Despite the state spending thousands of dollars a second – ticketing, kidnapping, caging, and killing evil drug users, the rate of lethal drug overdoses in the last 15 years has skyrocketed. According to the 2015 data on death rates from 2001-2014, released by the Centers for Disease control and Prevention this month:
- Prescription drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled since 2001
- Opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 2001
- Benzodiazepine overdose deaths have increased by more than 600% since 2001
- Cocaine overdose deaths are up 42% since 2001
- Heroin overdose deaths are up nearly 500% since 2001
Across the board, drug use and deaths associated with drug use have increased at alarming rates. No amount of AR-15s, SWAT police, MRAPs, or any other military gear has had a hand in lowering these statistics. In fact, the increase in overdose deaths nearly coincides with the increase in militarization in the last decade and a half.
One drug, or rather plant, which is still viciously sought after in the state’s immoral war on drugs is absent from the CDC’s report of overdose deaths. That plant is cannabis. In spite of some form of cannabis being legal in some fashion in 23 states, the government still violently and with extreme prejudice continues to seek out those who dare possess it.
If the CDC calculated the number of deaths inflicted by police while enforcing marijuana laws, that number would certainly be shocking and could even be deemed a risk to public health. Marijuana is, indeed, dangerous, but only because of what can happen to you if the police catch you with it.
Nothing highlights the hypocrisy, immorality, and sheer idiocy of the drug war quite like marijuana prohibition. Here we have a medicine that kills cancer cells, saves the lives of countless epileptic children, heals broken bones, relieves pain, treats PTSD, is not dangerous, and exhibits a variety of other incredible benefits – yet the state will kill you over it.
So why do these tyrants keep it illegal?
If you want to know who profits from ruining lives and throwing marijuana users in cages, we need only look at who bribes (also known as lobbies) the politicians to keep the war on drugs alive. Below is a list of the top five industries who need you locked in a cage for possessing a plant in order to ensure their job security.
- Police Unions: Coming in as the number one contributor to politicians for their votes to lock you in a cage for a plant are the police themselves. They risk taking massive pay cuts and losing all their expensive militarized toys without the war on drugs.
- Private Prison Corporations: No surprise here. The corporatist prison lobby is constantly pushing for stricter laws to keep their stream of tax dollars flowing.
- Alcohol and Beer Companies: These giant corporations hate competition, so why not pay millions to keep a cheaper and far safer alcohol alternative off the market?
- Pharmaceutical Corporations: The hypocrisy of marijuana remaining a Schedule 1 drug, “No Medical Use Whatsoever,” seems criminal when considering that pharmaceutical companies reproduce a chemical version of THC and can market and sell it as such. Ever hear of Marinol? Big pharma simply uses the force of the state to legislate out their competition; that happens to be nature.
- Prison Guard Unions: The prison guard unions are another group, so scared of losing their jobs, that they would rather see thousands of non-violent and morally innocent people thrown into cages than look for another job.
- What does it say about a society who’s resolute in enacting violence against their fellow human so they can have a job to go to in the morning?
The person who wants to ingest a substance for medical or recreational reasons is not the criminal. However, the person that would kidnap, cage, or kill someone because they have a different lifestyle, is a villain on many fronts.
When does this vicious cycle end?
The good news is that the drug war’s days are numbered. Evidence of this is everywhere. States are defying the federal government and refusing to lock people in cages for marijuana. A record number of law enforcement personnel are even quitting their jobs and joining the push to end the drug war.
Colorado and Washington served as a catalyst in a seemingly exponential awakening to the government’s immoral war. Following suit were Oregon, D.C., and Alaska. Medical marijuana initiatives are becoming a constant part of legislative debates nationwide. We’ve even seen bills that would not only completely legalize marijuana but deregulate it entirely, like corn.
Also, while the idea of treating an addict with compassion instead of violence is a radical notion in this country, in other countries, such as Portugal, its effects have been realized for more than a decade. In 2001, the Portuguese government decriminalized all drugs.
14 years later, drug use, crime, and overdoses have drastically declined in Portugal exposing the cruel reality of prohibition. Eventually, more states will adopt this approach, and the drug war tyrants will finally be outnumbered. As more and more states refuse to kidnap and cage marijuana users, the drug war will continue to implode. We must be resilient in this fight.
If doing drugs bothers you, don’t do drugs. When you transition from holding an opinion — to using government violence to enforce your personal preference, you become the bad guy. Please, for all that is good, don’t be the bad guy.
By Matt Agorist - Free Thought Project/Jan. 1, 2016
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Why the Number of Deaths Caused by Marijuana Matters