Is El Chapo’s Arrest a Victory in War on Drugs?

The world witnessed a rare victory in the War on Drugs when Mexican Marines re-arrested drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in Sinaloa after his daring prison escape last July. The arrest has brought to light a Rolling Stone interview authored by none other than Oscar winner, actor Sean Penn.  The interview took place three months after Guzman’s escape through a tunnel under his prison.


Guzman embraced Penn in what the movie star called “a compadre hug” and bragged that he “supplies more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world.” Guzman, or perhaps another drug lord, also brayed that he didn’t need weapons to break out of prison, that “money would open the doors.”


The United States has requested that Guzman be extradited to the U.S. to stand trial on numerous, numerous drug trade charges. Guzman has also bragged about his fleet of submarines, planes, ships, and trucks that carry his cargo worldwide.  Such accomplishments!  Such success!  Guzman is the DHS of the drug world.


Fortunately, he’s once again behind bars and let us hope this time he’ll stay there. With the legalization of pot in this country, however, how long will it take him to go from criminal to hero?


For a long time, I’ve been wondering what his nickname, “El Chapo,” means. According to most translation websites, “El Chapo” generally means “the dwarf”.  Add an accent, and it becomes an imperative with an exclamation point:  Bravo!  He is revered as a hero in Sinaloa, a modern-day Robin Hood.


What Osama Bin Laden did for Afghanistan, “El Chapo” did for Sinaloa: providing “employment” for the local farmers, building schools, hospitals, and roads, and having his henchman gun down anyone who stood in his way.


Adolescents, since the 1960s, have claimed that pot, or cannabis, is a harmless, psychoactive drug intended for “medicinal” purposes. They claim that it’s no more dangerous than alcohol.  The only trouble is, in its smoked form, unlike alcohol, you just can’t say “No, thanks.”


Cannabis, which dates back 3,000 years to Taiwan, is primarily known for its relaxation properties. Its effects are mainly cognitive and used, ostensibly, for pleasure.  The fact that it does relax the cognitive functions is what makes it so dangerous.


Liberals know this and laugh heartily at Conservative worries. They know we’re right about this drug.  But, like cigarettes, pot does have an addictive quality to it, not to mention a strong propensity to cause a state of denial in its users.  They feel good so what could possibly be wrong.  Pot guarantees to take the fight out of almost any adversary without the debilitating effects of stronger drugs (two-thirds of hard drug users admit to having tried pot first).


Pot is now available in pill form, again, for “medicinal purposes.” How willing would first time users be to taking a pill as opposed to smoking the bong?  Imagine the adolescent is at a party.  The room is filled with the haze of pot and a large group of their peers.  The chemical will already have started to take effect.  Is the newcomer going to hesitate and refuse, or join the party?  Of course, they’re going to join the party.


At another party, another party-goer is invited to have a glass of beer with their friends. ‘Just one glass,’ they say.  Does the newcomer imbibe in the stuff?  Yeah, probably.  But they could just as easily be the off-spring of an alcoholic parent or grandparent, and say, “Uhh.  No thanks.  I’ll just have a Diet Pepsi.”  Or they could get snockered.  Or they could stop at the second drink.  They have a multitude of choices.


With weed, there are only two choices: do it or walk out and find a new set of friends (if they can).  Are they going to do that?  Not likely.  Peer pressure (and the smoke) will prevail.


What happens at the next party? This time, the host offers the newcomer an array of pot pills.  The newcomer can clearly see the funky behavior of the rest of the party.  No smoke is in the air to distort perceptions.  Bottles of beer are available.  They’re big.  Takes a couple of tanks of brewsky to put a party-goer in the same condition as that one little pill.  Seemed harmless enough when pot looked like a cigarette.  Somehow the illusion of smoke in the air dispelled any notion of danger or potency.  Cigarettes, well they’re only dangerous to old f-rts. Condensed into a little pill, on the other hand…


That’s when pot gets personal. Everybody may be doing it, but they’re all doing it individually.  There isn’t that same, collective “everybody’s-doing-it” sensation, that sense of safety in numbers.


At least, let’s hope newcomers think about it that way. Swallowing isn’t as easy as inhaling.  Pills are associated with medicine, not pleasure.  That’s the part of the Sixties the old hippies have been keeping under wraps.  How they did every pill under the Sun at Woodstock.  Woodstock wasn’t a concert; it was, first and foremost, an outdoor drug convention, like a farmers’ market or a crafts fair.  Only these crafts could kill you.


I have it on authority from friends who had gone there for the music, not the drugs, and were dismayed when it turned into a drug-fueled orgy. The friends left the first day, after two motorcycle gangs turned the muddied fields red with blood.


Arresting the Big Fish, and the Little Dwarves, are not going to guarantee a victory in the War on Drugs. Victory means much more education, much more in the way of anti-drug “entertainment” – books, movies, music – and arrests on the lower levels.  These arrests would be better of leading to drug rehab rather than prison, which, indeed, would only make matters worse, especially for first-timers.


Think of drug users as cultists. Remember the religious cultists of the Eighties?  Remember how families had to employ psychological specialists in de-cultifying family members, especially teenagers?  That’s because their “fertile” minds haven’t quite finished producing myelin, the white matter that insulates the teaching which the brain has imbibed up until that point.  The process doesn’t end until very late in adolescence – between the ages of 21 and 23.


Jail has never worked for alcoholics and it won’t work on adolescent drug addicts, which is about 80 percent of our adolescent population, by now. Even with rehabilitation, the alcoholic knows they’re addicted for life.  The drug addict is no different.  The difference is that our culture at least has a certain “alcohol awareness” whereas drug addiction, particularly in the use of cannabis, is met with permissive insouciance, even disdain for the notion of a “War on Drugs” or “Just Say No.”


With help (tons of it), an alcoholic can just say, “No.” With drugs, the alteration is in the brain is more permanent, and the user is more likely to say, “Why not?” rather than “No.”  Pot is the indispensable planned rejuvenation product.  As long as there are malleable adolescents who enjoy youthful rebellion, foolish parents who fear their children, corrupt politicians and media who benefit from the traffic, and populations that fear the retribution of drug kings like “El Chapo” the haze will never lift completely.


Saying “no” takes courage, a quality the average adolescent seriously lacks in the face of demanding peers, a mocking social culture, and weak-willed parental units. Yes, adolescents, those purveyors of socialist puritanism, those pigeon-brained policeman of perfidy, those drama queens of fashion rule us all.  They were at their zenith in The Sixties, when they made a fashion of non-conformity, dictating to all the young world to reject conservative values and all conform to the the same wardrobe of ragged blue jeans and tie-dye shirts, listen to the same strains of tortured guitars, and tout the values of Communism while knowing nothing of such books as The Gulag Archipelago.


Today, they are our world leaders.


No wonder the drug world hails “El Chapo” as a hero instead of the monster he really is.











Published in: on January 11, 2016 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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