Drug smugglers will resort to any number of creative DIY solutions for bringing their illicit goods to the United States, from marijuana catapults to mega-tunnels. But a new fleet of diesel-powered, fully submersible narco-subs could be the bane of law enforcement's existence.
Far from the rickety, barely-submerged metal husks first discovered a few years ago, the latest fiberglass models come equipped with air conditioning, shark paint jobs and quick-scuttle technology, to easily sink the ship and the drugs inside them. The subs would be "the envy of all but a few nations," as the New York Times describes them.
Intelligence officials first heard of drug-smuggling subs in the 1990s, but the vessels didn't start getting serious attention until 2006, in the eastern Pacific Ocean. In November of that year, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a semi-submersible they dubbed "Bigfoot," because officials weren't sure it existed until they saw it. Now, federal authorities have seized at least 25 such ships in the Pacific.
But new versions are cropping up in new locations. Drug submarines hadn't been spotted in the Caribbean until August of last year, but now they are growing in number, according to the Times. There have been five interceptions in the Caribbean so far, according to the Coast Guard.
In a raid last August, Coast Guard officers intercepted 15,000 pounds of cocaine, worth $180 million, in a sub captured off the coast of Honduras — the first time a submarine was intercepted in the Caribbean. That was a semi-submersible model, made of fiberglass and wood and painted to blend in with the sea surface.
The government has since captured three newer, fully submersible models, which can haul 10 tons of cocaine and conceivably travel beneath the surface all the way from Ecuador to Los Angeles, according to the Times.
The semi-submersibles are typically a little less than 100 feet long, and can carry four or five crewmembers and up to 10 metric tons of drugs, the Coast Guard says. Officials estimate they're very cheap to make, costing about $1 million and capable of moving $150 million to $180 million in cocaine per load, according to the Miami Herald.
Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the former U.S. drug czar and a SOCOM commander, told the Herald this spring that the first subs were far from advanced — he evoked memories of the Monitor and the Merrimack, the wooden subs from the American Civil War. "It was Colombian, they had two Russian engineers, probably just unemployed sub guys helping to design the thing," McCaffrey told the newspaper. "I thought it was the silliest thing I ever heard of in my life."
Nowadays, things are definitely different: The newer, more sophisticated subs are probably built by independent contractors, who more than likely would sell them to the highest bidder. This has counterterrorism officials worried, the Times says. The subs are built in the thick jungles of central America, where they would be hard to detect via aerial surveillance.
But sometimes they can be found in their drydock states. In 2010 Drug Enforcement Agency, the and the Ecuadoran military seized a submarine that had been built and hidden in the jungle. That twin-screw, diesel electric-powered sub was about nine feet high from the deck to the ceiling, according to the DEA. It was about 30 meters (98 feet) long and described as "sophisticated," even containing its own air conditioning system. That sub never set sail, but the discovery in Honduras pointed to a potential Caribbean fleet. Now it sounds like a growing trend.
Make all drugs legal. Treat same as alcohol. People who want to are going to do them anyway. All we're doing is feeding a massive crime industry. Therefore all we have to lose is the crime.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs, and they now have fewer drug users and addicts.
I dunno Bob... that sounds nice and all in theory, but the only reports I've seen stories written about regarding Portugal were done by the Cato Institute, which is a libertarian think tank, and therefore naturally has a bias in this matter.
I'm thinking that I've seen a whole lot of pain and suffering on a personal/family level due to hard drugs, how would legalizing actually help that situation? The formulations would become stronger, the price paid lower, and every addict I know would simply take more.
All alone, that doesn't sound too bad... but have you ever seen kids who were so neglected by a couple of addict parents that they looked like they were just pulled from a concentration camp? I have. In person. And I certainly don't want even more people to have even more access to the same drugs that turned their parents from the normal people I knew in high school to something not much better than wild animals. While not all hard drug users are this bad, quite a few are, and I'm certainly not keen on seeing more of them. And I would suggest that anyone who differs in that opinion needs to go see how the lives of these children are before responding. Barely enough food to survive, sometimes alone for days, living in their own filth, some of the younger ones haven't ever even learned to speak a single word by the ages of 2 and 3. It's sad, so very sad.
