Forum Thread

The Woman Who Made the "War on Drugs" What it is Today

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    If you want to blame any one person for our nations seemingly never ending "War on Drugs," all you need to do is look back to 1982. While President Nixon declared the "war" in 1971, the Reagan White House turned it into an all out offensive. From instituting the mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenders that has exploded our prison population and bankrupted states to pushing through the Anti-Drug Abuse Act through Congress, President Reagan is one of the people solely responsible for the current state of affairs with regards to our nations drug policies. Standing by his side and encouraging him all along was his wife, First Lady Nancy Reagan.

    Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" crusade has lived on well past its prime. While completely neglecting all of the various social factors regarding drugs and drug abuse, Ms. Reagan's simplistic world view helped create a culture of misinformation and politicization about drug abuse that still thrives today. She also never considered that it may have been her husbands neoconservative fiscal policies that caused the poverty and disillusionment that sometimes leads to drug addiction.

    Thoughts on Nancy Reagan and the impact she had and continues to have in our culture, especially in our nations drug policies?
  • Independent
    Bunnlevel, NC
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    well she nor he surely didn't legalize any drugs. cant say the same for the other side, but I understand why they did, a drugged mind is a happy mind and it means votes,so.....and according to forbes, and I can type the link if you need, he totally reversed what carter did and brought the country OUT of the slump carter left it in dropping actually improving the economy of the country. so yeah im not seeing anything close to what you are saying when I look at actual facts and numbers
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I realize the govt. needs to try to control drugs. I think they've done a very poor job. Speaking of POOR, that's probably the reason so many impoverished people sell drugs. How else can they make as profitable a living ?
    There are so many things that our country needs. If the costs of the war on drugs was instead spent of improving our education in this country.... or was spent on needed infrastructure... (the number of bridges in the USA that are in serious need of repair is staggering), we would be in far better shape. Perhaps an investment in retraining displaced workers would have been a good investment. Many tangible things the money could have been spent on. Instead we built prisons.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Since illegal drugs are so prevalent in America and the political landscape is deplorable in addressing the problem, doesn't it appear that maybe the politicians are funded to a great extent by illegal drug money? I don't know where to look for that connection, but if our lame Supreme Court would pass a law presented from a lame Congress on campaign finance to show all money funding politicians and campaigns, we might just see where the money is coming from. I believe there is a connection. America has the technology and the enforcement to put illegal drugs on high priority. There is no priority in America on illegal drugs, it's a joke to even suggest law enforcement is doing their best. There has to be a high office managing the illegal drugs in this country. All those illegal drugs coming from South America, Asia and Indonesia, America is allowing the infiltration of drugs coming into this country. Nobody is putting the hammer down on protecting our borders, so illegal drugs are invited in to prey on our children. It is a conspiracy, no doubt about it and I believe politics at the highest levels in government is involved aided by Big Business.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    AMC,
    It's what some people buy to feel good. It's not truly some big conspiracy theory. I doubt drug traffickers are funding
    any politicians and I don't think big business is involved in any way either. Some things are just what they are.
  • Independent
    Massachusetts
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    Regarding drugs and the threads I've just read:

    A few months ago on PBS there was a documentary about the U, S, "drug problem".
    As recently noted by others on Demo Hub, one of the problems is that the war on drugs is
    a solution!! The "drug demographic" of the inner city has no other entrepreneurial option.
    "Dealer-derivatives"-(income) is the only "capitalistic creativity" possible. For there are
    no jobs available, no enterprise-income alternatives, yet welfare provided seed money
    for inventory to sell (weed, snort, shoot, etc.).

    But what about the benefit for the establishment: law enforcement, municipalities.
    To perpetuate the obviously failed "war on drugs" is like a "Pyrrhic loss" -- you
    don't win, but look at the advantages of keeping the war going!!! With "criminal" activity
    as the "market-economy" (drugs), you keep that echelon and ethnicity of the population
    from even trying to infiltrate employment in legitimate positions. Their status quo of
    squalor is survival, drugs the economic currency, so to speak. Humiliating homeostasis.

    But the situation is more insidious. From the inner-city are seized the captives, the "prisoners
    of drug-war" -- those arrested for dealing a few grams of this or that on corner, in alcove, or
    other locales. So interesting the criminal-proportion of minority-incarceration (at least the
    sentencing differential for crack or powder has been corrected). But the jails and prisons are
    distortionally crowded with disproportionately dark-skinned males. yes, gets 'em off
    the streets, out of job-quests, and makes of them the "economy-enslaved" (not to quarry stones
    or build walls and cities, etc. as in ancient concerns of the conquered peoples). Now, they are
    the basis of the . . . incarceration-economy.

