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The Drug War's Secret Profit

“The war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world" - The Global Commission on Drug Policy


We find ourselves in a time of information. A time of vast inter communication where people are beginning to see the lies they have been fed since their eyes opened to the world. For the first time, the many are opening their eyes to the vivid truths of the few. There have been many deceptions in our history of this great nation. Many a deceitful choice full of injustice and pride. One would think in the present time, full of possibility and eminent destruction, that a collective group such as the United States could and would cast aside any such past indiscretions and strike forward to a future rich with solidarity and purpose. However the reality is much more disheartening and expected.


It appears our government thinks very little of our deductive logic skills or just our general IQ. They must think we are not smart enough or just unwilling to see their poorly hidden secondary agenda behind the drug war. Those who think we are in an age of pure intentions and selfless dedication are not allowing themselves to see what is right in front of them. All one has to do is look back at every civilization, including our own, to see the repetition of selfish and personally driven agendas behind the scenes of any potentially profitable situation. It is simply human nature. To think that we are in a time where decisions are only made for the betterment of the people with no hint of personal gain is just naive. That's not to say that there aren’t those out there, or those from our past, that possessed the rare collection of attributes that we as a nation used to require of those we allowed to lead.
In most cases, the United States will not get involved in a situation unless there is a potentially beneficial upswing. That is understandable if not responsible in the majority of circumstances. However, in some cases we put on our global referee face and pronounce our holier than thou platform to the world claiming it is our “duty” to get involved, while picking and choosing who and what to help based on our own agenda. The drug war is no different.
In the beginning, Americans were wholeheartedly behind the attempt to clean up our country and eradicate the evils of drug use. We saw the problem and we trusted our government to choose the correct path to alleviate it. As time went on, we began to see that the actions taken only seemed to inflame an already growing problem by putting the power, once again, in the hands of criminals. In 1919, prohibition of alcohol created and incubated the beginnings of organized crime in the United States. By 1920, gang war had taken over the alcohol industry and homicide increased dramatically. What tends to be left out of that common knowledge is that while the criminal’s profit increased, so did the profit of those who allowed prohibition to continue even while seeing its true colors. The same has been seen in the prohibition of drugs.

Over 2.5 trillion dollars has been lost to our war on drugs and all we have seen is drug related crime continuing to rise, as the amount of drug trade coincides. The majority of people, and many groups are calling for something new. The popular opinion has shifted, and yet the Obama administration has strongly defended the actions they have taken and chose to escalate the war despite the abundance of evidence that suggests otherwise. A UN study shows that drug use has increased exponentially in both opiate and cocaine use by more than 30 percent, and that due to arrests of nonviolent crimes, the prison population has increased twelve fold since the beginning of the drug war. The war on drugs, similar to the war on terror, is one of those situations with a ‘potentially beneficial upswing’ set up to benefit specific profiteering companies that stand to gain far more than they claim the drug trade will lose.
From private military contractors, the private prison industry, all the way to US banking system, money is being made on a scale unprecedented before the war on drugs. Funded by Defense and State Departments, billions of dollars have been wasted on private contractors without any oversight or accountability. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that our efforts have largely failed, without adequate oversight and management we are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a problem without even knowing what we’re getting in return.” U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill


The private prison industry is directly tied to the war on drugs for a vast amount of its current revenue. One of the largest private companies, Corrections Corp. of America (CCA) has donated 4.5 million dollars to different campaigns and spent 18 million dollars in lobbying and that’s just one company. These private prisons contain large amounts of low level drug users. They have rehabilitation programs and even their own drug sniffing dogs, all funded by the war on drugs. In 2010 CCA had a revenue of 1.67 billion dollars. 


The US banking industry is where it gets very unnerving. When you really break it down the majority of drug cartels would cease to exist without the United States, at least at the level that they currently function. For example, the United States is the only industrialized nation that bans the growing of cannabis, yet we consume 90 percent of the world’s supply. It is this very outcry for change on the outside, while consuming and profiting behind the scenes, that is tearing down our nation. These cartels rely on their ability to launder money through the US banking system to maintain the level of business they currently possess. 


“According to US Justice Department records, one bank alone laundered $378.3 billion dollars between May 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007. Every major bank in the US has served as an active financial partner of the murderous drug cartels. If the major US banks are the financial engines which allow the billion dollar drug empires to operate, the White House, the US Congress and the law enforcement agencies are the basic protectors of these banks. Laundering drug money is one of the most lucrative sources of profit for Wall Street; the banks charge hefty commissions on the transfer of drug profits, which they then lend to borrowing institutions at interest rates far above what – if any – they pay to drug trafficker depositors. Awash in sanitized drug profits, these US titans of the finance world can easily buy their own elected officials to perpetuate the system.” “How Drug Profits saved Capitalism”, James Petras, Global Research

 These are industries that generate billions of dollars in profit that change hands all the way to the top. The profit is made not by creating change for the better, but rather inhibiting it. The majority of Americans are flat out tired of the drug war and are aware of its failing. We ask for change and get more impotent results and steps in the opposite direction. Nothing will change until “we the people” find our voice again. To stand united and cry out for that which was once all we knew of our great leaders. Truth. Accountability. Honor.

 “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair