By Saint John Hunt

With the near economic collapse in this country, and the massive bail outs for the banks, the borrowing of astronomical sums from China to keep our “system” propped up, and the decline of our infrastructure, welfare system, public education and drastic cuts in funding low cost clinics to see to our poor and middle class, one would think that our government would have a shortage of money. This is not the case.

According to the latest statistics available from drugpolicy.org, in 2012; the U.S. spent over 51 billion dollars annually on the war on drugs. The number of people arrested for NON violent drug charges in 2012 was 1.55 million. That comes out to roughly 4,250 persons each day!

The number of people arrested for simple possession of marijuana in 2012 was 658,231. The United States has the highest percent of its population incarcerated with 2,228,400 in 2012. That's one out of every 108 adults. The highest rate in the entire world! Just to give you another statistic by which you can compare, the number of persons in the U.S. that were diagnosed with AIDS in 2012 were 27,928.

According to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, in 2009, there was a drug arrest every 19 seconds
in the United States. In 2009, one out of every 100 American adults was behind bars. We have 22 percent of the world's prisoners but we only have 5 percent of the world's population. “Not one of the stated US drug policy goals of lowering the incidence of crime, addiction, drugavailability, or juvenile drug use, has been achieved. Instead, our approach has magnified these problems by creating a self-perpetuating, ever-expanding policy of destruction, yet the US still insists on continuing the war and pressuring other governments to perpetuate these same unworkable policies. The drug war wreakshavoc, funds terrorism, and causes major corruption around the globe.  This is the very definition of a failed public policy. This madness must cease!”(LEAP)

As we all know, and I mean 'we' in the sense of Americans, as well as in a larger sense, citizens of the world, prohibition during the 1920's was a failed domestic policy and after over a decade of the most brutal period of lawlessness and the rise of modern organized crime, prohibition was repealed. That is a fact which is undeniable. Then 50 years later, President Richard Nixon instigated the nation's second 'War on Drugs'. However pure of heart Nixon may have been, whether to stem the flow of heroin flooding our cities as a result of the war in Vietnam, or to rid the country of a 'new' enemy, he implemented what we now call the war on drugs. It is impossible, in my mind, for Nixon and his advisers, one of whom was my Father, to not have realized that the previous war on drugs (alcohol) enabled the rise of this country's massive diversion of money into the pockets of organized crime. I further state that it was because of prohibition that the organization of what was before, just criminal gangs at war with each other over relatively small earnings from vice and loan sharking was created.

Are you with me? Okay. So, the idea of large amounts of untraceable cash from our citizens, now going to drugs rather than illegal alcohol, an obvious and proven fact, loomed in glaring neon for all to see. Would it make sense, for the inevitability of millions and billions of dollars to once again flow into the pockets of organized crime as it had during the first war on drugs (alcohol)? I think not.

In my opinion, a third grader would be able to dissect the two options involved here. Option #1: the flow of billions of dollars goes into organized crime i.e. Mafia, and option #2: have agencies of our government become the benefactors of all this untraceable cash. It's a no brainier. If we had a controlling interest in these drugs, then we could divert the cash resulting from its sales back into our own government. In other words create a self perpetuating machine which would enable our government to side step normal requests for funding. This has been proved during the 1980's under Ronald Reagan. After being denied funding for covert ops in Nicaragua, the CIA put the drugs to money plan into use. Obtaining huge quantities of cocaine was no problem, and CIA and DEA personnel highjacked known shipments of narcotics bound for the world market. The next step was obvious. Using known high level drug dealers across the U.S. the CIA became the dealers new supplier. Soon, all that cash just poured into their hands. This enabled them to purchase guns and military equipment for their secret war against the Sandinista forces in Nicaragua. Problem solved.

As my friend and fellow author Roger Stone put it “our agencies go in and busts these huge shipments of drugs, what are the drug dealers gonna do, go to the cops?” “We are the cops!” “Secondly, we take the drugs and re- sell them on the underground market.” Beautiful! What a win win situation! Thirdly, we then turn around and become partners with the dealers that we busted. We have become the suppliers and the dealers. Put another way - governments run drugs for three reasons : the profit is huge, they cannot be stopped because they are the cops and they have the means to put the competition out of business.

What follows is a true and little known tale of a drug overlord and an offer he made to the United States. The drug kingpin was a General named Khun Sa. He was master and war lord of several provinces in the rich heroin producing states of Burma, also known as the 'golden triangle' for it's huge heroin production. He funded his army of about 1,000 by growing, processing and selling raw heroin. In October of 1981, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) attempted to assassinate Khun Sa. The attempt failed. According to the DEA the share of New York street heroin coming from Khun Sa was the “best in the business.” It was 90% pure, and almost all the heroin was coming from General Khun Sa. In 1989 Khun Sa offered to sell his entire heroin crop to the United States government for 50 million dollars a year or he would continue selling on the international narcotics market. We rejected his offer and the heroin just kept pouring in. It's hard to say what the outcome would have been if we had bought all his heroin but it surely would have reduced the quantity by a noticeable amount.

Once 911 happened, the public focus shifted from the war on drugs, to the war on terrorism. A few years pass by and it's almost like the war on drugs must have ended because how could we have that much cash to wage a trillion dollar war on “terror” AND a 55 billion dollar a year war on drugs? Think about that. And so, the war on drugs is not only alive and well (funded), it's coming to your town, your neighborhood, and your home.