Text of the Flyer (with sources)
Drugs and Terrorism
The DEA Museum’s “Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause” and the earlier “Traffickers, Terrorists and You,” have heavily promoted a connection between drug use and terrorism, even to the point of displaying 911 images and World Trade Center wreckage.
Invoking terrorism in the post-911 world is common practice for agencies looking to protect their budgets. But in actuality, to the extent that certain groups of terrorists benefit from the drug trade, it is a direct result of the activities of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the rest of the global drug war structure.
Just as organized crime profited from the prohibition of alcohol, it is criminals (and yes, some terrorists) who profit most from the prohibition of drugs.
The DEA’s Failed Drug War
From 1986 to 2005, the DEA seized over 2.6 million pounds of cocaine (Source: DEA). Or, to put it another way, they intercepted enough cocaine for every U.S. citizen above the age of 9 to receive a mandatory minimum crack cocaine sentence of 5 years in prison. Yet during the same period, the availability and purity of cocaine increased, and the price dropped significantly (Source: Washington Office on Latin America).
From 1970 to 2004, the number of people arrested on drug offenses each year more than quadrupled, and from 1981 to 2000, the federal drug control budget increased 10-fold (Source: Department of Justice).
Led by DEA supported task forces, the past 25 years has seen a 1,300% increase in paramilitary raids on American homes, leading to the devastation of communities, and hundreds of deaths of innocents, including 11-year-old Alberto Sepulvada, 14-year-old Ashley Villarreal, and 75-year-old Reverend Accelyne Williams. There are many more drug war victims.
Prohibition: an ever-expanding tax-funded war on Americans.
But aren’t drugs harmful?
Drugs by themselves — aspirin, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, cocaine, caffeine, morphine, etc. — are just things. The harm comes from abuse, and in this regard, education, regulation, and harm reduction programs have been proven effective. Prohibition, on the other hand, fails to reduce abuse, and actually increases harm.
Prohibition makes the black market obscenely profitable (1,000% markups are not uncommon). Prohibition also puts control, safety, distribution, and age regulation in the hands of criminals.
The drug war is a great deal for traffickers, terrorists, and especially the DEA, but not for communities dealing with the war’s violence, or the American citizens who pay the bill.
A message from some law enforcement officers...