And as we live more and more in a world of shared responsibility due to government programs (which I'm not a fan of, but that's what we currently have), allowing people to mess themselves up medically and financially and then relying on the rest of us to work to take care of them is not something a whole lot of people would agree with.
If people who got high on hard drugs only hurt themselves, I'd likely be all for it. But the truth is that in the real world they don't. They hurt a lot of other people. And for that reason, I hope they never legalize the hard drugs in this country.
I HAVE seen the situation you talk about, and I still think drugs should be legalized. When drugs are illegal, there is a negative stigma that comes with them that keeps users from seeking help when they really need it. Nobody but those around the drug user ever see these drug problems until it's too late because they hide their habits from public eyes. And the drug being illegal doesn't mean people don't have access to it, they just have to find shady people to sell it to them. and then who knows about purity or strength? At least if you know exactly what potency the drug is, there's a lower chance of accidental overdose. We never had a crack epidemic until cocaine prohibition, never had a problem with heroine until opium prohibition, etc. I feel the key to America's drug problem lies in education and support, rather than prohibition and incarceration.
Illegal drugs bad. Abusing perscription drugs bad too.
Eat your veggies\fruits\grains\then meat\excersise and get a productive happy life.
The Monitor and Merrimack weren't submarines.
"Never had a problem with heroine until opium prohibition."
That is a flat lie. That is like saying we never had a problem with alcohol before prohibition or afterwards - and yet there was a little "rebellion" over some "wiskey" tax and countless lives ruined and ended due to abuse and dependence.
Go read the letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as he laments his addiction and the toll it takes on his life and relationships.
People do abuse legal drugs all the time to the detriment of their health, their families, and societies. Furthermore, prohibitions work. They do not stop use, but they do reduce it.
If you really want to fix the problem, then what you need are punishments that serve as real deterants. Put mandatory capital sentences on posession, transportation, consumption, or influence of any drug and its use will plumet (both one way AND the other).
When the only consequence is time/money, those with nothing to loose risk nothing entering the drug trade. When the penalities for use are so light (since, after all, the user is the "victim" who needs "treatment" no punishment) - it is no wonder that many turn to it.
The victims of drugs are the families and friends of the users, victimized by the behavior of the user selfishly not living up to his familial and social obligations (like a slow suicide).
The dealers and transporters are really only guilty of violating trade laws meeting a black market demand - a lesser crime by far than neglecting a child, isolating a spouse, or failing to become a productive member of society.
So, if you are a drug user arguing for legalization, get clean, get a job, and become useful to your species. If you feel you MUST escape, no matter the cost to your loved ones, go pick up a nice large caliber pipe and smoke high-velocity lead instead for the ulitmate escape. I promise it will put your brain up so high that you will never feel it coming down.
I think everyone is missing the bigger issue: The Monitor and Merrimack weren't submarines.
The only way to stop the new Narco subs is for the US Navy to do what is did in WW2 to stop U boats attacking convoys, that is to build and deploy a fleet of anti sub blimps.
For more information try the AT10 page of my airship related site: www.hybridairship.net
I hear ya rettaH-daM, I read that and just shook my head. Yes they are both submerged now but they were not made to. Its one thing to call one of them a sub but to call both of them one is kinda ridiculous.
I can appreciate your concern, but:
They're going to do them anyway.
"They" can't keep hard drugs away from 13 year olds now in all cities in America.
Portugal shows fewer addicts because without fear of imprisonment, more addicts came in for help.
I think the gov should manufacture them, make them safer, possibly less addictive, more fun, and cheap enough to put all the cartels out of business. Tax them of course. Put chemical markers in them that the police can use to test drivers if need be.
I know a Green Beret who worked the drug situation in the 1980's and testifies that we spend so much money on the 'war on drugs' we could afford to hire each addict a chaperone for life and still be far better off from a $$ standpoint.
I would ask you not to ignore the high levels of crime happening right now that affect people who have nothing to do with drugs. Older ladies getting hit on the head for the 5 bucks they have walking back from the store - and a million other stories. I care more about them than I do people who make bad choices in their life.
How about the guys getting killed jumping off of mountains with wingsuits. Should we go save them too? Rhetorical.
With illegal drugs and kids you have the 'cool' factor. Kids will do stuff purely because it's illegal. Get the dealers off the street, get the drugs into specialized point of sale outlets and far fewer kids will be doing drugs.
This is not going to change so it's all academic. Just kicking it around. Too many people, bible belt and otherwise think it's their job to save everyone.
The facts don't bear out your argument though from what I believe I know about it.
Hey Bob, I'm with ya on much of what you're saying about too many people who think its their job to save everyone. I really am. I'm a big fan of giving everyone as much freedom as possible, as long as they don't hurt anyone else. And I'm happy to kick this around with you a bit.
Of course, people can hurt others with just about anything, from a piece of paper to a hammer, and I certainly don't want us banning paper or hammers. But I think those things have a use/value, and just using a hammer normally doesn't alter your mental state to the point where you no longer care about anything (including yourself) except for swinging it some more. But I believe that mind-altering substances are somewhat unique.
Society is maintained in a large part because people have built-in mechanisms that push them to self-preservation. We inherently realize that without the group, our chances of survival go down. And so we conform, even though it limits us. Conformity is a naturally evolved survival mechanism. 20,000 years ago, if you didn't conform to the group, you were removed from the group, and you died. Those who didn't conform to the group and didn't subject their own wills to the group at least enough for the group to happily survive were simply naturally deselected. If you wanted to wander off and express your individuality, you became some predator's lunch or died of exposure. If you didn't have enough brain power to stay with the group, you became some predator's lunch or died of exposure. If your thinking became impaired enough that you left the group or were ostracized by it, you became some predator's lunch or died of exposure.
We're really not all that different today. We willingly subject ourselves to rules and laws and governments - and for what? Safety and stability. If everyone really believed tomorrow that no social cohesion (government) could keep us safe, we'd instantly have mass anarchy. And the more someone is addicted to a truly mind-altering substance, the less they care about themselves, those around them, society as a whole. As long as they can get their fix, they'll conform as much as needed. But if they can't get it, when they want it, they increasingly become anti-societal to get it. And least that is my personal experience with quite a few people I've tried to help (to get a job) over the years.
A society is just individuals with desires, desires that they feel can be more easily obtained in a stable society. Otherwise the society would not exist. The society seeks to protect itself from harm because the individuals who make up the society understand that if the society is harmed, they are also harmed. So what happens when certain members of a society threaten it through their actions? Those people are ostracized or banished or punished or "rehabilitation" is attempted to "help them return" to the mindset of protecting the society. Whether that's a person who kills others or destabilizes the society in any meaningful way.
Now, certainly people also have the desires to be lazy and still get the benefits of the society, or to attempt to deceive others to get ahead, etc. But all of that is predicated upon the society existing so they can exist nearer the top of it.
But it is natural for human beings to create societies and to protect those societies from destruction, and thus prevent their own destruction or suffering. Always has, and always will, whether they use logic or patriotism or religion, or anything else as justification. A little anarchy here and there is tolerated by the group, but don't expect that the group will allow extreme stress to be placed upon it without serious reaction.
So, the point? The point is that in the end we draw much of our morality from group survival and elevating our place within the group. If murdering destabilizes the group, we ban it, and it seems like most of us are ok with that. It's all about how much of the group believes that an activity destabilizes the group that determines the group's policies and the amount of members of the group that support those policies. And I'd suggest that people who take mind-altering substances are inherently seen as a destabilizing force on the group. A few might be tolerated, as long as we believe the problem is under control. But if it gets out of control... watch out.
