big developer has had his ass sued off, you’d know this if you didn’t live in an ivory tower.

            Looks like he won most of the cases, whether he sued or defended. Hillary Clinton who did very little other than follow Bill around and be a lousy Secretary of State sued 900 times? LOL

            You should read your own citation better.

            Buffett? Yeah sure. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/just-because-warren-buffett-is-a-success-dont-overlook-his-blemishes-2015-05-12

            Gates is in the software business, that’s his product. And he’s had his ass sued off for defects in his product, antitrust, you name it. America is litigation hell. Big deal.

            The Buckwheat information just shows how ignorant your race card playing is. Not surprised you couldn’t figure that out.

            Although I don’t spend much time on alt-right, it sure beats your residency at alt-ranting leftist and academic fool.

            I can’t wait for your next “rigorous” piece of work. You provide a lot of entertainment around here.

          • Glen Olives

            No, you didn’t dispute that he’s been sued, but disputed the number. When I gave you the link that had the numbers, and compared them to Buffet, you then deflected to Gates. Now you’re again deflecting from Gates to property developers. Not surprisingly (at least to me), Trump is not among wealthiest 20 real estate tycoons in the world. Yet they have been involved in fewer lawsuits than Trump, combined. Yes, combined. This isn’t getting any better for you. Innuendo, sloganeering and the parroting of memes are apparently your strong point. Facts, not so much.

          • cooncats

            No I don’t dispute he’s been sued. So what? I’ve been sued. Pretty much every person in business has been sued. You academics are so out of it you haven’t a clue about what goes on in the productive world of business. As for Buffett, and note the spelling, I blew your contention sky high. Of course he’s been sued. So what?

            Facts out of context don’t mean squat, genius. The context is that the U.S. is the most lawsuit happy place on the planet. It is just another one of your false arguments trying to justify your personal craziness on this topic.

            BTW, have you considered what happens if you all do manage to run Trump out of office. Have you spent any time looking at the next guy in line? He is no social liberal, that’s for sure.

            Be careful about what you ask for, you may get it.

          • Glen Olives

            Conflating Buffett’s lawsuits with Trump’s is patently ridiculous, but of course you’re free do do so. (I noticed that you haven’t said anything about the lawsuits of the 20 richest real estate developers.)

            But I never get tired of debating Trump supporters. Facts are denied, false analogies are made, correlation is mistaken for causation, conspiracy theories are touted, and serious argument is met with ad hominems. This conversation has been an object lesson in how this dialectic typically plays out. It’s seldom productive in terms of political discourse or public policy ideas, but it is fascinating in terms of psychology, particularly confirmation bias.

            Lastly, if Trump is “run out of office” it won’t be because of anything I or anyone else have done, it will be because of what Trump has done. Of course according to him he’s never made a mistake, and I suspect that is true of his supporters as well.

            It’s been a pleasure.

          • cooncats

            I could look up lawsuits of business people and post them for you until hell froze over and that wouldn’t abate your Trump Derangement Syndrome one bit.

            Your second paragraph is just more ranting. Is this how you conduct yourself in the classroom? Really man, you need to get a grip. Your anger is unhealthy.

            You really don’t have any room to complain about public discourse. Frankly, yours is pretty shameful for someone who claims to be educated. Have you ever taken a course in semantics? I suggest you review your charged up rhetoric and see if you can get a grasp on how you show your lack of self control and emotional discipline as evidenced by how you language your rants.

            I have never seen anything from Trump that indicates he or anyone else including me has stated he or we never made a mistake. This is just more of your ranting and making a complete fool of yourself. Once again, you are just making stuff up.

            Get a life, really. Trump will come and go just as Obama, Bush, Carter, Johnson, and all the rest have, leaving some good and some bad behind. I would hope that someone who claims to be a “political analyst” would have not only a larger view based on an understanding of history but also be in much better control of their emotions than you are.

            I’ll be waiting for the next intemperate rant you post on this site. As I said, you really do provide a great deal of entertainment value. Thanks for that.

          • Glen Olives

            I’m calm as a cucumber.

            You seem to be somewhat worked up though.

            Anyway, you’re welcome.

            Oh, I almost forget an interesting post script. In Richmond, Virginia yesterday, AG Jeff Sessions made a major policy speech, saying that marijuana leads to “life wrecking dependency” and “violence” and is only “slightly less awful” than heroin. He’s promising a crackdown. Hmmm. That should sound familiar to you, as it’s right out of Richard Nixon’s drug policy vade mecum. Thus it seems your protest that I was pre-judging this administration’s stance on drug enforcement was, well, wrong.

          • cooncats

            I’m grown up enough to realize that I won’t agree every thing any administration does. And I’m still waiting for the specific policy initiatives before prejudging. The horse is out of the barn on marijuana and it isn’t coming back. Too great of an opportunity for more taxation, dontcha know?

