Ending Drug Prohibition Won’t Remove the Drug Culture’s Criminal Element

My crime compadre Trench emailed me this article because he knows I’m a sucker for a good doper story. Seems California’s medical marijuana industry has not created a safer environment for those that “need” pot to get their “medicine.” Far from it, gangs have simply moved into the quasi-legal marijuana dispensary business and brought their criminality with them:

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Thirty-one people were arrested during raids at 14 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego County, effectively shutting down the storefronts, authorities announced today.

The raids culminated a five-month state and federal undercover operation that targeted people illegally selling the drug at the so-called medical marijuana collaboratives, said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

No medical marijuana patients were arrested in the undercover sting on Wednesday, Dumanis said.

“Let me be clear from the start. This investigation has nothing to do with legitimate medical marijuana patients or their caregivers,” Dumanis told reporters.

“The investigation to date shows these so-called businesses are not legal. They appear to be run by drug dealers who see an opening in the market in a way to make a fast buck.”

Twenty-three people were taken into custody in the city of San Diego, and eight in North County, authorities said.

Dumanis said most of those arrested will be prosecuted in state court, with two people charged in federal court.

An estimated 60 medical marijuana dispensaries are now operating in San Diego County, under the guise of helping people who are sick, Dumanis said.

“We’re not fooled and the public shouldn’t be fooled either,” the county’s top prosecutor said. “The state’s medical marijuana law and the

Attorney General’s written guidelines about medical marijuana do not allow the selling of marijuana for profit … to anyone.”

The state’s law allows patients who have doctor recommendations for marijuana to grow up to 24 plants or have someone grow them in their stead. That seems like a great plan to take the profit motive from pot dealing…but it didn’t.

Not to mention the fact that the whole medical marijuana thing is basically a scam, as alternative model turned wrestling diva turned S&M model turned soft-core web porner turned Internet neer-do-well Shelly Martinez proves in this video:

Now that’s downward mobility! Martinez was at one time an employee with the WWE (until she was fired) and TNA (until she had a “contract dispute”) and has of late been appearing at porn conventions, selling dates with her on the Internet and appearing in a documentary where she claims that weed (snicker) saved her life. Yes, really.

The point being that legalizing medical marijuana didn’t drive out gang activity and it certainly didn’t do at least one pot smoker we know of any good. “But, Rob,” you’re about to say while desperately trying to get the disposable lighter you found on the street to work long enough to take your next bong hit, “if we just ended drug prohibition all the gangs would like, you know, have to get jobs and stuff. Like the Mafia after prohibition ended!

Au contraire, mon petit stoner. The Mafia continued to be involved in various aspects of the alcohol industry from the union controlled shipping and distribution businesses to running nightclubs and bars. “Where’s your proof, square?” you cough out after finally getting the dirt encrusted DeJeep lighter to hold its flame long enough for you suck your artificial paradise from your commemorative Barack Obama bong.

I got your proof right here, hippy:

HOUSTON – The guy named Vinny with the Vandyke and Brooklyn accent looked out of place in the leafy Texas neighborhood of gated mansions.

That’s because this Vinny was Vincent Palermo – onetime Mafia star turned FBI informant – a guy who managed to vanish from the world of scungilli and Sinatra to recreate himself 1,400 miles away in the land of BBQ and the Texas two-step.

Palermo, with a new name, lives under a cloak created by the feds after testifying against the DeCavalcante clan, the Jersey-based Mafia family whose members believe they inspired “The Sopranos” TV show.

Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Before he admitted taking part in four murders, extortion and a host of crimes, Palermo operated Wiggles, a strip club in Forest Hills, Queens.

The club was a kind of one-stop shop for drugs and prostitution, and then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani made it Public Enemy No. 1 in his drive to shut down sex clubs.

Today, Palermo controls the Penthouse Club and All-Star Men’s Club in Houston – strip joints city officials say are hotbeds of prostitution and drugs.

What’s that you say? The Mafia. Setting up shop in businesses that are on their face perfectly legal. Who would have told you pot smokers a thousand times that gangs simply don’t give up lucrative income streams because you get the law changed? Mark my words, the day pot is legalized and “Fun Time Shelly” sets up that weed cafe she’s always dreamed about is the day some Cholo grabs her by the tie-dye and tells you it’s time for your weekly “tax” and if you don’t pay you die.

