Sunday, August 19, 2012

Reason: Javier Sicilia- 'The Caravan For Peace Calls For an End to The Drug War'

Source:Reason Magazine- covering The Caravan of Peace.
Source:Real Life Journal 

"On August 12, where the wall between Mexico and the U.S. meets the Pacific Ocean, acclaimed Mexican poet Javier Sicilia and busloads of people who are fed up with the drug war launched the Caravan for Peace. Over the next several weeks, the Caravan will travel to 25 different U.S. cities with the goal of starting a serious national dialogue about the failure of drug prohibition.

Javier Sicilia, whose son was murdered by drug traffickers in 2011, described the drug war this way:

"This war's failure is devastating: the 23 million American drug consumers are far from diminishing but increasing instead; in the past 5 years, Mexico has accumulated almost 70 thousand dead, more than 20 thousand missing people, more than 250 thousand have been displaced, along with hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans, and these figures keep rising. The American gun manufacturers arm the organized crime through illegal trade, while the Mérida Initiative legally arms the Mexican army, fostering war. The American jails imprison millions of human beings because of drug consumption. The immigrants are criminalized on this side of the border and extorted or made to disappear on the other side; the temptation to militarize using the police regime emerges on both sides, while setting a deep crisis for democracy and undermining the greatness of open societies."  

Imagine if we had a war on junk food, junk drink, coffee, swimming, go carting, sky diving, alcohol and tobacco, steroids, sex, athletics, gambling, all things that can bring people pleasure, but come with certain risk factors. First, we would have a lot less insomniacs in America, because we would be such a dull country. But we would be country of prison inmates, because Americans do these activities everyday. And thats just for the people who would be arrested for having a good time. 

We simply don't have enough law enforcement officers to arrest everyone else. We would be arresting people for having a good time and how they live their own lives, not what they do to other people.

Think about it, what are laws for? To protect innocent people from criminals, not to protect people from themselves. Well, the War on Drugs is the opposite of that, because it arrests people for what they do to themselves, not what they do to innocent people. And people who support the War on Drugs, people who I call Drug Warriors, will say we have drunk driving laws. Well, thats obviously true and I support that, but we haven't labeled alcohol a drug thats really a narcotic considering how dangerous it is and the damage that can come from it, if it's abused, illegal at least since not prohibition.

If you don't like marijuana, you don't like the smell of it or whatever, I have some advice for you: don't use it, don't take it, don't use it at all, don't hangout with people who at least do it around you. Congratulations, because you've just made the decision not to use marijuana. And if you have kids, you should keep it away from them as well. 

But don't try to force other people not to be able to use marijuana legally. Because for one, just a practical reason, you won't be able to stop them. I mean talk about wasting time, you would be better off trying to pick up a beach ball with a baseball glove. But the other reason being its really none of your business unless they are friends, or relatives and they are abusing it. What you should do instead is mind your own damn business.

Worry about what happens in your own life and what you have control over, rather than what happens in other people's lives. The War on Drugs is about control, overprotection, trying to save people from themselves. Like the overprotected father who tries to lock his daughter in her bedroom until she's 21. For fear she might meet a dangerous guy. 

And most of the victims of this War, are the people who Drug Warriors claim they are trying to save people who have experimented with illegal narcotics and end up in the criminal justice system as a result. For what they've done to themselves, rather than what they've done to others.

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