• How To Win the War on Drugs

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    Conservatives
    are unwilling to give up the war on drugs. They are convinced
    that there is a war of drug lords on innocent victims, beginning
    with teenage children, and they are uninterested in arguments
    for de-criminalization.

    Conservatives
    want the State to spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually
    on prisons to house convicted drug pushers — after the fact.
    Liberals want the State to spend at least an equal amount on treatment
    and rehabilitation — after the fact.

    I’m
    interested in shutting down the market for illegal drugs. I say
    that it takes two to tango — buyers and sellers — and
    I’m for shutting down the tango floor.

    We
    know where it is. There’s one in your town. There are probably
    more than one. These are dark places of the soul. The users come,
    desperate to buy a new high or maybe only a way to keep from getting
    the shakes. The sellers come, greedy for income from the sale
    of their destructive wares, despite the misery they sow.

    And
    then there are the innocents — children who have money in
    their pockets and time on their hands. They come in droves, looking
    for new thrills in a boring, meaningless environment.

    What
    we need is a clean sweep. We need to send local police, DEA officers,
    and the news media into these hell-holes and shut them down once
    and for all.

    I’m
    talking about the public schools.

    Every
    day, your local government sends out dozens or hundreds of yellow
    buses to round up the next generation of addicts. These psychologically
    weakened, carefully targeted victims are brought to the drug cartel’s
    central emporium, where sellers can make their initial, price-competitive
    offer — "The first one’s free!" — and their
    subversive incantation, "Try it; you’ll like it!" Only
    the Vice Principal stands between the users and the retail source
    of their addiction.

    Sellers
    go where the money is, and the people with the money are concentrated
    for seven hours a day in one convenient, rent-free location.

    Users
    and prospective users are herded into rooms where they must sit
    for hours in hard, wooden seats, to be lectured at by indoctrinators,
    whose job, by federal law, is to persuade these children that
    life can be meaningful and full of hope without the following:
    (1) the idea that God has any place in the classroom, the voting
    booth, or the public square; (2) the idea that there will be a
    final judgment (except for Adolph Hitler) that produces eternal
    consequences; (3) the idea that mankind is the work of God rather
    than purposeless, random forces of impersonal nature; (4) the
    idea that man was placed on earth by God to exercise dominion
    over the creation, rather than being merely a primate species
    with the unique competitive edge of opposable thumbs; (5) the
    idea that individuals are legally and morally responsible for
    their actions, including their obligation to save for their retirement
    years and to pay for their medical care; (6) the idea that there
    are final answers to divisive moral questions (except regarding
    Hitler); and (7) the idea that a relevant, foundational education
    for all of life can be successfully imparted in an institution
    that doesn’t employ full-time coaches. (Technically, point #7
    is not mandated by federal law; rather, it is mandated by local
    voters who will pressure the school board to fire the principal
    if the football team goes 2-9 again this season.)

    Educators
    know that life cannot be lived strictly in terms of negatives.
    There are also positive issues dealt with inside the public school
    classroom, including: (1) the right to get free abortion counseling
    from school-approved professionals without consulting with parents;
    (2) the right of every sexual lifestyle to gets its position —
    intellectual, I mean — discussed in the classroom as one
    legitimate choice among many; (3) the right of every known minority
    group (except Nazis) to get at least one positive paragraph in
    the social studies textbook; (4) the right of every student to
    gain a sense of self-esteem, except on sports teams; and (5) the
    right of students to inform any teacher regarding their parents’
    attitudes on matters of social or psychological relevance to the
    school district.

    Then,
    in between classes, students meet to discuss the implications
    of all this for their lives. "The first one’s free. Try it;
    you’ll like it."

    When
    was the last time you saw a local TV news report on a drug bust
    at a local private high school?

    When
    was the last time you read a newspaper article on a student who
    overdosed on heroin at a local private high school?

    Moving
    slightly afield, when was the last time the police had to be sent
    in to break up a gang riot at a local private high school? (I
    can imagine the newspaper report. "The fight broke out when
    a group of Catholics allegedly began chanting, u2018infused grace,
    infused grace,’ during the compulsory morning chapel period. Baptists
    allegedly retaliated with cries of u2018imputed grace, imputed grace.’
    u2018It kept getting louder and louder,’ said Mr. Brubaker, who teaches
    calculus and is also the school’s headmaster. u2018We finally had
    to call the police when the Methodists began shouting, u2018prevenient
    grace.’ It was just terrible. But I can assure the public that
    we are taking steps to deal with these issues.’")

    Conclusion

    What
    we need is an all-out drug war that targets the primary recruiting
    centers used by drug-pushers, the retail outlets of choice for
    the Colombian drug cartel: America’s tax-supported high schools.

    If
    I ever hear of members of Congress calling for this kind of bipartisan
    war on drugs, I’ll take them much more seriously. When I hear
    one of them stand up on the floor of either house of Congress
    and say the following, I’ll be impressed. "As part of the
    war on drugs, I am today introducing legislation to stop all federal
    funding of education." Then his colleague from across the
    aisle stands up and says, "I am ready to support this bill
    if the distinguished gentleman from Texas is ready to support
    my bill to remove all educational institutions from the jurisdiction
    of the National Labor Relations Board."

    When
    the demand for illegal drugs is at long last analyzed in terms
    of the categories that the demand for prescription-only painkillers
    is analyzed — the chemical relief of pain — then we
    shall begin to come to grips with America’s continuing drug problem.
    The war on drugs should begin with a systematic program to eliminate
    the tax-supported sources of the initial users’ pain, institutions
    that are also the primary marketplaces for the sale of the painkillers
    of choice. Until this is done, I don’t think the war on drugs
    has much of a chance at reducing the level of addiction.

    Until
    then, every time you see a yellow public school bus on the highway,
    think to yourself, "Free transportation to cocaine central."
    On the back of every school bus in America, these words should
    be plainly visible: "Medellin-Approved."

    January
    15, 2001

    Gary North is the author of an eleven-volume series, An Economic
    Commentary on the Bible. The latest volume is Cooperation
    and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Romans. The series can
    be downloaded free of charge at www.freebooks.com.

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