In Jersey, where I’m from, stripping isn’t just legal, it’s encouraged. But One Percenter gangs still ran stables of girls they forced to dance at clubs and Newark was rumored to have clubs staffed with illegals forced into sexual slavery. I’ll reiterate that that was an industry that was legal. But it was also one that was full of people who often enough marginalized themselves. A legal drug industry will be no different.

In 2000 a One Percenter gang called The Breed were busted for rape and extortion of exotic dancers. The Breed forced the women to turn over their income and gang raped the women both as punishment and simply for fun. They did to bar owners in Long Branch, New Jersey what MS-13 will do to all legal pot shops if and when prohibition is repealed. Read and learn:

Members of a gang that prosecutors called ”the state’s pre-eminent outlaw motorcycle club” were arrested in raids early today and charged with extortion and the sexual assault of nude dancers at a juice bar in Long Branch.

The gang, the Breed, has controlled strip clubs, tattoo shops and other businesses with violence and terror, a federal indictment said.

[…]

Five of those named in the arrest warrants are being charged with extortion, a federal crime, stemming from the operation of the juice bar, the Stars and Bars, where members gathered. One of the club’s owners, a former gang member identified as David Snyder, was beaten and forced to sign over his business to other gang members after he tried to ”restrict sexual assaults on female dancers,” according to court papers.

The sexual assault charges were brought after four women who danced at the bar complained to the Howell Township police, John Kaye, the Monmouth County prosecutor, said. One woman said she had been chained to the floor for several days, forced to engage in oral sex with several men and beaten severely.

It should be noted that these are businesses that are legal, yet gangs were involved because of both the type of business (strip clubs and tattoo parlors) and the profit motive. Pot has a huge profit motive and, like strip clubs, a vulnerable population attached to it. Why would gangs leave that business alone if drugs were criminalized?

Look, I’m pro-sobriety but I’m neither for or against legalization. I am against legalization proponents making false claims about the benefits of legalization. The real benefits of legalization are overwhelmingly enjoyed by users like Martinez, and society still must shoulder the cost of an overburdened child welfare system, drug-induced poverty, and the various assaults, vandalism, and accidents that come along with drug use. Much the same as repealing alcohol prohibition didn’t stop drunken brawls, window breaking and traffic accidents legalizing drugs won’t stop those things either. And just as bars and people who work in them are in danger of being victimized by organized crime, so too will be the legal pot shops who will find gangs unamenable to the prospect of losing their cash cow.

The case for legalization is perhaps financial, as the recession stretches police forces too thin for many areas to concentrate on minor possession, and certainly there is a Libertarian argument for legalization. There is, however, no law and order argument for legalization. Users are not stable. People who aren’t stable are preyed upon (even you, Shelly Martinez) and eventually someone has to bail them out. Personally I’d support legalization if we still used drug use as evidence of unfit parenting, companies couldn’t be sued for not hiring users, and addicts who overdosed simply died in the gutter without eating up taxpayer money in the emergency room. But what legalization proponents want is for the rest of us to help maintain their fantasy world where there are no consequences for their actions. We will be responsible for keeping gang members from harming them. We will pay for their hospital bills. We will support their children if not them.

And we will deal with the criminal element they still support, while allowing them to pretend they have no moral culpability in those gangs’ continued existence.

11 thoughts on “Ending Drug Prohibition Won’t Remove the Drug Culture’s Criminal Element

  1. Thank you for continually pointing out the hypocrisy of the “victimless crime” BS. I’m afraid these incidents demonstrate where parts of Michigan are headed since we legalized pot, especially those areas that are already rife with crime.

  2. Excellent post, Rob. I’m not convinced the war on drugs is working in its current form (since we still haven’t figured out how to accomplish prevention successfully), but legalization is certainly not the crime panacea it is frequently made out to be. Until we, as individuals and as a society, begin to truly value personal responsibility, legalization will only increase the freedom of drug users while diminishing the safety and health of everyone.

  3. Pingback: Shadowscope

  4. Pingback: Alvin Greene’s Female “Companion” Raises Hell at Democrat Party Event : Greenville Dragnet

  5. Well, I for one am glad that drugs aren’t in pharmacies, hospitals or clinics in the hands of licensed doctors. Although, I’m not sure how we’re suppose to get rid of drugs since we have laws prohibiting them, yet they keep appearing in city streets and schools in the hands of mob bosses and gangsters.

    Nat Geo must be full of bs when they say that Switzerland’s heroin distribution clinic reduced heroin related crime but 60%, right?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMMFWPl6ue4 – I guess the video was made by a heroin addict.