We might just round them all up, give them wing suits, and take them on an all-expenses paid trip to somewhere very high, knowing full well that their own instability will quickly rid us of their destabilizing influence.
Of course, that's just my $0.02.
Well, that, plus the fact that the Monitor and Merrimack weren't submarines.
Absolutely no alcohol, drugs, etc. on punishment of death?
Yes, I get it, freedom is only guaranteed for stuff you deem good. Freedom of speech should end with a bullet in the head when people swear too, right?
I'll tell you what. I'll keep my engineering job (which is clearly in no way beneficial to society), and I'll keep my whiskey too, and if you wanna grab a rifle and make me stop, good luck. Worst case, I'm taking you with me.
If kids are not being treated well, they should be placed with more hospitable guardians, whether the reason is drugs, alcohol or other.
That problem should not spill over and rationalize putting millions of people in jail, propping up dangerous cartels and bootleggers, and creating incentives towards more potent drugs.
All your points were already applicable in the age of alcohol Prohibition. Are you suggesting things we bring back alcohol Prohibition (including bootleggers and related gangs)?
By the way you talk of "hard drugs" as if that is a category. Can you clarify how it is categorically defined and why that affects the economic logic (drug prohibitions spawn crime and create a net negative on society)?
marcoreid - " A few might be tolerated, as long as we believe the problem is under control. But if it gets out of control... watch out."
I believe this is the focal point of the discussion - or it's mine anyway.
I believe fewer people would be doing dangerous drugs if they were legal, prior to 1920??(I could look it up but it's not critical) all drugs were legal in the US. We didn't fall apart as a nation that's for sure.
I believe FAR fewer kids would be doing drugs without lawless dealers deploying them into the neighborhoods.
I don't see it much different than alcohol. Some people destroy themselves with it. Kids grow up understanding what over-use of it can do to a person, and most people come out Ok. Uncle Bill would be off in never-never land when the nieces and nephews came over to visit and I'd bet the vast majority would look at Uncle Bill as having a big problem and would be motivated to avoid having the same problem themselves. Again, alcohol is a great canary in the coal mine to lead the way. I think most people would smoke weed and weed is less harmful than alcohol that's for sure. When was the last time you read a news article about someone crashing a car or killing someone because they had too much weed. I don't believe I ever have but we can easily agree there are stories everyday about problems, perps, and alcohol use.
Just like anything else some small percentage of people are going to have a big problem with (flll in the blank) and the vast majority are going to be Ok. Most people do come out Ok. Interestingly, the folks were having the biggest problem with are the kids born to single women who pop them out like pieces of toast into zero opportunity, drug and crime infested environments. I'd vote for tackling that problem as a society before we worry about someone using drugs.
To me honestly, People who want them are going to do them anyway. If the underworld crime can be eliminated, I see that as substantial progress.
Again though, We will never know ;-)
Again with the ridiculous call to legalize drugs. There's a reason they're illegal folks. They are REALLY BAD for you; not bad like drinking too many soft drinks, but devastatingly bad. Drugs ruin lives and kill people. Soft drinks don't.
We already have a problem with people driving intoxicated with the legal drug, alcohol. Why would we want to increase the number of people driving intoxicated with, say, heroin, meth, cocaine, or marijuana by allowing easier access to illegal drugs?
All of you making the "they're going to do it anyway, so might as well legalize it" argument, do you ever consider for a moment what you're saying? Try applying the analogy to something else. Well, psychopaths are going to kill people anyway, so you might as well make it legal. Sound stupid? So does legalizing drugs.
