cannabisnews.com: Why Drug Cops Can't Win





Why Drug Cops Can't Win
Posted by CN Staff on June 18, 2004 at 07:15:10 PT
By Joel Miller
Source: WorldNetDaily 
Despite the best efforts by the U.S. government, illegal narcotics fly, seep, skip, run, drive, dig and hike from South America to North America every day. They come via trucks and cars; via plane and boat; via rail track and tunnel; via coyote and mule; they come any way you can imagine  and more than a few you cannot. If there is a way to get dope across the border, rest assured, it's coming across. And there's always a way.
In my newly published book, "Bad Trip: How the War Against Drugs is Destroying America," the chapter on smuggling is one of the longest. In fact, keeping it a manageable length was a challenge because smuggling is really about one of the biggest and broadest subjects any author can cover  human ingenuity. Says 1970's narcotrafficker Zachary Swan, there are "a million ways." And he's underestimating. Here are just a few specific examples and tactics from recent years: * Covertly building a submarine capable of hauling 10 tons of cocaine to carry it from Colombia to the U.S. * Using time-released buoys and GPS trackers to sync drug shipments on the open sea. * Combining cocaine with plastic resin and producing functioning, commercial goods from which the drug can be chemically extracted once across the border. * Disguising stashes of cocaine in hollowed-out passion fruit or in plastic plantains; hiding psilocybin mushrooms in chocolates. * Digging a 1,200-foot tunnel, complete with ventilation ducts and electric lights to take marijuana and cocaine from a home in Mexico to another in California. * Dropping drugs in the uninhabited desert by plane and using GPS locaters on the ground to find and bring them across the poorly manned border. * Training  no lie here, folks  pigeons to fly packets of dope across the border. Swan used to buy cocaine in Colombia and then tightly compress it into wooden souvenirs  like rolling pins, carved tribal heads, and statuettes of the Madonna (who would suspect Mary?)  which he would easily smuggle into the United States. He never got busted with a load. Successes from early smugglers like Swan encouraged others to give it a try. Some did well, others did not. But the border coke rush of the late 1970s and early 1980s caused the feds to clamp down tight and try to stop the illegal flow. It didn't really work. As I explain in "Bad Trip," interdiction efforts fail for one basic reason: Smugglers are entrepreneurs; border agents are bureaucrats. It's one of those stubborn facts of economics, but entrepreneurs always beat bureaucrats because they have the incentive and competitive edge. Former DEA agent Robert Stutman makes this clear, joking in an interview for the PBS Frontline show "Drug Wars": You build a 12-foot wall around the United States, and the old joke goes, it will take the dope peddlers 60 seconds to realize that a 13-foot ladder gets over a 12-foot wall. And then what do you do? Build a 13-foot wall?Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., know the frustration in that sentiment. "I don't know how to stop the drug traffic, and I've been in it for 38 years," the sheriff, widely touted as the toughest cop in the nation, told Harper's in 2001. "I think if I knew, I'd be the president. I can give you what's been said 50 years ago. ... It's the same thing we're saying today  tough law enforcement, prevention, rehabilitation ... Nothing's changed. The stuff coming across the border that we catch? Ten percent. Fifty years ago, 10 percent. Today, 10 percent. Nothing's changed ... I don't know how to solve the problem. Don't ask me." Whatever police do to clamp down, smugglers maneuver around. Some get caught while others make the appropriate adjustments to their tactics, and some are just lousy smugglers to begin with. But consistently nabbing 10 percent is hardly something to brag about. Do drug warriors honestly wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and get a rush of pride that only 90 percent of illegal narcotics are getting through thanks to them? Sadly  and adding an entirely new dimension to the word "pathetic"  yes, they do. As for the rest of us, we need something different. The war on drugs is spending taxpayer money by the billions and tossing it down a thousand rat holes. It's perfectly idiotic to continue trying to interdict narcotics when they so easily make their way across. Think of it this way: The 10 percent figure is more like a tax for smugglers than anything resembling a deterrent. In total numbers, it hardly reflects anything close to victory. If Social Security only paid 10 percent of its recipients, we'd scream for reform. If the government only fed and clothed 10 percent of the Armed Services, we'd bellow for change. If taxpayers only received 10 percent of promised cuts, we'd unelect the politicians who failed to deliver and throw the bastards out. It's time we started thinking the same way about the drug war. There are better ways of handling narcotics than we are currently being offered by the drug-war bureaucrats. Joel Miller is senior editor of WND Books and author of "Bad Trip: How the War Against Drugs is Destroying America." His own company, Oakdown, recently published "Drinking With Calvin and Luther! A History of Alcohol in the Church." Editor's note: Joel Miller's new book, "Bad Trip: How the War Against Drugs is Destroying America," is available now in ShopNetDaily. Says Larry Elder, "Miller nails it. He powerfully and persuasively articulates the folly, the harm and the unconstitutionality of our government's War against Drugs." And Judge Andrew P. Napolitano of Fox News rules, "Read this book and send a copy to every lawmaker and judge you know." Get "Bad Trip," today in ShopNetDaily. Get "Bad Trip," today in ShopNetDaily. -- http://www.shopnetdaily.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=1575Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)Author: Joel MillerPublished: June 18, 2004Copyright: 2004 WorldNetDaily.com Inc.Contact: letters worldnetdaily.comWebsite: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/Related Article:Dirty Blue - Joel Millerhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19005.shtmlCannabisNews -- Police Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/police.shtml 
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Comment #16 posted by b4daylight on June 21, 2004 at 01:51:44 PT
Joe
The Jail is a city of tents. It is 106 outside. Prisoners have to wear pink boxers. He wants a 50. caliber gun to shoot things down in case of attack.
