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The war on drugs has succeeded only in putting millions of Americans in jail ... Televangelist Pat Robertson recently made a gaffe. A gaffe, as journalist Michael Kinsley defined it, occurs when a political figure accidentally tells the truth. Robertson's truth is that America's drug war has failed and that the country should legalize marijuana. This view goes against the deepest political, moral and religious positions Robertson has held for decades, so imagine the blinding evidence that he has had to confront—and that has been mounting for years—on this topic. Robertson drew attention to one of the great scandals of American life. "Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today," writes the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik. "Over all, there are now more people under 'correctional supervision' in America—more than 6 million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height." – Fareed Zakaria /Time
Dominant Social Theme: We need to legalize it now because we made a mistake in not legalizing it before.
Free-Market Analysis: What's going on here? The US has jailed tens of millions in the past decade over drug infractions. But now we seem to be seeing some re-thinking.
We usually speculate such campaigns are part of larger elite dominant social themes intended to manipulate public opinion. We think we detect such a pattern here.
First Pat Robertson writes about legalizing marijuana and then CNN's Fareed Zakaria writes about it as well. And that's not all.
A random search of Google shows that a bill to legalize medical marijuana is moving forward in the Tennessee House and that the Rhode Island Senate is discussing legalization as well. In Yakima, Washington, a former Seattle police chief and a former state senator will hold a public forum on the legalization of marijuana. Here's some more from the article:
Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That's not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many ... As Robertson pointed out on his TV show, The 700 Club, "We here in America make up 5% of the world's population but we make up 25% of the [world's] jailed prisoners."
There is a temptation to look at this staggering difference in numbers and chalk it up to one more aspect of American exceptionalism. America is different, so the view goes, and it has always had a Wild West culture and a tough legal system. But the facts don't support the conventional wisdom.
This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.'s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults. It has more than quadrupled since then. So something has happened in the past 30 years to push millions of Americans into prison.
That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America's federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions.
In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession. Over the past four decades, the U.S. has spent more than $1 trillion fighting the war on drugs.
Of course, at the Daily Bell we've written regularly about the US penitentiary-industrial complex. And we're not surprised that incarceration began to soar in the 1960s. This is part and parcel of what we consider to be directed history.
This is history that is organized and driven by a power elite that controls the world's central banks and is trying to create global government. This elite, especially what would seem to be its top dynastic families, apparently rule behind the scenes via what has been described as mercantilism.
These elites pass laws that benefit their interests at the expense of others. It benefits the elites in at least two ways to make drugs illegal. For one thing, the elites don't like to use their own money to pursue their goals. They use money generated via fiat central banking.
They also generate huge cash profits from the illegal smuggling that the West's top Intel agencies, including the CIA, are apparently involved in. This black cash funds black ops and increasingly private militias and policing.
It benefits the elites to have a large prison population in the US because doing so fractures families and creates societal dysfunction. The elites have seen the United States as a distinct threat to world government because of its republican culture and quasi-libertarian-mindset of millions of citizens.
The elites use dominant social themes to achieve their mercantilist aims. These memes are intended to scare Western middle classes into giving up power and wealth to internationalist facilities. One of these memes has been the "drug war" and the necessity to put drug addicts in jail to protect society. But now this meme seems to be coming under attack.
The people involved, like Robertson, may mean well but with addition of the CNN editorial (above) and various legislative moves, it would seem that something may be stirring. The mainstream media is controlled by the same elites that control central banking, in our view, and thus when something appears in aggregate on the mainstream media we tend to believe it is being presented for a purpose.
It is hard to say why the elites have decided to soften the rhetoric on the drug war at this time. One speculation would be that reducing drug usage penalties or eliminating them tends to blur the increasingly authoritarian line that Western governments are taking as regards "austerity" and other Draconian measures.
Or perhaps the inevitable sociopolitical debate over drugs will simply distract attention from other more important moves the elites are making to impose global government.
With many such themes, we are not entirely sure of their significance to begin with – or even if they constitute a real elite promotion. We are not sure what this seeming change in direction as regards the drug war means, either. Maybe viewers and feedbackers will have a better sense. As for us, we'll be watching.