Drugs in Portugal are illegal, if you get caught with more then what you can prove to be for personal use you get busted as a drug smuggler, but if the quantities are small and you have a clean criminal record you're sent to a mandatory program, also heroin users have free treatment if they want. I don't know where you got the idea that Portugal had decriminalized drugs, it has not! It's illegal, I know I live in Portugal, the only change they did to the law was the difference between a drug user and a drug smuggler.
As far as the subs, sink them all, free targets for the NAVY!
Reading from Wikipedia,
"...Submarine gunboatsUSS Monitor had had very little freeboard so as to bring the mass of the gun turret down, thereby increasing stability and making the boat a smaller and therefore harder target for gunfire. At the end of the American Civil War, the U.S.Navy Casco-class monitors had large ballast tanks that allowed the vessels to partially submerge during battle. This idea was carried further with the concept of the Royal Navy's R class of submarine gunboats..."
The Monitor being partially submerge was reference as a partially submerged submarine gunboat, which related directly to the type of vessel in this article.
Looking at the Merrimack, its deck was level with the water line and look similar to design to the Monitor. I would consider them a type of beginning hybrid vessel\submarine and completely get the relationship Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey references. Take care. ;)
"Again with the ridiculous call to legalize drugs. There's a reason they're illegal folks. They are REALLY BAD for you;"
OK, we need some basic facts here. First, let's start with why drugs were outlawed in the first place.
Opium smoking was originally outlawed because of the fear that Chinese men were luring white women to have sex in opium dens. They didn't outlaw all uses of opium. In fact, kids could still buy it over the counter in the store. They just outlawed the Chinese custom of smoking it in opium dens. At the same time, they outlawed the chinese custom of wearing their hair in pigtails and banned them from going into various businesses.
Cocaine was outlawed because of the fear that superhuman Negro Cocaine Fiends would go on a violent rampage and rape white women and shoot white men. It was believed that cocaine made them better marksmen and impervious to bullets, prompting police departments across the nation to switch to larger caliber pistols. Caffeine was almost outlawed at the same time, for the same reasons. The only reason caffeine escaped being illegal was because it was found in so many common foods.
Marijuana was outlawed for two major reasons. The first was because "All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them crazy." The second was the fear that heroin addiction would lead to the use of marijuana -- exactly the opposite of the modern "gateway" idea.
Only one medical doctor testified at the hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The representative of the American Medical Association said there was no evidence that marijuana was a dangerous drug and no reason for the law. He pointed out that it was used in hundreds of common medicines with no significant problems. In response, the committee told him that if he wasn't going to cooperate,he should shut up and leave.
The only other "expert" to testify was James C. Munch, a psychologist. His sole claim to fame was that he had injected cannabis directly into the brains of 300 dogs and two of them died. When they asked him what he concluded from this, he said he didn't know what to conclude because he wasn't a dog psychologist.
He also testified in court, under oath, that marijuana could make your fangs grow six inches long and drip with blood. He also said that, when he tried it, it turned him into a bat.
Mr. Munch was the only "expert" in the US who thought marijuana should be illegal, so he was appointed US Official Expert on marijuana, where he served for 25 years.
That's only the tip of the iceberg. The drug laws are a history of absolute lunacy, run by lunatics. For anyone who wants to read about it, you can find a number of good histories of the subject, as well as hundreds of original historical documents, all full text, at www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/history.htm
"There's a reason they're illegal folks."
Just for grins, I will list some of the reasons that prohibitionists have claimed marijuana needs to be illegal, starting with the earliest. Note that this is not a complete list by any means.
-- "All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them crazy."
-- Heroin addiction leads to marijuana (circa 1920s)
-- There is no connection between marijuana and heroin. (testimony of Harry Anslinger, 1937)
-- Marijuana is the certain steppingstone to heroin. (testimony of Harry Anslinger, 1951)
-- It causes insanity, criminality, and death.
-- It causes violent activity.
-- It causes pathological lethargy.
-- It causes diarrhea.
-- An unnamed high school girl knew another girl who smoked a joint with her boyfriend and it made them go crazy and elope.