            You on the other hand probably started prejudging and making assumptions a year ago about any and all Republicans. It’s clear you prefer the Clinton brand of play for pay. I’ll admit that definitely puts you in sync with Mexican political “ideals.”

            Just remember what I counseled you about being careful what you ask for. Because Pence is what you’d get and I doubt you’d like that any better. You’d probably have a stroke over that one. LOL

  • Commander Barkfeather

    No one is suggesting appeasement or the ceding of authority to drug cartels. Drug legalization would put government controlled suppliers in competition with the cartels (ah-a lovely free market solution). Internecine war between cartels would put them at a distinct disadvantage in the marketplace, leaving the field open to government controlled supply. With government controlled supply come taxation, education, and interdiction. Would the market dry up? Of course not, but it would be managed. I used to be anti-legalization; no longer. We live in changing times.

    • Glen Olives

      The re-legalization of alcohol after prohibition seems like a pretty good roadmap. We no longer have alcohol- related trafficking violence. Bootleggers and their mafias are long gone.

      • 46patrick46

        Instead we have alcoholism , DUI Homicides, alcohol fueled Domestic Violence , and alcohol induced sexual assault, etc. Must be nice to reside in La La Land… but hey … you got the Oscar for Best Movie of the year.

        • Glen Olives

          We had all of those things during prohibition as well. Alcohol consumption actually increased during prohibition, as well as mafia violence to protect the illegal market and trafficking routes. That’s exactly what happens when you have an unregulated market.

  • Gamal Hosein

    Glen: “impossible to prove”; “impossible to win”, “victimless crimes”.

    Where we have failed, others will win.

    • Glen Olives

      Not sure what you’re getting at.

  • WestCoastHwy

    LMMFAO, Dean my man, you need to get out of the studio more often, “smell that smell'” (Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics). I’m a Professor of Economics and this article is about Monies! Whether spent of the research, cultivation, distribution, sale, use, or interdiction, it all generates large sums of Monies.

    So, Cops should just take orders and keep listening to their superiors and stop taking the Law into their hands; Cops are merely there to server and protect, not administer the Law, that is for the more educated, Judges.

    OK, back to the Economics of the situation, I have just invested into a cannabis corporation that has produced the first strain that mimics the effects of Heroin, although it does not substitute for the withdraws of Heroin, after treatment, it replaces the root of why these people are taking Heroin in the first place, “PAIN.”

    Therefore, as my most favorite person in the World always had said, “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life”, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”, We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his
    noble qualities… still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin”, “The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts”, “The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic” , “I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them”, “A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone”, “I have called this principle, by which, each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection” ‘ and “An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.”

  • Glen Olives

    Thanks for the link.

  • 46patrick46

    Gosh this author is ignorant of the history of narcotics and drug abuse in the USA.
    In 1875 San Francisco outlawed opium and opium dens. Why ? Problems in the negro community ? Why no, not at all, it was in the Chinese community. The Chinese population of San Francisco doubled and the Chinese brought their cultural values of opium use with them to America. To a Chinaman , opium is as much a necessity as whiskey to an Irishman ,or lager to a German. Wherever a Chinese community was found there was also found opium dens. The Chinese spread the use of opium based products with the spread of their population. Remember the “snake oil” salesman in the old Wild West who sold a liquid guaranteed to make bald men grow hair and heal the sick ? That was liquid opium my friend. Chinese opium and cheap Chinese labor led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

    In 1909 the USA banned the importation and possession of smoking opium. Smoking opium Exclusion Act.
    1914 Harrison Act outlawed importing/exporting , manufacturing and distribution of opium & cocaine without registering with the federal government. In the 1920’s the USA experienced a Codine epidemic among women and children as drugs were legally sold over the counter at the “Drug Store”. Women mostly were stay at home moms in the 1920’s and when bored drank Codine cough syrup to make themselves feel better. When the children were “colicky” mom was there to administer liquid Codine cough syrup to make the kids feel better.
    When Dad arrived home from work he found an inebriated household awaiting him. That Codine epidemic in the WHITE community caused Congress to act and pass legislation requiring a doctor’s prescription for certain types of drugs. The War on Drugs has nothing to do with Negroes , Nixon or Republicans, nice try olive.

    Eventually the Drug manufacturers tired of the stigma attached to their product line and reestablished their image. Since many , if not most , Drugs were being outlawed , the industry went through a name change.
    Drugs became Phamaesuticals and the Drug Store became the Pharmacy. The word “Drug” took on an illegal connotation. Dope fiends take “Drugs” and sick people take medication. See the difference ?

    Drug addictions occurred in American society leading to epidemics which had to be confronted via legislation.
    It had nothing to do with Republican or Democrat politics.

    • gildone84 .

