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August 16, 2009

An Inconvenient Anniversary

Next month will mark the 40th Anniversary of Operation Intercept, a unilateral initiative by the Nixon Administration to “control” the smuggling of illegal drugs, especially marijuana, across the US-Mexican Border. As recounted in Edward Brecher’s unsurpassed contemporary analysis of late Sixties US drug problems published three years later, the operation itself quickly became a fiasco and had to be abandoned in early October.

Unfortunately, we seem to have earned nothing from that experience because today— seven US presidents, forty years, and uncounted billions of dollars later— the world remains deeply committed to the same failing policy by UN Treaty.

The denial needed to pretend that such a treaty, and the global drug war it calls for, are both reasonable and possible is still prevalent throughout the world, a circumstance that does not auger well for the ability of our species to deal with its other serious problems: overpopulation, a blighted global economy, progressive desertification, and looming shortages of water, food,, and oil,, to name several of the most obvious.

In that respect, the drug war can be seen as an excellent indicator of both the degree to which we have been trashing our home planet and the likelihood we will wake up in time to effectively mitigate our most predictable self-imposed disasters.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at August 16, 2009 05:31 PM