-- It will make your fangs grow six inches long and drip with blood.
-- It will turn you into a bat.
-- It is a communist plot to destroy America.
-- It will turn boys into girls.
-- It will give you cancer (pick a type of cancer, any type)
And so forth. That isn't the end of the them, by any means.
Historically speaking, you can divide the reasons for the marijuana laws into two sections. There are the reasons given when people still believed that it would turn you into a bat. Then there are the reasons given after people stopped believing that it turned people into bats.
As for the actual reasons for the laws, pick the stupidest ones out of the bunch in the list above. Those are the real original reasons for the laws. The original reasons were so stupid that people just laugh out loud when they hear them today.
ok. just got a new account because i wanted to comment on this article. I want to make sure everyone understands my position on this one. I understand where those individuals who want to legalize these drugs come from (for the record, we are discussing all substances that are illegalized.) I understand that you guys believe that there would be a drop in crime rate and that this would boost our economy and that there are a lot of upsides to it. I also understand that there are a lot of you who would like to keep it the way it is. Illegal.
the point is, we live in a democratic republic. the fact is that our government was founded upon the idea that those who have the ability to act for the betterment of others and the betterment of society have a responsibility to act. we have a right and a duty as citizens to vote to help other people. to me, this means trying to stop drug usage. the fact is that there will always be individuals who break the law, but that doesn't mean that we don't have responsibilities to them. For example there will always be people who are willing to commit murder, however, this doesn't mean that we legalize murder. I realize that most individuals who read these comments are probably already decided one way or another. Most of those who disagree with me have probably already stopped listening, but for those of you who got this far and still have an open mind, let me tell you a story.
This is a story about a teenage girl. she was the youngest in a family of six other girls. Her parents were both educated, religious, good people. It's possible that she felt that she wasnt getting enough attention, its possible that she was just a rebellious child, but whatever the reason, she got in with the wrong crowd. she started off with tobacco and alcohol. Her religion and her parents both taught her to never even try these, but they were both legal so how bad could they be? at first, she only did them to look cool or to get some attention from her parents. unfortunately, she decided one day that it wasnt enough. she tried something a little harder. drugs effect the development of adolescent brains in ways that are not fully understood, but whatever the root cause, her drug usage eventually resulted in a borderline personality disorder. finally her parents got her some help. she met with church leaders, rehabilitation specialists, everything to get her clean, and finally she was. she met a great guy who loved her for who she was, and had a beautiful baby boy. but as time went on, her husband began to notice some irregularities in her personality. her ability to tell truth from fiction seemed warped. Even after she was caught lying, she would act as though nothing was wrong. She dipped back into drugs, and eventually her husband left her and took their son to her parents. he couldn't raise him alone, but his wife was not safe. she still struggles with drugs. she has fallen into prostitution. this is a true story. i realize that most of you won't believe this, and you'll just discount it as another internet tail, but the fact is, drugs destroy lives. they destroy the lives of, not just those who use them, but all who care for that individual. Now imagine that the girl in the story was your mother, your sister, your daughter, maybe even you. legalization of drugs would unleash this scenario into the lives of law abiding citizens. thats why its wrong, we have a duty to uphold.
"We already have a problem with people driving intoxicated with the legal drug, alcohol. Why would we want to increase the number of people driving intoxicated with, say, heroin, meth, cocaine, or marijuana by allowing easier access to illegal drugs?"
Yes, alcohol causes more problems in society than all the illegal drugs combined, and the comparison isn't even close. Alcohol accounts for about half of all deaths from homicide, suicide, auto accidents, fires, and drownings. It also accounts for about half of all domestic abuse and two-thirds of all sexual assaults on children. By some estimates, it also accounts for as much as forty percent of all inpatient hospital care.
The only drug that even comes close to alcohol's wide toll is tobacco. Alcohol kills about 100,000 people per year. Tobacco kills about 400,000. All the illegal drugs combined kill about 20,000.