      Let’s clarify something: Olives never said drug laws themselves were always the result of politics. He said the War on Drugs is political because the laws have been used to persecute specific groups of people and the facts support him. The most recent phase of the drug war (the last 45 years) is definitely related to politics. Apparently, you don’t believe John Erlichman’s own words (Nixon’s domestic policy chief) quoted above about why the Nixon administration ramped up the drug war? What Erlichman said isn’t news. It has been known for a long time, but Nixon wasn’t the first. There was Harry Anslinger before him who was chief of the Narcotics Bureau and was looking for something to preserve his job after Prohibition ended. He had a hand in the “Reefer Madness” nonsense of the 1930s. He was openly racist and definitely used it to persecute African Americans and Mexicans. He approached Billy Holiday’s heroin use in a complete opposite manner from that of Judy Garland or Senator Joseph McCarthy. He hounded Billy Holiday, had her followed and threatened and prevented her from getting methadone in the hospital. Judy Garland he counseled to “take more vacations” then looked the other way. With Senator Joseph McCarthy he looked the other way.

      So it’s not about when the laws were passed, but how they were executed, by whom, and for what purpose.

      What Americans TODAY know as the “War on Drugs” definitely ties back to Nixon and his political strategy. If you don’t want to believe Mr. Olives, then you can find the Erlichman interview, which was published in Harper’s Magazine in 1994, pretty easily. If you can’t find it on the internet, try a library.

      On a related note: as for the Opium Exclusion Act and Harrison Act, I submit that the addiction problems of the time were more the result of the liberal marketing and sale of legal and unregulated products by pharmaceutical companies and snake-oil salesman. “Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup” was one of the most popular of such products. It was marketed as a remedy for all kinds of things, including teething and restless infants, a sleep aid, restoring the “droopy spirits of weary mothers”, and several others. http://www.nytimes.com/1860/12/01/news/mrs-winslow-s-soothing-syrup-for-children-teething-letter-mother-lowell-mass.html

      The decision to outlaw them seemed like a good idea at the time, but we have 100 years of experience now screaming loudly at us that prohibition doesn’t work.

  • 46patrick46

    You failed to mention who is importing drugs into the USA. It’s the “nice” Mexican peasant crossing the border with a back pack and a bundle of drugs as he renders service as a Drug Mule.

    Build the Wall… Make it Tall… Deport them All… Dat’s all y’all.

    Viva México ja ja ja

  • Mike S

    It is obvious that the “drug war” can not be won as it is now being fought. Legalize and regulate like we do alcohol/tobacco and treat those who become addicted as a public heath problem with rehabilitation readily available. I would also strongly advocate mandatory drug education in junior high and high school with an emphasis on physical and mental heath issues from addiction. Too many youth think they are invulnerable and don’t understand the devastation of addiction. Money spent in those ways would go a lot further than interdiction & incarceration.

    Why is it so many on the right can not see addiction as a health problem?

  • Ronald L. Cain

    Drug Cartels and Human Trafficking
    By: Ronald L. Cain

    President Donald Trump continues proclaiming he is going to build a border wall. That American taxpayers will pay for the wall. That he would force Mexico to reimburse America. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has firmly said that Mexico will not pay for the wall.

    Mexico’s government has done little to stop both drug trafficking or human trafficking. The government’s failed response to drug and human trafficking has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 50,000 individuals in Mexico – that includes judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, reporters and everyday citizens.

    Reporters in cities on both sides of the border are reluctant to report on drug and human trafficking. They fear for their life; fear for their families.

    Illegal aliens, from south of the border, has been a major issue stimulating vigorous debate. What many may not be aware of is that the Mexican drug cartels, in addition to smuggling drugs, smuggle illegal aliens across the border. They have to pay the drug cartels thousands of dollars to be smuggled into the U.S. No numbers are available, but according to the Border Patrol, hundreds have been murdered by the drug cartels. Others have died for various reasons – starvation, lack of water, drowning trying to swim across the Rio Grande River.

    Many trying to enter the U.S. illegally are from other Central American countries – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — where human rights abuse is ramped. They are refugees fleeing for their lives.

    The Northern Triangle region of Central America — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — has the highest murder rate in the world for a region not at war. The region is also plagued by kidnappings, forced gang recruitment, extortion and sexual violence. Migrants, including many women and children, have fled to neighboring countries and the U.S. in droves, at particularly high numbers starting in 2014. In 2016, the U.S. apprehended nearly 400,000 people, mostly from the Northern Triangle, along the U.S.-Mexico border, up from the previous year. As a part of its response, the U.S. State Department announced a program called the Protection Transfer Agreement.

    Under the PTA, the U.S. is supposed to pre-screen vulnerable applicants and transfer those with the greatest need to Costa Rica, where they can wait in safety while their refugee cases are processed, before being resettled to the U.S. or another country. But as of November 2016, apparently only one Salvadoran family had been relocated through the program,

    The U.S. can go halfway around the world and start wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question begs to be asked: Why cannot the U.S. do more to address human rights abuse in our own hemisphere? The simple answer: No oil. And bananas are not a hot commodity.

    Building a wall, at a projected cost of $10 billion plus, is nothing more than a political ploy to divert attention away from addressing the real issues.

    John Walsh, the longtime host of America’s Most Wanted, and current host of the Justice Network airing on WMAZ channel 13-3, has offered some ideas worth considering. “One, many migrants from Mexico working in agriculture haven’t seen their family in years. Give them green cards so they can safely go back and forth across the border. Two, there are a lot of bad illegals. Find out who they are and put them in jail. Everybody else: We’ll swab your mouth and if you’re not a felon, you can stay and work and you’ll be a citizen in five or six years.”

    Trump’s one Executive Order fits all is not a well thought out sensible solution. I can agree with the part, as Walsh suggested, find the bad illegals and throw them into the hoosegow. But separating families is not a rational solution.

    On the campaign trail, Trump proclaimed he would eradicate the drug cartels on day one if elected president. And he told an audience of Hollywood conservatives that the U.S. “should have invaded Mexico instead of Iraq.” (I do not agree with Trump on much. But I do agree that it would have made more sense to have invaded Mexico rather than Iraq.)

    The so-called war on drugs has been going on for over 40 years. It was recently reported that the U.S. has spent over $1 trillion on the drug war and what has it accomplished? The problem is worse today than when the drug war commenced.

    The city of Chicago has inherited the unflattering distinguish of being the murder capitol of America. Chicago is not alone in murders and other deaths. Other cities are experiencing the same problem. Many, if not most, are directly or indirectly related to drug deaths. In Mexico, 2016 was the bloodiest in Tijuana’s history, with 910 homicides.

    Without defining what kind of aid, Trump proclaimed he would provide federal aid to Chicago to curtail or eliminate the violence.

    Will Trump be successful stopping drug and human trafficking? In his inauguration speech, he came across as a maverick, criticizing both political parties. Will he be successful accomplishing what previous administrations have failed to do?

    I wish Trump success. But the rich and powerful investors and shadow men understand that the drug business, and cheap human labor from south of the border, is big business — and will do whatever it takes to keep turning a profit on the blood and suffering of others. For-profit prisons are earning millions. Under the ‘stop and seize’ rule, law enforcement can seize money and property without due process. (See footnotes.)

    Short of invading Mexico, I do not foresee that any action will be taken to stop the flow of drugs or human trafficking from south of the border. Building a border wall is, as the saying goes, ‘only kicking the can down the road.’ It does nothing to stop human trafficking, human rights abuse or corrupt regimes in the region.

    Footnote: For-profit prisons

    President Obama issued a directive stopping the use of private prisons. President Trump has now reversed Obama’s directive after groups donated to his campaign.

    Private prison companies, which stand to make big gains under President Trump’s tough new immigration orders, have contributed big sums to pro-Trump groups, including the organization that raised a record $100 million for his inauguration last month.

    GEO Group, one of the nation’s largest for-profit prison operators, donated $250,000 to support Trump’s inaugural festivities, Pablo Paez, the company’s vice president of corporate relations, told USA TODAY.

    That is on top of the $225,000 that a company subsidiary donated to a super PAC that spent some $22 million to help elect Trump. Another prison operator, CoreCivic, gave $250,000 to support Trump’s inauguration, recently filed congressional reports show.

    For-profit prison companies’ hopes for significant gains under the Trump administration already are coming to fruition. The Justice Department rescinded the Obama administration order to phase out the use of private-prison contracts in the federal Bureau of Prisons.

    Footnote: Stop and seize

    Since 2007, the DEA has taken $3.2 billion in cash from people not charged with a crime. (The Washington Post, March 29, 2017, By Christopher Ingraham)

    Under ‘Stop and seize,’ aggressive police officers have taken hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes. (The Washington Post, September 6, 2014)

    There are questions related to the civil asset forfeiture, a controversial law enforcement tool that allows police to seize cash and property from people who have not been convicted of a crime ― and in many cases, have not even been charged. Under this system — where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use — has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses.

    In a one-line order, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case related to the practice. But in an accompanying statement, Justice Clarence Thomas questioned whether civil forfeiture could withstand legal scrutiny. Thomas wrote: “I am skeptical that this historical practice is capable of sustaining, as a constitutional matter, the contours of modern practice.”

    Sen. Rand Paul has long taken the lead in calling for the reform of civil asset forfeiture laws, a controversial police practice in which authorities basically steal the property of citizens without due process and little recourse. Billions have been seized from citizens by the police based on nothing more than suspicion, which many see as a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment.