More: Donald Trump Backlash
July 16, 2015
As far as we know, The Donald is a U.S. citizen, and thus protected by our Constitution, Bill of Rights and subsequent constitutional amendments.
So, The Walrus has no contest to his freedom to say what is on his mind, however…
As a public figure, The Donald ought to realize that what he says may be interpreted literally or figuratively.
Some of his recent comments directed toward Mexicans seem to have energized a group of fellows who are no longer able to fly their Confederate Flags as openly as before, and had been seeking some new causes to help rally the troops.
Mr. Trump has recently been quoted making alleged negative comments directed toward migrants from Mexico (and Central / South America) as a primary contributing cause and source for America’s multiple issues with drugs.
I’m not quite sure what The Donald was trying to tell us, but it is pretty clear that the propensity for U.S. citizens to use “recreational substances” – alcohol, marijuana, peyote and others – predates Mr. Trump.
Prior to 1913, about 40% of federal revenue was generated by taxes and fees on alcohol.
Passage of the 16th amendment in 1913 (which created the federal income tax) addressed the ‘tax issue’ dependency relative to alcohol, and thus paved the way toward Prohibition.
Subsequent to the 16th amendment, income taxes far surpassed liquor taxes, providing solid support for passage of the 18th Amendment – a.k.a. “Prohibition” – in 1919. It banned the ‘manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors’.
The 18th Amendment didn’t stop the manufacture, transportation or sale of booze — it just shifted the activities out of the mainstream economy to the underground economy, where there were plenty of domestic cartels (families, gangs, mobsters, etc.) ready, willing and able to step in and ensure that the supply chain wasn’t interrupted due to some foolish Constitutional Amendment.
At the time, most of these cartels were populated by first or second generation immigrants from Ireland and/or Italy.
As Al Capone is quoted from back in the day, “All I do is to supply a public demand … somebody had to throw some liquor on that thirst. Why not me?”
Since those peaceful days, direct descendants of the Hatfield and McCoy families have joined forces to make and distribute what some consider to be one of the finest of American products, “The Drink of The Devil” — carefully made in small batches in West Virginia, and fully taxed.
For decades, our elected officials have pushed marijuana (and some other goods and substances) out of the mainstream economy and into an off-the-grid cash economy where no taxes or fees are collected, and thus any and all costs associated with oversight, enforcement, etc. are fully borne by those of us who obey the law and do pay taxes. All of this, Despite the lessons we learned from prohibition!
I never thought I would find near 100% agreement with the Cato Institute on any subject, yet this paper pretty much says it all: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-157.html
Today, many corporations have taken their manufacturing, packaging and more menial tasks “off shore”. Why wouldn’t the domestic marijuana and narcotic distribution cartels follow suit?
Somewhere at the top of any of these current distribution networks is a domestic descendent of one of the original “Capos” – carefully managing his supply chain, and working very hard to ensure that his lifestyle is such that he is above suspicion.
Dig a little deeper, my friends.
This story really has nothing to do with people from Latin America who grow, manufacture, package and/or ship ‘illegal substances’ to the U.S.
The real story is right here, and hiding in plain sight: Which of our neighbors has been blocking legalization and domestic control over the distribution and sale of marijuana?
These are the people who have the most to lose once marijuana becomes part of the regulated, taxed and mainstream economy.