As a self styled historian(I have had a lettered historian tell me to claim the title), I have always used as my motto 'THOSE WHO IGNORE HISTORY ARE CONDEMED TO RE-LIVE IT'. As a former commisioned law enforcement officer and a private detective, I have always subscribed to the fight against illegal drugs. But time and history are slowly changing my mind.
There is probably very few who are as conservative as me but facts are facts. There has always been a small fringe group that has advocated the legalization of Marajuana. As a student of the prohibition era I have long wanted to write a book on the Kansas moonshine business, and have had encouragement. But, there are too many families and participants still alive that have discuraged me. See in Kansas we started the prohibition movement in 1880 and did not leave it until the 1950's and actually we still have remnants of it left today.
I am looking forward to Ken Burns new documentary PROHIBITION. It takes an indepth look at the whole era of National Prohibition. Are we going to learn that Prohibition gave rise to the transformation of small time criminals into huge organized crime syndicates. We learned a hard lesson too late and still have these organizations with us today. Many have actually gone mainstream and have legitimate business.
So what is the link to the drug business? We have to take all the hype and lies away from the argument and talk real results. Not one death has been attributed to using marijuana in the 70 some years of illegal status. There is an amazingly large amount of people who have used or do use in the country today. A related crop in the same genus as marijuana, Hemp, has been banned from commercial production even though it has none of the chemicals that make the illegal plant a asource of getting high. Commercial hemp has as many uses and products that can be made from it as soybeans and peanuts. But it is totally opposed by DEA for production. There is an alternative crop here that our farmers do not get to grow because of demonization and lies.
Over one third of of our prison population and court cases have to do with marijuana. We have seen millions of untaxed dollars funding the same type of organizations that rose during the prohibition period. And the really big problem is that they are worse than any group from that period.
The sad fact is that the cartels that have terrorized Mexico are here in Kansas now. Why do I say that? Common sense. Every year in late summer and fall there are pot patch raids all over the state. In the past it has been the moonshiner type of grower that is generally caught. In the raids this year there is evidence in every case that there are illegals tending the patches. There is one thing that is eirily common, no one is caught.
It has long been the disdain of the American people of the corrupt officials that permiate the Mexican governmental culture. Now there is evidence of that corruption here in our own state. It is no coincidence that no one is every arrested at the time of seizure of this years pot patches. Someone that knows what is going on is tipping off whoever is responsible for them. It remains unsaid in the media (which is real unusual) but it is evident that there is someone paid off somewhere. This is what is so alarming.
After the lessons of prohibition I am finally persuaded that you cannot legislate morals and it is high time to make the pot business controlable by legalization and taxation. I don't have to like it but there are more pressing problems today. And we don't need anymore crooked officials.