Worldview Weekendby Cliff Kincaid
The conservative Townhall.com website, owned by the Salem Communications company, a Christian firm, is distributing a column by Steve Chapman claiming that the legalization of marijuana will somehow undermine the power of the Mexican drug trafficking organizations and usher in a new era of peace and tranquility north of the border. The silly column more appropriately belongs on a website associated with George Soros, the moneybags behind the drug legalization movement.
"Mexico is the biggest supplier of cannabis to the United States," he writes. "Control of that market is one of the things that Mexican drug cartels are willing to kill for. Legalizing weed in this country would be their worst nightmare. Why? Because it would offer Americans a legitimate supply of the stuff."
What he fails to realize is the fact that the Mexican drug cartels have already infiltrated the U.S. and are growing the "stuff" in the United States. Hence, legalization could have the effect of making these criminals into "legitimate" businessmen. "Big Marijuana" could join "Big Pharma" as another powerful special interest group. In order to be consistent, "Big Cocaine" and "Big Meth" would have to follow.
"Mexican DTOs [Drug Trafficking Organizations] have expanded their cultivation operations into the United States, an ongoing trend for the past decade," notes the recently released National Drug Threat Assessment for 2010. "Well-organized criminal groups and DTOs that produce domestic marijuana do so because of the high profitability of and demand for marijuana in the United States. These groups have realized the benefits of producing large quantities of marijuana in the United States, including having direct access to a large customer base, avoiding the risk of detection and seizure during transportation across the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders, and increasing profits by reducing transportation costs."
The situation has gotten so bad, according to the report, that "Significant quantities of cannabis are cultivated on public lands, particularly by Mexican DTOs and criminal groups, as evidenced by high and increasing eradication figures."
Rather than legalization, the obvious answer is border control, including the building of a fence across the southern border of the U.S., and the eradication of the gangs and their crops in the U.S.
The activist group American Border Patrol has produced a dramatic video documenting how the portions of the fence which have been built have reduced drug smuggling and illegal immigration from Mexico. What is needed, they argue, is more and better fencing.
Chapman's column was apparently prompted by the announcement that a measure to legalize marijuana will be on the California ballot this November. However, his approach is the equivalent of giving amnesty to the "undocumented" and raising the white flag of surrender. It makes illegal activity into something that is suddenly being recognized as lawful. But making it legal doesn't make the harm go away.
But Chapman is not alone. Over at the Fox News Channel, Judge Andrew Napolitano has become a prominent advocate of drug legalization and features interviews with apologists for the drug culture. On his "Freedom Watch" FoxNews.com program, for example, Napolitano has interviewed Paul Armentano, describing this "High Times" magazine contributor and official of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) as an "expert" and allowing him to spew such nonsense as that smoking marijuana, which includes cancer-causing properties, can somehow prevent cancer.
While advocates of legalization claim the measure will produce tax revenue for the state, "the cost to our communities will be significantly greater," notes Scott Chipman, a San Diego businessman. He says a 2009 Rand Corporation analysis states that the tax revenues being projected from legalization will be significantly less than asserted and that the cost to taxpayers of treating the myriad social problems from increased use will actually put a further strain on the state budget.
Carla Lowe, chairman of Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM), predicts that legalization in California will lead to increased use of the drug, resulting in more high school dropouts, gangs, crime and drugged driving cases.
Forest Tennant, M.D., the former mayor of West Covina, says the provision in the legalization measure that would authorize local governments to regulate and tax the drug makes no sense. "In order to protect the public, drugs like cannabis that have potential adverse health effects need to be standardized, packaged, and regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration," he says. "The idea that every city and county in California has the ability to safely and competently control aspirin, much less a dangerous drug like cannabis, is an idea that is laughable and must be rejected."
Distribution of so-called "medical marijuana" in California is already out of control, as the case of the Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell demonstrates. Despite a history of mental problems, he got a "medical marijuana" card from a pro-pot doctor and proceeded to travel from California to the Pentagon, where he opened fire and wounded two security guards before being killed in the crossfire. Bedell was a psychotic pothead who thought the drug should be the official currency of the U.S. and believed in the "inside job" theory of 9/11Â¯the idea that U.S. officials deliberately sacrificed nearly 3,000 lives in a scheme to justify war in the Middle East.
On the same day of Bedell's armed assault, however, the Obama Administration's Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), came out in strong opposition to drug legalization in a major speech to the California Chiefs of Police. He said legalization was a "non-starter" because of marijuana's scientifically documented harmful health effects.
He also described some of the serious problems associated with the "medical marijuana" dispensaries in California and said that "science should determine what a medicine is, not a popular vote."
However, his hands in this area have been tied by Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement that federal resources won't be used to close down the "legal" marijuana business. Holder is implementing an Obama campaign promise to leave the marijuana "clinics" alone.
As noted by John Walters, former ONDCP director under President George W. Bush, in a column titled, "Obama Just Says No to Soros," some of the officials running Obama's ONDCP and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are not following the advice of George Soros, the billionaire who funds the drug legalization and "medical marijuana" movements and is a financial backer of Obama and the Democratic Party. But Walters is not optimistic that Obama will personally take a leadership role and try to take back America in the same way that President Alvaro Uribe has all but defeated the drug trafficking terrorists in Colombia. That was a "great drug war victory," Walters notes.
It speaks volumes that the term "war on drugs," like the phrase "war on terrorism," has been abandoned by the Obama Administration because the concept of a war implies a desire for victory.
Anti-drug activists are now looking for Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., to take a stand for victory, at least in the sense of publicly telling the truth about marijuana. "As America's Doctor," her bio states, "she provides the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation."
They want Dr. Benjamin to use the power of her office to inform the American people that there is a close scientific correlation between marijuana use and various mental problems, and that marijuana damages all major organs of the body, including the brain, lungs, reproductive, and immune systems.
Such a stand, however, would make her a public enemy of drug legalization groups like the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and the Marijuana Policy Project.
Accurate information about the extent and nature of the drug problem is necessary because of the propaganda emanating from the likes of "conservative" columnist Steve Chapman, who had preceded his call for legalization of marijuana with a column about the virtues of "medical marijuana."
Over at the Fox News Channel, Andrew "The Judge" Napolitano of the Fox News Channel has not only been promoting legal dope but has become a big booster of radio personality Alex Jones, the 9/11 "inside job" advocate who is now offering a video, "How Weed Won the West," about how marijuana is supposedly a "safe medicine" and should be legalized in California.
In addition to his appearances on the Napolitano program, Jones has emerged as a regular guest on Russia Today television, an official propaganda outlet for the Kremlin, where he defended the Russian invasion of Georgia and claimed that the U.S., NATO and Israel had provoked Moscow.
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.