    Prisons are big business. More and more private-enterprise entities, kind of like hostage-hotels
    operated by Wackenhutt, CCA, Cornell Corrections, and others (search Private Sector Prison
    Companies on Internet). These companies represent Capitalism: after having fed local
    economy via land value enhancement, construction jobs and materials purchases . . providing
    ongoing with wages paid to guards, staff, providers (foodservice, etc.) and management).
    The State (which has franchised-out the operation, if not also concrete-and-razorwire essence
    of the place, derives income (capital return) to amortize any initial (tax-derived) investment.
    Yes, "hostage-hotels" is quite the case, the State kind of like the Marriott or Best Western or
    Hilton or other . . . the corporate entities, of which the "elements" (the actual hotels or motels)
    are owned and operated by "subcontractor" companies.

    The situation has become a self-serving socio-economic circulation. The more prisons, the more
    prisoners there can be. The more prisoners as "guests" in these "House Of The Rising Sun hotels",
    the more the private operator (CCA or Wackenhutt, etc.) make. The more they make, the more
    taxes (and other) payments to the state in which the Joint is.

    The prison situation has become, itself, an addiction!!! An addiction and dependence on the income
    from the incarceration-corporations. A comparison is the South, where the multi-million dollar
    payments from the "convicted criminal tobacco industry" have become in some cases the prime
    prop of state economy, tax revenues and federal distributions reduced. And so the inducement, or
    even necessity, keeping the tobacco industry healthy (for focus on the health of the smokers
    would actually be economically detrimental!!!)

    Another analogy, comparison, image-overlay . . . . when you see pictures of the overcrowding in
    prisons, double-decker beds (bunks) hardly spaced, filling a former prison auditorium or gym, you
    might also find "factory farm" conditions (for chickens and pigs) coming to mind. Cram 'em in. The
    more, the "moneyer". Increase the product (prisoners) and more jobs are created. Expand the
    franchises (more prisons) and more prisoners, more, more. A "prisoner-ponzi-scheme" into which
    the population's taxes are pumped.

    The solution? In my estimation? There won't be one. The U. S. incarceration system and profitabiity
    is so drastically disparate from other countries (even China) that it's almost part of our national
    notational identity. For what would happen if we discharged the thousands out into society, out
    into the marketplace? And that's another aspect of the situation. It's a situation of just plain
    containment of a surplus of souls!!!

    What should be the solution as far as drugs are concerned? Federal and state control (like with
    liquor). State drug-store would sell drugs ("pharmacies" would be the term for CVS and Walgre . . .)
    but wait a minute. Why not let the big-chain pharmacies sell toke or snort or even, (controlled-
    content) some solutions of "shoot"? Big-business private sector drugs-in-pharmacies would be
    the means to control and capitalize. And through government and agri-businesses, the crops of
    weed and poppies etc. could be grown, just a variation on the addictive products such as are
    now all but universally pushed on the populace -- corn-oil sweeteners and such,.

    But another idea.
    Back to basics of America. (but under state inspection and control, of course)
    Little store-front, mom-and-pop dealerships. White curtains on the show windows through
    which are seen some jars of this or that, maybe even a couple plants, some bongs, pipe . . .
    Dude goes up to door, As he opens it, a little bell tinkles. He approaches the counter.
    An elderly woman smiles at him as he swaggers up.
    She asks, "And how many grams can I get you today, young man? "
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    It's probably more likely that Nancy Raygun was on drugs most of the time while promoting her "war on drugs" publicly.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    alongcameaschneider Wrote: Regarding drugs and the threads I've just read:

    A few months ago on PBS there was a documentary about the U, S, "drug problem".
    As recently noted by others on Demo Hub, one of the problems is that the war on drugs is
    a solution!! The "drug demographic" of the inner city has no other entrepreneurial option.
    "Dealer-derivatives"-(income) is the only "capitalistic creativity" possible. For there are
    no jobs available, no enterprise-income alternatives, yet welfare provided seed money
    for inventory to sell (weed, snort, shoot, etc.).

    But what about the benefit for the establishment: law enforcement, municipalities.
    To perpetuate the obviously failed "war on drugs" is like a "Pyrrhic loss" -- you
    don't win, but look at the advantages of keeping the war going!!! With "criminal" activity
    as the "market-economy" (drugs), you keep that echelon and ethnicity of the population
    from even trying to infiltrate employment in legitimate positions. Their status quo of
    squalor is survival, drugs the economic currency, so to speak. Humiliating homeostasis.

