The Democrats' 2012 Victory Plan
The Democrats have a plan. A plan to defeat the Republicans in 2012. Impossible, you say? Well, read on, because I not only think it is possible. I think it can work.
Let me start with a poll. About 67% of Americans say drug prohibition is a failure. Relative to cannabis, American opinion is divided along these lines.
The groups that are the most supportive of making cannabis legal in the U.S. are Democrats (63%), Independents (61%), Men (57%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%).
That is going to hurt a lot because men tend to favor the Republican Party and women like Democrats. If the Democrats come out against drug prohibition, it will seriously weaken Republican prospects.
It can't happen, you say? Don't be so sure. Things could change very radically when Ken Burns' movie about alcohol prohibition premieres on PBS this October 2nd . That will bring the subject of drug prohibition into the national dialogue. But that is not all.
The NAACP is making drug prohibition a focus of its efforts. And they aren't the only ones. The organization Blacks in Government (BIG) is also at it. On top of that, black opinion leaders are going after the president on the subject. Hard. And for the last few months, just about continuously. From Charles Blow at the New York Times to Wilton D. Alston at Lew Rockwell and a lot of folks in between.
The theme is that the Drug War is racist. And who gets the racist label in the press these days? I'll let you guess. So is the drug war racist? Well, let me give you the stats, and you decide.
Blacks constitute 13 percent of all drug users, but 35 percent of those arrested for drug possession, 55 percent of persons convicted, and 74 percent of people sent to prison.
This is corroborated by former DEA agent Matthew F. Fogg.
Fogg covered D.C. for the DEA during the late 80s and 90s. In a statement from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Fogg says, "I personally witnessed racially biased enforcement procedures when I ran a joint DEA task force ... When I requested equal enforcement of upscale suburban areas, I met internal resistance."
Imagine that. A government program that at least internally is targeting blacks. They wouldn't dare say something like that openly.
Ah. But it gets worse. The NIDA says that "Addiction Is A Genetic Disease." About 20% of the population is genetically susceptible, and about half those get that susceptibility triggered. And what is the trigger? Trauma. Violent trauma. And the chief cause in the U.S. is child abuse. About 70% of female heroin users were sexually abused as children. And marijuana? Read this: "PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System." So how can the Democrats use this against Republicans? If they want to go easy they can say that "the Drug War abuses abused children." If they want to be hard they can say "Republicans like abusing abused children." Looks like a good talking point to me. Republican ignorance about the nature of drug abuse plays right into their hands. Just to make it perfectly clear:
People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers.
There are three ten-minute videos here where a former police chief explains how the Drug War makes everything worse. It increases addiction (true), increases crime (true), finances terrorists -- Osama bin Laden made most of his money selling heroin to the U.S. -- and is breaking down the black family (true). If you have only ten minutes, watch video #3. What does he call drug prohibition? A "self-perpetuating and constantly expanding policy disaster." Sounds like the perfect government program to me.
Most Republicans (except the libertarians) are very late to the game. And one final point for my constitutionalist friends:
I never noticed a prohibition amendment. Except for alcohol.