Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Drugs are a Human-Rights Violation
The Huffington Post has an article up about Colombia's Vice President's comments about the impact cocaine-use has on the destruction of Colombian rainforest. I am disgusted by the majority of the comments about the article.
Most want to blame the War on Drugs, or Bush, or the beef industry. Not that any of those institutions aren't evil; but if you think you're acting against the system by using, you're blind. No one seems to want to admit that consumers of cocaine are supporting a system that is no less capitalist or greedy than Walmart, Coca-Cola or McDonalds. There were a lot of "if cocaine were legal..." complaints that still don't directly address the issue: American consumers of cocaine fuel kidknappings, murders, land seizure, not to mention all the mules who are coerced into transporting the drugs through their digestive tracks by manipulation, poverty and desperation. I'll say this, the War on Drugs is misguided only in that it focuses more on the producers than on the consumers. (And that it includes marijuana in it's efforts. That's misguided too)
In this tactic they miss an entire tenet of Holy Capitalism: if someone will buy it, someone will make it. Why would there be supply, if there wasn't demand?
I'm not saying the Colombian VP is my hero, but this is the first time I've heard articulated an idea I've had for years: that drug-use isn't just bad for one's personal life or health, it's bad for everyone. It's just as bad, if not worse, as buying from a sweatshop, wearing fur, donating to Al-Queda, or any of the other causes people get excited about. This is a human rights issue. Every gram of cocaine and heroin has a trail of blood attached- and there's nothing anyone can say to make that untrue. I'm talking about personal responsibility. Americans can't say their consumerism doesn't play a role in the horrors of the South American drug trade. To conclude I will say this: I live in New Orleans, city with the highest murder rate in the U.S. Not to degrade the dead, but the vast majority of the murders are drug related. If you think you can snort your powder and not be snorting blood, you're as misguided as Bush.
If you still don't believe me, I would suggest you watch Maria, Full of Grace.
Or, if you think you can handle it, listen to Molotov's indictment of us in their song Frijolero: "Aunque nos hagan la fama, de que somos vendedores,
de la droga que sembramos, ustedes son consumidores."