    Jack Cole, Neil Franklin, and James Gray (members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) are all drug addicted losers, huh?

    I remember reading some article talking about drug rates and use among San Fransisco and Amsterdam. Clearly the article was written by a stoner since I recall it said there was lower use of drugs in Amsterdam. I think the article was called “The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy:
    Cannabis in Amsterdam and in San Francisco” by Craig Reinarman, PhD, Peter D. A. Cohen, PhD, and Hendrien L. Kaal, PhD

    Wow if there are stoners with PhDs, then my faith in the healthcare system just plummeted.

    I like how the author of this article keeps referring to drug legalization advocates as hippy, and stoner. Personally, I think being condescending to those with an opposing opinion is the best way to win a debate.

  6. No one on the legalization side is asking for drugs to be controlled substances and you know it. Even the medical pot shops in California attracted a criminal element and just recently a kid was shot at one for not paying his “taxes” to gangs and that was my point.

    Do you think gangs will shrug their shoulders and go become accounts when pot is legal, or will they extort money from you. If you want legalization fine, but don’t pretend it’ll end crime. Ending prohibition neither eliminated or weakened the Mafia – it was in fact the entrance of the Cartels into America that did that.

    As for Sweden – are you proposing that I have my taxes raised to support junkies? Do you have any idea how much a habit costs per day?

    And isn’t Sweden the same country where police and EMTs can’t enter certain areas because the youth will attack them? Look up riots in Malmo before holding them out as a model for how you want to live. Sweden also has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe. But that’s not drug related, to be sure.

  7. “No one on the legalization side is asking for drugs to be controlled substances and you know it.”

    You know every single person who supports repealing the controlled substances act? Try telling that to James Grey, or anyone else at LEAP who says that they don’t want hard drugs to be treated the same tobacco or alcohol in the event drugs become legal.

    “Even the medical pot shops in California attracted a criminal element and just recently a kid was shot at one for not paying his “taxes” to gangs and that was my point.”

    Because this has happened, you know for a fact something similar would happen to the point of breaking down society if illegal drugs were to be placed in pharmacies in a regulation process similar to prescription drugs?

    “Do you think gangs will shrug their shoulders and go become accounts when pot is legal, or will they extort money from you.”

    Yeah, I’m sure you’ve had a long conversation with many drug dealers and they told you how great their business would be if marijuana was legal. According to the directors of “The Union: the Business behind getting High” marijuana dealers have admitted they don’t want marijuana to become legal, as well as all the other dealer’s I’ve encountered.

    Nevermind the fact that marijuana can be used to make medicine, paper, food, oil, clothing, rope, and other unmentioned products. Do you know how marijuana became illegal in the first place? Ever hear of Harry Anslinger?

    “As for Sweden – are you proposing that I have my taxes raised to support junkies? Do you have any idea how much a habit costs per day? ”

    Switzerland and Sweden are different countries.

    You know for a fact that opening on-site injection clinics is more expensive than supplying our tax money to law enforcement in the efforts to shut down drug lords and arrest drug users?

    If these “junkie supporting” programs are as expensive as you’re making them out to be, why not show how much money it consumes, or all the bad results its producing? Other countries have adopted similar programs, so there’s gotta be proof that shows how bad they are, right?

    Any chance you can show me how successfully drug prohibition has reduced drug crime, violence, and abuse?

  8. Why should I prove to you that shooting up junkies is expensive? We have clinic for junkies in America now – their called methadone clinics. Are they cheap? Do they cut down on crime?

    I’m not against decriminalization which I’ve said 1000 times, but like all shiftless degenerates you’ve never bothered to really read anything. I’m against people lying about why they want drugs. You think that if we let addicts shoot up their kids are safe? You think that addicts will be satisfied with the government rations when there are heroin addicts with $700 a day habits?

    Grow up. You want to get high. I say that just like bars legal drug parlors will be extorted by gangs, the scenes of multiple crimes and once it’s not an offense to be an addict the children of addicts will have to be left in households until some other abuse happens. All these things will be horrible, but at least you’ll be able to get high and pay for sex with drugs.

    Now listen “John” I’m not at your beck and call. I don’t care if you believe me because you’re an addict (which is why you’re so angry about this) and once you die or hit bottom you’ll see I’m right. Until them go find someone who gives a shit about you to play with.

  9. “Why should I prove to you that shooting up junkies is expensive?”

    Because you had the gall to say that your taxes would be raised if heroin distribution clinics were to be opened. Clearly, you know about how much the citizen’s taxes were raised when heroin distribution clinics opened in European countries.