So, if we were going to prohibit any drug to protect society, the first and most obvious choice is alcohol. All the currently illegal drugs are small change by comparison.
But there is only one reason that alcohol is legal. That is because we tried prohibition and proved conclusively that it caused far more problems than it solved. It was such a disaster that no one seriously considers it even almost 100 years after it was passed.
That's the problem with prohibition. It causes more problems than it solves. It was that way with the currently illegal drugs, too. You can read a good history of how this prohibition disaster got started at www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm The first drug prohibition law was decried as a national disaster by medical societies across the nation as soon as it was passed. It took a small problem and made it a huge one.
Nice story, alexclarke. However, the drug laws never had anything to do with those kinds of reasons.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that drug prohibition improves any of the problems you are worried about. In fact, all of the available research indicates that drug prohibition is just about the worst thing we could do for those problems.
The reason is that prohibition is not control. Prohibition is the complete lack of control.
You don't have to take my word for this. You can read the full text of every major government commission on drugs from around the world over the last 100 years at www.druglibrary.org/schaffer under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy.
Just FYI, I have never met a person with your opinion who has read any of that research.
"I'm thinking that I've seen a whole lot of pain and suffering on a personal/family level due to hard drugs, how would legalizing actually help that situation? The formulations would become stronger, the price paid lower, and every addict I know would simply take more."
To start with, there have been heroin maintenance clinics in Switzerland and England that have allowed addicts to have as much as they wanted and they soon found that the addicts stabilized at a regular dose -- just like the tens of thousands of people who use medical morphine on a daily basis in the US.
In addition, the clinics found that once the addicts were stabilized on a regular dose, most of them were able to become gainfully employed and drug-related crime dropped about 80 percent. In addition, because they were on a regular medical regimen, overdose deaths dropped to zero, there were lower rates of related diseases, etc., etc. In short, most of the addicts were able to regain fairly normal lives once they had a maintenance dose -- not much different than the tens of of thousands of people who use medical morphine on a daily basis in the US.
You can read about one of them at www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/misc/60minliv.htm
It was like that in the US until 1925. Before 1906, there were no restrictions at all. Kids could buy heroin, cocaine, or anything over the counter. They sold tobacco cheroots laced with crack cocaine. Cocaine was in everything from toothache drops to soda pop. Heroin was included in baby colic remedies. Lots of patent medicines were fifty percent morphine.
There were no labeling laws so people didn't even know what they were taking. There were no advertising laws so sellers claimed that their concoction would cure any problem had by you or your mule. Many were advertised as good for kids. Even the Pope was in ads telling people to drink cocaine wine for the wonderful health benefits.
What is notable is that, even under those conditions, the addiction rate wasn't any different than it is today. However, there was virtually no drug-related crime and no drug gangs.
In 1914, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was passed which outlawed the opiates and cocaine. There was no popular movement for this law, as there was with the prohibition of alcohol. The reason is that the opiates and cocaine were not perceived by the public to be nearly as bad as the problem of alcohol.
The Harrison Act contained an exemption for medical use. Some doctors used that exemption to continue heroin maintenance programs for addicts. The Feds didn't like that, so they prosecuted a Dr. Linder. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The USSC ruled 9-0 that the Feds had no business interfering in the doctor-patient relationship, even if the doctor was doing prescribing heroin to addicts.
The Feds ignored the ruling and indicted thousands of doctors across the nation, anyway. They sent the doctors false information about the ruling. They never brought any of the cases to trial because they knew they would lose every case. But they also knew that no doctor could afford to fight them, especially when the Feds controlled their licenses to prescribe medicine.
That is how heroin maintenance clinics were wiped out in the US and how the Federal Government got absolute control over the doctor-patient relationship. Google Linder v. US.
Interesting bit of history.
What is the single biggest cause of epidemics among US children?
Answer: Anti-drug campaigns.