He should give up the war on drugs and put the Policemen to work on the immagration problem. You go to Home Depot and there is 100 People waiting for a job right there in the parking lot. When you are unemployed this just makes you ill. 
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Comment #15 posted by gloovins on June 20, 2004 at 23:30:52 PT
Responsiblity
"I don't know how to stop the drug traffic, and I've been in it for 38 years," the sheriff, widely touted as the toughest cop in the nation, told Harper's in 2001. "I think if I knew, I'd be the president. I can give you what's been said 50 years ago. ... It's the same thing we're saying today  tough law enforcement, prevention, rehabilitation ... Nothing's changed. The stuff coming across the border that we catch? Ten percent. Fifty years ago, 10 percent. Today, 10 percent. Nothing's changed ... I don't know how to solve the problem. Don't ask me." Don't ask you??? Well let me tell you there copper, you tax and regulate the frickin supply jackass. What part of SURRENDER WHEN YOU KNOW IT'S UN-WINNABLE, do you not understand???? Jesus, help this man.It's just plain irresponsible and daft and reprehensible to continue a "war" against substances that EVERYONE knows will always find a way into the USA.IRRESPONSIBLE.And the American people (the informed ones) know this and are sick and tired of it.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 16:05:37 PT
About The Article
I agree that something must be done to end the drug war. The first thing that should be done is to eliminate laws against the Cannabis plant. If Cannabis was legal I believe many people wouldn't bother with hard drugs. I think that people often experiment with hard drugs when there isn't any Cannabis available. That's just my thoughts on the drug war.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 14:17:55 PT
Rest in Peace
http://www.raycharles.com/godblessamerica.swf
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Comment #12 posted by E_Johnson on June 18, 2004 at 14:11:47 PT
Here's the local news story
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/ontv/061804_ontv_ray_charles.html
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 13:52:22 PT
Very Much
EJ the sermon was really good. I think many people at the service inhale. Insight not sight is what is important.
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on June 18, 2004 at 13:43:58 PT
Did you like the sermon FoM?
Take the high road not the low road to get out of the nightmare.
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on June 18, 2004 at 13:42:23 PT
How many people in that room inhaled?
Gosh I wonder. 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 13:32:01 PT
Agog 
Thanks! I didn't know that.
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Comment #7 posted by Agog on June 18, 2004 at 13:23:50 PT
A Viper issssssssss
A person who smokes cannabis. Jazz musician slang term from many years ago.All the BestAgog
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 13:05:09 PT
What's a Viper?
I really like when a person's life is celebrated at their funeral. Ray Charles has left a wonderful legacy. He won't be forgotten. His music and spirit will live on for years to come. 
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on June 18, 2004 at 12:55:41 PT
Is Clint Eastwood a viper?
That was cute when the guy said he looks like a square but he's really a swinger.Steve Seagal was there and I saw one of the ZZ Top guys too.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 11:12:57 PT
I Hope Others Are Seeing Ray Charles Funeral
It's hard to type when you're crying. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 10:53:15 PT
Thanks EJ!
Willie Nelson is singing Georgia now. It's beautiful.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 18, 2004 at 10:49:32 PT
I Just Turned It On
Thanks EJ. I was watching MSNBC.
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on June 18, 2004 at 10:47:05 PT
Ray Charles' funeral
It's on TV here in LA broadcast live. Is anyone else getting it? It's very moving and the music is fantastic.
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