Now it's a monster and will not obey...

by mindpilot @, la Playa Buenavista, Saturday, June 04, 2022, 09:00 (32 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Almost every US president manipulated the law in an attempt to eliminate their opponents. It's what political leaders do. The War on Drugs was--is--an attempt to remove such undesirables as peaceniks, non-capitalists and black people from the political discourse.

The US has created a multi-billion-dollar juggernaut of law enforcement agencies surrounding a list of "illicit" chemicals.

In Mexico, with US-provided weapons, and a US-provided drug market, the cartels filled that vacuum.

Problem is even if drugs were completely legalized tomorrow, not much would change. There was a sheriff who announced that even if cannabis were legal, he would still arrest people for it. Those enormous agencies like the DEA are too rich and powerful to die.

On this side of the border the same situation. The cartels have been allowed to become so rich and powerful--fueled by US money and weapons--that they are now simply part of the socio-political landscape. If or when legalization kills the US black market, the cartels will find something else to do. Clearly, they are already doing that.

Now, here's where I part company with most legalization advocates: Taxation. Taxes which single out things like alcohol are "sin taxes"; the idea--born of the Christian-driven alcohol prohibition--being that these things are sinful, and even though legal, partakers should still face some kind of punishment. Just make 'em pay a small fine up front.

Contemporarily, "legal and taxed" has become the mantra for legalization with advocates getting all giddy at the prospect of Colorado-like revenue streams.

Point of sale taxes are inherently regressive; they fall hardest on the poor. When something becomes unaffordable, a black market will develop to fill that need. When cigarettes cost 10-15 dollars a pack, people don't quit, they find other means. Which is how Eric Garner got shot for selling singles to people who can't afford a whole pack.

Which brings me to America's current gun problem. It sounds like a damn fine idea to ban assault rifles. But the lawmakers need to think long and hard about what kinds of black market might be created and how to deal with that.

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