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possession of pot for personal use be decriminalized? And that was when Nixon was president! Later on, Jimmy Carter called for getting rid of penalties for small-time possession, but Congress stonewalled him. Since then, we’ve had another president (Clinton) who claimed he didn’t inhale and our latest (Obama) admitting he took some tokes back in the day. Federal law still considers marijuana a dangerous illegal drug, although fourteen states have now enacted laws allowing for some use for medical purposes. Let me cite a few statistics that I find mind-boggling. According to NORML, an advocacy group for legalizing marijuana, more than 700,000 of America’s estimated 20 million pot-smokers got arrested in 2008. About half of the 200,000 inmates in our federal prisons are in there for drug-related offenses. Between 1970 and 2007, we saw a 547 percent increase in our prison population, mainly because of our drug policies. Of course, that’s just fine with the new prisonindustrial complex, where corporations are now running the show. We as taxpayers shell out $68 billion every year for prisons, and a lot of that ends up going into private contractors’ pockets!1 Of course, they’re not the only ones getting rich. Well-documented reports by Congress and the Treasury Department lead to the conclusion that American banks are “collectively the world’s largest financial beneficiary of the drug trade.” Not including real estate transfers, there’s an estimated inflow of $250 billion a year coming into the country’s banks—which I suppose is welcomed by some as offsetting our $300-billion trade deficit.2 We’ll talk more about banks several times in this chapter, but I want to start with some history on our government’s involvement with drug traffic. You want to talk hypocrisy? This sordid saga takes the cake. We started using drug lords like Lucky Luciano to help fight the Communists back during World War II. The OSS, predecessor to the CIA, had the Sicilian Mafia and the Corsican gangsters in Marseilles working with them, which enabled their “key role in the growth of Europe’s post war heroin traffic ... which provided most of the heroin smuggled into the United States over the next two decades.”3 The heroin epidemic that ravaged our cities during the fifties and sixties basically originated with the CIA out of Southeast Asia. Almost from the moment of their founding in 1947, the CIA was giving covert support to organized drug traffickers in Europe and the Far East, and eventually the Middle East and Latin America. During the Vietnam War—hold onto your hats!—heroin was being smuggled into this country in the bodies of soldiers being flown home, coded ahead of time so they could be identified at various Air Force bases

Profile for HAROLD ARROYO, JR.

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

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