Your assets are at risk because of the war on drugs- even though you
may not be involved directly with the use or sale of illicit drugs.
The Vietnam "police action" showed us that we are not an invincible
and all powerful country. Accepting that was a difficult effort for those
in power -- who refused to accept their mistake until it became politically
impossible for them to continue resisting wide spread pressure to stop
On January 18, 1919, we amended our Constitution with the 18th Amendment
to prohibit the sale or use of alcohol. This led to a "war" between the
police and the bootleggers and even the consumers of bootlegged liquor.
Criminals also fought with each other for "turf" or territory in which
to sell their illicit product. On December 5, 1933 we amended the Constitution
again when we passed the 21st Amendment to repeal the 18th Amendment. Clearly,
we had acknowledged that we could not prevent people from consuming alcohol
by making it illegal. We also acknowledged by the 21st Amendment that the
problems caused by prohibition were worse than the problems caused by the
abusive use of liquor.
Eventually, the so-called "war on drugs" will have the same result.
Like Vietnam and Prohibition, it's a "war" we can't win. The price we pay
for trying to forcefully prevent people from abusing themselves with mind
altering drugs is becoming far greater than the price of permitting people
to use drugs. The sooner we can get the politicians to accept this conclusion,
the less damage they will do to our liberties. If we can't get the politicians
to stop this madness, everyone with any substantial assets will have to
seriously consider leaving the U.S. and even giving up their citizenship.
Those who can't afford to leave will have to adopt a low financial profile
so they won't become targets of overzealous drug warriors.
Sometimes when a country or a people get immersed in some conflict,
they forget the reason why the conflict began. When you ask why the people
in the Balkans or many other parts of the world are engaged in perpetual
warfare, the reply is often, "It's always been that way." Like the Vietnam
debacle, the war on drugs began gradually, as a sort of domestic police
action that was encouraged by a lot of paternalistic people who want to
control the behavior of others. But drugs are products that have what the
economists call "inelastic demand" -- meaning that drug users will pay
whatever price is required.
And if they don't have the money to pay that price, they will steal
it. The more money and effort that the government devotes to stop the use
and sale of illicit drugs, the more the profit potential for the drug dealers.
It was the same during the era of prohibition of alcohol. Excessive use
of liquor is still a problem and is likely to continue to be a problem.
But by legalizing it, it was no longer profitable enough for the criminals
to engage in producing and selling it. Criminals don't want to compete
in a price competitive market. When drugs are legalized, the prices will
plummet as legitimate companies compete to offer these drugs to the users.
If the government buys large quantities of these drugs to administer to
drug addicts through various medical services, the price will fall dramatically
and the criminals will seek greener pastures.
Alcoholism is now (reluctantly) accepted as a medical problem rather
than as a crime. It's past time to do the same for drug addiction. This
is not to suggest in any way that legalizing drugs will eliminate the same
kind of problems we have with legalized alcohol. It's just an admission
that we have wasted many billions of dollars and have nearly destroyed
the Constitution of this country and have forced our will on many other
countries in a belief -- a false belief -- that we can forcefully prevent
drug addicts from using drugs and that we can forcefully prevent drug producers
and dealers from providing drugs to the addicts.
Our efforts to prevent people from abusing themselves with drugs have
led to prisons overflowing with inmates who have not committed a violent
crime against anyone. It has led to the re-enactment of the use of civil
forfeitures, which have expanded to include nearly every kind of crime.
The drug war has led to the creation of the strange crime of money laundering,
which is becoming a weapon for anyone in power to use against anyone who
disagrees with them. I hope it's not too late to turn the tide and repeal
the war on drugs as we repealed the 18th Amendment with the 21st Amendment.
We don't need a constitutional amendment to stop the war on drugs. We need
the political will.
Speaking for myself, I'd much rather pay taxes to provide medically
supervised drug treatment for addicts than to continue paying for this
mindless and unwinnable "war on drugs." If we can't stop this futile war
on drugs, everything you own is at risk and you may eventually have to
expatriate from the U.S. in order to preserve any of your property. And
until the U.S. stops trying to prevent people from using drugs, you should
seriously think about having a financial nest egg offshore - in an annuity,
insurance policy, trust or limited liability company.