The first example was the huge teen drinking epidemic during alcohol prohibition. Prohibition was passed with a campaign of "Save the Children from Alcohol". (similar to some of the pleas here.)
Within five years there were record numbers of kids in hospitals and courts for alcohol problems. The average age at which people started drinking dropped dramatically. Teen girls frequented bars for the first time. Schools had to cancel dances because so many kids showed up drunk. Many kids became involved in the bootlegging trade and sales of booze on school campuses were common. Early supporters of prohibition turned against it because they said prohibition made it easier than ever for their kids to get drugs.
Alcohol prohibition was repealed with a campaign of "Save the Children from Prohibition."
Other examples of teen drug epidemics triggered by anti-drug campaigns include LSD, speed, and marijuana. You can read about them in Licit and Illicit Drugs at www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm
Did you ever wonder how glue sniffing got started? See the chapter titled "How to Launch a Nationwide Drug Menace" in Licit and Illicit Drugs.
Here is a test for any prohibition supporters with an interest in history.
Name any supporter of drug prohibition in the first 50 years of drug prohibition who wasn't a lunatic.
Or, just tell us when these laws stopped being about absolute lunacy. You know, like the fact that catching these subs costs more money than the subs and their cargo do. We spend huge sums to seize inventory that is small change to the people who lose it.
Drug policy does indeed breed illegal activity...as well as submarines disguised as cartoon sharks.
It is the addictive nature of drugs and the bad\awful mental problems that push people in the actions to do bad things to acquire more drugs is the problem. A person with drug problem is not an island unto themselves.
We as a society are positive and want to keep the people healthy and not encourage hurting others. This is why drugs are illegal. Our country is all about FREEDOM. But a person freedom cannot destroy their life and those around them. When a person become addicted to a drug, in fact they have just lost their own Freedom and are now being told what to do in life to feed they addiction, because of the their drug addiction.
Making drugs illegal is in fact support for individual freedom and the freedom of society in general around that individual.
Sorry, robot, but that wasn't the reason for the drug laws. Your argument fails for a number of reasons.
The first is that, if someone actually harms someone else, then you don't need a drug law to arrest them. You know, same as alcohol. You can can get drunk, but if you endanger someone else, then you can be arrested.
The second is that alcohol leads the field in causing harm to other people. All of the other illegal drugs combined don't even come close, and they never have. For every bad thing you hear about illegal drugs, about ten of the same happen from alcohol. If your argument was correct then people ought to get life in prison for possession of a single beer.
And, BTW, that isn't because alcohol is legal and the others aren't. If you read the history, you will find that alcohol has always been the major problem, no matter what the laws were on any of them.
Read the history. At its core, the drug laws were largely about racism. They were passed specifically to punish unpopular minorities. They still function that way today. For example, more than 90 percent of the people who went to jail under the crack mandatory minimums were black. In some places, blacks are 22 times as likely to go to prison for drugs than whites, even though rates of use are the same in the black and white communinities.
It is logical to assume that the drug laws had something to do with protecting people, or reducing drug addiction, or something good and wholesome like that. The problem is that no such thing ever happened. It was lunatics with the worst intentions. Read the history.
You all know me, you all know how I can be neutral on subjects, but this is where I stand.
When it comes to drugs, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Legalize and have them under gov't control, then there's a firestorm of controversy, and the FDA gets in and we have all the people against drugs voting out the people who legalized it and nothing gets changed.
Keep it illegal, and you have what we'll always have, drug wars and crime and the horrors that come with these disgusting things.
Fighting drugs is like fighting a hydra. Kill a cartel, and a thousand replace it. Try to appease it and it just keeps demanding more.
There is no answer at all to the problem, and we can banter about it for a month a year and a day until we figure that out.
As for the Monitor and the Merrimack, neither were subs, but the Confederacy did create the second submersible fighting craft. The first was the Turtle during the revolution, and both were to kill blockades.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.