    But the situation is more insidious. From the inner-city are seized the captives, the "prisoners
    of drug-war" -- those arrested for dealing a few grams of this or that on corner, in alcove, or
    other locales. So interesting the criminal-proportion of minority-incarceration (at least the
    sentencing differential for crack or powder has been corrected). But the jails and prisons are
    distortionally crowded with disproportionately dark-skinned males. yes, gets 'em off
    the streets, out of job-quests, and makes of them the "economy-enslaved" (not to quarry stones
    or build walls and cities, etc. as in ancient concerns of the conquered peoples). Now, they are
    the basis of the . . . incarceration-economy.

    Prisons are big business. More and more private-enterprise entities, kind of like hostage-hotels
    operated by Wackenhutt, CCA, Cornell Corrections, and others (search Private Sector Prison
    Companies on Internet). These companies represent Capitalism: after having fed local
    economy via land value enhancement, construction jobs and materials purchases . . providing
    ongoing with wages paid to guards, staff, providers (foodservice, etc.) and management).
    The State (which has franchised-out the operation, if not also concrete-and-razorwire essence
    of the place, derives income (capital return) to amortize any initial (tax-derived) investment.
    Yes, "hostage-hotels" is quite the case, the State kind of like the Marriott or Best Western or
    Hilton or other . . . the corporate entities, of which the "elements" (the actual hotels or motels)
    are owned and operated by "subcontractor" companies.

    The situation has become a self-serving socio-economic circulation. The more prisons, the more
    prisoners there can be. The more prisoners as "guests" in these "House Of The Rising Sun hotels",
    the more the private operator (CCA or Wackenhutt, etc.) make. The more they make, the more
    taxes (and other) payments to the state in which the Joint is.

    The prison situation has become, itself, an addiction!!! An addiction and dependence on the income
    from the incarceration-corporations. A comparison is the South, where the multi-million dollar
    payments from the "convicted criminal tobacco industry" have become in some cases the prime
    prop of state economy, tax revenues and federal distributions reduced. And so the inducement, or
    even necessity, keeping the tobacco industry healthy (for focus on the health of the smokers
    would actually be economically detrimental!!!)

    Another analogy, comparison, image-overlay . . . . when you see pictures of the overcrowding in
    prisons, double-decker beds (bunks) hardly spaced, filling a former prison auditorium or gym, you
    might also find "factory farm" conditions (for chickens and pigs) coming to mind. Cram 'em in. The
    more, the "moneyer". Increase the product (prisoners) and more jobs are created. Expand the
    franchises (more prisons) and more prisoners, more, more. A "prisoner-ponzi-scheme" into which
    the population's taxes are pumped.

    The solution? In my estimation? There won't be one. The U. S. incarceration system and profitabiity
    is so drastically disparate from other countries (even China) that it's almost part of our national
    notational identity. For what would happen if we discharged the thousands out into society, out
    into the marketplace? And that's another aspect of the situation. It's a situation of just plain
    containment of a surplus of souls!!!

    What should be the solution as far as drugs are concerned? Federal and state control (like with
    liquor). State drug-store would sell drugs ("pharmacies" would be the term for CVS and Walgre . . .)
    but wait a minute. Why not let the big-chain pharmacies sell toke or snort or even, (controlled-
    content) some solutions of "shoot"? Big-business private sector drugs-in-pharmacies would be
    the means to control and capitalize. And through government and agri-businesses, the crops of
    weed and poppies etc. could be grown, just a variation on the addictive products such as are
    now all but universally pushed on the populace -- corn-oil sweeteners and such,.

    But another idea.
    Back to basics of America. (but under state inspection and control, of course)
    Little store-front, mom-and-pop dealerships. White curtains on the show windows through
    which are seen some jars of this or that, maybe even a couple plants, some bongs, pipe . . .
    Dude goes up to door, As he opens it, a little bell tinkles. He approaches the counter.
    An elderly woman smiles at him as he swaggers up.
    She asks, "And how many grams can I get you today, young man? "
    The crack to powder sentencing disparity went from 100-1 to 70 -1 ratio....and only for those under 500 grams of crack. basically under the old system if you had a 25 year sentence based on a prior but had very little drugs on your instant offense, there is no reduction for an inmate. the lower crack sentences benefitted a small percentage of inmates. It looked like a victory to the public who supported lower sentences....but it is a start.

    The law benefitted the first time offender with more than 5 grams but less than 50 grams. So it did nothing to relieve the overcrowding because it had very little effect on the people that needed it most. a sad reality. I was in federal prison when the law hit. Many got no relief