    “We have clinic for junkies in America now – their called methadone clinics. Are they cheap? Do they cut down on crime?”

    Right. Getting an addict on the street to enter methadone clinics is much easier than an addict going from a heroin distribution clinic to a methadone clinic. I hope the addict’s not too busy stabbing someone in the chest to score five dollars for their next fix when he or she is on the street. It sure would suck if someone who entered a treatment program relapses and goes back to robbing people to get their hands on some dope.

    “I’m not against decriminalization which I’ve said 1000 times, but like all shiftless degenerates you’ve never bothered to really read anything.”

    Nice one. I’d ask you to point out where in your article you’ve said you support decriminalization, since I’ve failed to see it typed anywhere (maybe my idiotically addicted brain was too busy getting angry at the condescending tone of the article), but apparently, you’re too good to humor a degenerate like me.

    So you’re for decriminalization, where an addict (I wonder how many of them relapsed after they went through a treatment program) is fined for being caught with illegal drugs that they got from “shady city street gangsta” who made the drug impure by lacing it with sleeping powder, but you’re against letting an addict get their next fix from a doctor that’s trying to put the addict in a treatment program?

    Unless you have a different defenition of decriminalization, since I’m under the impression that decriminalization means someone using drugs is charged with a civil offense, but selling, distributing, and manufacturing is still prohibited, and anyone found commiting said crimes is charged with a criminal offense.

    “I’m against people lying about why they want drugs.”

    Right, ’cause you’re all knowing about my motives and why I’m challenging the viewpoint of someone who keeps conveying the message “LEGALIZATION IS BAD! SOMEONE SUPPORTS LEGALIZATION HE’S AN ADDICTED HIPPY EVERYTHING THIS PERSON LIES!”

    Clearly, I’m an addicted hopeless slimeball for supporting LEAP’s idea of drug legalization.

    “You think that if we let addicts shoot up their kids are safe?”

    Yeah ’cause I’m sure a kid would rather have their parents shoot up on the street instead of shooting up in a clinic under the supervision of doctors.

    “You think that addicts will be satisfied with the government rations when there are heroin addicts with $700 a day habits?”

    I would assume addicts would rather get pure heroin from a doctor, instead of getting impure heroin from gangstadawg in the dark alley, but what do I know? I’m just a stupi— duuuuurrr. If you want addicts to pay gang leaders 700$ a day instead of letting them go to a clinic where their addiction is being treated by doctors to the best of their ability, then go right ahead and continue to look down upon those who support LEAP and its cause.

    “Grow up.”

    ‘Cause insulting someone with a different viewpoint is a sign of true maturity.

    “You want to get high.”

    Yeah, me and every other person who likes to get drunk.

    “I say that just like bars legal drug parlors will be extorted by gangs, the scenes of multiple crimes and once it’s not an offense to be an addict the children of addicts will have to be left in households until some other abuse happens.”

    There you go again, showing off your “I know eveything” abilities. You must be so well informed about the crime rates surrounding heroin distribution clinics, and the cannabis coffee shops in the Netherlands.

    “All these things will be horrible, but at least you’ll be able to get high and pay for sex with drugs.”

    “Will be horrible”? Don’t you mean “are horrible”? Why haven’t you used any of the cannabis coffee shops in Amsterdam to show how horribly exploited they are by gangs? You gotta stop your “all knowing” skills, ’cause you sound so sure that I can’t get high or pay for sex with drugs under current prohibition policies, and it’s just too much for my pathetic drug-fried brain to keep up with.

    “Now listen “John” I’m not at your beck and call. I don’t care if you believe me because you’re an addict (which is why you’re so angry about this) and once you die or hit bottom you’ll see I’m right. Until them go find someone who gives a shit about you to play with.”

    Ah, yes, there’s the condescending holier-than-thou attitude I was looking for. I mean, who cares about discussing how certain drugs became illegal in the first place, or various drug policies in a civil manner, when you can just accuse the opposing side of lying, and then proceed to tell them that they’re degenerate pieces of crap?

    Well, I’m just gonna sit in the corner with my delusional bottom-feeding self, laugh at the CIA trafficing drugs from Mexico, and ignore all the products that can be created from industrial hemp. Don’t mind me I’ll just pray for the day U.S.A. can be a country of stoners, like how the founding fathers notated in letters their pleasure in smoking marijuana. clearly, our country was thought up during some drug induced delusion by dopes.

Comments are closed.