By John Howell
I honestly believe that the August 23 shooting death of the young man following the North Panola football game as well as shooting deaths and violence that plague so many in this country can be laid at the feet of a failed drug war.
What the drug war that began — maybe it was with President Nixon who first used the term back in the early 1970s or back in the 1930s in the days of Harry Anslinger’s leadership of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics — created and nourishes is a black market economy where prohibition laws guarantee price support for contraband.
In the black market, buyer and seller have no contracts, no legal recourse to resolve disputes, so what happens? The free contraband market (which is really not a free market at all considering the government guaranteed price support mentioned in the last paragraph) becomes a free fire market. The outcome first devastated U. S. cities and then quickly found its way to the Mayberries.
Meanwhile, we have saddled our law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys and courts with an impossible task. At one hand our laws have created powerful market forces that keep illegal drug prices high enough to encourage a constant supply of people — organized into cartels at the top; gangs at the street — willing to take risk for the profit.
And on the other hand we demand that law enforcement make them stop.
The result has filled our prisons to overflow, made felons of people for mere possession of limited amounts of contraband, made thieves out of contraband addicts, jaded law enforcement with over-reliance on “snitches,” created whole underground economies and armies and ad nauseam.
So is the solution then throwing out all restrictions on any drug that anyone seeks for self-medication and/or recreation?
Nope, that’s insane.
But another definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.