Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory - and I've got knowledge of a wide range of them to discuss with you - I'll be making a new one of these every week. :)
I'll post up the facts, and then you have to make your own decision on the matter. This week, I want to talk about the war on drugs.
- Over the past 40 years, the US spent more than $2,500,000,000,000 (2.5 trillion) fighting a constant war on drugs - a war that continues today.
- The Office of National Drug Control Policy shows that the US government spent $15,000,000,000 fighting drugs in 2010 alone. This breaks down to around $500 per SECOND.
- 10s of thousands will spend years or decades in prison because they have been convicted of participation of the war on drugs
- The modern war on drugs took place under President Nixon, with the creation of the Drug Encorcement agency in 1973.
- To the mainstream, this war hasn't gone well. Despite increased publicity and campaigning against drugs, the US is still the world's largest consumer of illegal drugs. An estimated 22 million citizens used illegal drugs at least once per month in 2009.
- It's a cause of great debate amongst politicians - some believe that the regulations should be made stricter, whereas others believe that posession of some drugs should carry less severe sentences, or be scrapped altogether. Almost all agree that the system could be improved.
- But not all: Some conspiracy theorists believe that the system is working just fine - because the war on drugs was never actually to eliminate the use of illegal substances in the US. They believe that the war on drugs is fought for alternative motives.
- In "Dark Alliance", journalist Gary Webb alleged CIA agents knew about, and protected, a high-volume drug network. (http://www.mega.nu/ampp/webb.html)
- In the 1980s, citizens of Los Angeles blamed the FBI and CIA for the crack epidemic
- The economy that has grown around stopping drugs is very profitable. What would happen to all the jobs created by the drugs trade if it were to stop?
- The US also has the highest incarceration rates for drugs, with 756 out of 100,000 people in prison. About half of all federal inmates are due to a drug-related offence.
- There is no denying that drugs are harmful, and addiction to a drug can have horrible consequences. About 443,000 US citizens die each year from tobacco-related diseases, and 70,000 suffer alcohol-related deaths.
- Nobody denies that drugs laws are in place for a reason, but what IS this reason? Health and safety? Or something bigger, that is run by the prison service and intellegence agencies?