The Marine General in charge of the United States Southern Command — which has responsibility for America’s military in South America, Central America and the Caribbean — disagrees with American voters who in November decided to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, reports Gary Spaulding at Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.
“I think it’s dumb … it’s irresponsible in my opinion,” said Marine General John Kelly, commander of USSOUTHCOM, which, not coincidentally, monitors drug trafficking throughout the region.
“I guess, rather than learning from other people’s mistakes, the people in my own country want to make their own and then learn hard lessons,” the deeply clueless general intoned, undoubtedly whilst magnificently drawing his bad, medal-festooned self up to his full height.
In his majestic, blissful ignorance, the General forgot to mention that, until last November, no political jurisdiction on Earth had legalized marijuana since its worldwide ban under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961. Where, exactly, are these imaginary countries that have legalized, General?And in case you’re just a little fact-challenged and you’re trying to refer to, say, the Netherlands and Portugal, you’re still just as wrong, General.
The Netherlands has taken an official policy of “tolerance” of what they call “soft drugs” (cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms, mostly) since the early 1970s. It remains to be seen what the “hard lessons” of doing so have been.
And in Portugal, which decriminalized (not legalized) all drugs in 2001 — everything from marijuana to cocaine to methamphetamine to heroin — there haven’t been any “hard lessons,” either. In fact, government officials in that country sing the praises of decriminalization.
A dozen years after decrim, Portugal has fewer addicts, less drug-related diseases, fewer overdoses, and fewer young people using drugs. “Hard lessons,” indeed, General.
But, shit. Let’s not let facts get in the way here, Rambo.
“I think that countries that have decriminalized or legalized drugs of any kind in the past, at least to date, have all come to realize that that was a mistake,” claimed General Kelly, who was in Jamaica for a brief visit last week.
“In this case, the U.S. is signatory to a number of international agreements on drugs, so I am confident that the Federal Government will work this out with the states, but it remains illegal in the United States,” the general said, sounding almost as if he advocates international control over the internal affairs of the U.S.
“As I understand it, enforcement at the state level is on hold until the Federal Government acts,” the general said, continuing to display an almost complete absence of any grip on the facts.General Kelly also lamented that many Americans claim they can use pot “recreationally” or just smoke on the weekends. Apparently, the devil’s tobacco is just too seductive for that kind of a relationship, if the general is to be believed.
“A lot of people are fooled to think that drug use can be recreational,” General Kelly tells us, undoubtedly imagining how thrilled we’ll all be that he dropped this useful knowledge. “This is one of the biggest issues with which the country has to contend.”
The general claimed that proceeds from illegal drugs generate enormous profits that are “corrosive” to countries. “In some cases, drug trafficking is used to literally buy governments in this region, not in Jamaica but in the region, because the profits are so outrageously high,” Kelly said.
Oh, so you mean kinda like how Big Oil and Big Pharma bought the U.S. government, then, General? Ohhh, now I get the picture.
But wait, there is a difference. Those industries destroy the earth (Big Oil) and people’s health (Big Pharma) instead of saving it like cannabis could. And legalizing marijuana would mean those “enormous profits” would be funding legitimate businesses — along with swelling the tax coffers.
But let’s get real. To expect that degree of analytical thinking from someone who amounts to little more than a tin-horn warlord overseeing the shrinking influence of a dying empire would just be unrealistic, wouldn’t it?
“We will work very closely with your government,” General Kelly told the Jamaicans. “We share intelligence with them to make sure that if we ever see the cocaine trafficking start to shift direction, we could alert the government, law enforcement and the army but we have a pretty clear picture of the drug routes.”