Article by John Sinclair.
Only the most nave, cynical or deluded among us can subscribe to the pervasive mythology of drug police, prosecutors and judges as fearless warriors valiantly fighting a depraved horde of heartless pushers and evil dope fiends whose anti-social pursuit of self-gratification by getting high threatens to destroy the American way of life and everything it stands for.
The War on Drugs has served primarily to construct a police state apparatus basically unchecked in its pursuit of power and control over elements of our society deemed undesirable and detrimental to the economic and cultural forces that shape and direct our national life.
Start with this: There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with getting high. People have been getting high as long as there have been people. People get high on beer, wine, whiskey, vodka and gin without criminal sanction. They get high on pills prescribed by their doctors or purchased on the black market. And people get high on marijuana or cocaine or heroin or whatever they desire for the physical and mental effects.
People get high when they want to. They obtain the drugs they crave however and wherever they can, and if they can’t buy them over the counter somewhere they will find them in the drug underworld and pay whatever price is required to get what they want. People are relentless in their pursuit of the drugs they want to get high on, and they generally devise some sort of way to make it happen despite the various obstacles thrust in their way by economic circumstances, physical dislocation and the formidable forces of law and order arrayed against them wherever they turn.
Marijuana was legal in the United States until 1937. Cocaine could be purchased over drugstore counters until well into the 20th century, and heroin wasn’t really demonized until the second half of the 1940s. In passing their draconian laws against use, possession and distribution of these once-tolerated recreational substances, our federal and state legislative bodies repeatedly cited ethnic and cultural minorities as the principal offenders and feared that their example would corrupt and undermine the very fabric of American life.