Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jun 2005
Source: Tracy Press (CA)
Copyright: 2005 Tracy Press



During the last few months, there have been a few significant stories 
regarding the abuse of drugs in this country that will certainly stir 
the spirit of any enterprising businessman. The following are those 
stories in chronological order:

There were congressional hearings regarding the abuse of steroids by 
professional athletes and a number of congressmen put on quite a 
show, chastising professional sports commissioners and players and 
stating that the federal government was going to legislate strict 
drug testing for professional athletes to insure a fair playing field 
and to protect "our children."

Earlier this month, the Tracy Press reported that in spite of the 
population growth in San Joaquin County, which has been accompanied 
by an even larger growth in the production and sale of illegal drugs, 
the federal government during the last three years has reduced 
payments to San Joaquin County's drug enforcement task force from 
$1.7 million to $476,000, which will result in a reduction of three 
task force officers.

There was an article in another newspaper showing that there were 
16,000 seizures of methamphetamine labs across the country with the 
growth classified as "epidemic," and the largest growth of meth labs 
took place in rural Middle America.

When the government sticks its nose in the misuse of 
intoxicants/drugs, it is the economic opportunity of a lifetime, as 
the following will show:

Prohibition -- The only beneficiaries of the constitutional amendment 
to stop alcohol use (again to help the moral fiber of our country) 
was organized crime (which, because of the huge amount of money it 
"earned" during Prohibition, became the economic equal to General 
Motors), Las Vegas (which was founded by mob money) and Hollywood 
(which has made a fortune off of mob movies).

The war on drugs -- This war is so old that it may soon be a 
recipient of Social Security. This war started in 1970, again to stop 
the youth of this country from being victimized by the use of drugs, 
and eight out of 10 high school students know where to buy drugs; six 
out of 10 middle school students know where to buy drugs; the misuse 
of drugs is epidemic and nationwide as reflected in the story about 
methamphetamines; the prison system is overwhelmed with drug users.

Who have been the beneficiaries of this "war"? There are a number of 
drug multi-millionaires in South America and Southeast Asia (the 
Golden Triangle) who are so powerful they determine governmental 
policy in certain countries, a new generation of organized crime in 
our country who make the gangsters of the 1930s and 1940s look like 
street punks and, again, Hollywood, which produces movies about the 
trafficking and use of drugs.

The reasons that the enforcement of steroid testing on professional 
athletes won't have the desired effect are:

A number of Olympic-caliber athletes were asked what they'd do if 
they had a choice between using steroids and winning Olympic medals, 
but having a shorter life span; and not using and living longer, but 
not winning. Six out of 10 chose to use steroids to win; the number 
of well-known athletes (or even Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger) who have 
or had enjoyed success due to steroids, and the belief that the 
illegal steroid industry will stay ahead of steroid testing, will 
make youngsters think it is worth the chance; and the lack of funds 
for high schools and even colleges to pay for steroid testing.

The three newspaper articles that I listed are consistent with all 
government attempts to enforce laws against intoxicants/drugs. 
Members of Congress make a big show about stopping the use of a 
substance, which gives the substance a huge amount of free publicity. 
Then they fail to adequately fund law enforcement (after all if they 
gave San Joaquin County adequate money, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska 
couldn't have obtained a $1.5 million appropriation for one bus stop 
in his state). Because of this the problem remains, and very often 
there is a severe spike in usage immediately after the publicity from Congress.

I would venture that the people who are happiest about the Congress' 
big show are steroid manufacturers and distributors that have 
probably raised their production and prices and have had a 
substantial increase in customers.

John Doherty