OK, if we didn’t like drugs, there would be no drug trade. We do, so there is. Poor people in the growing regions grow drugs to make money. Importers import and make unusable (except for buying governments) sums. Street dealers deal for understandable sums and often end up in the hoosegow. The American powers-that-be incarcerate at ridiculous and unjust rates. It isn’t just young black males that have a reasonable expectation of incarceration. Even rednecks and housewives get slammed in the poky. In the latter cases, probably not for grass. In retail, you talk to many more people than you might care to (I do anyway) and among the under 25s , respect for cops is very low. They do respect the threat involved. Sort of like being followed by your friendly Highway Man, uh, Highway Patrolman.
Is it time to legalize grass? Yep. Will it improve society? Nope. It will reduce the prison population. Repealing Prohibition didn’t rid us of the Mob, it just made a lot of people more relaxed about living in the Mob controlled environment.
Just off the top of my head, I wonder if the drug trade has reduced domestic terrorism. Homegrown anarchic antisocial types may be drawn into the drug trade before their spinning eyeballs lead them into the real dark. Whatever.
So, farmers grow the stuff because they can make a little money, or because they are coerced. Importers import for the obscene profit. The routes have been long established. Air America. Noriega. The Taliban had put the kibosh on the poppies until we invaded. I don’t know whether it’s Air America, or if the Taliban ( or the warlords ) need the scratch.
As far as the pipeline up the Americas to here, well, if a drug cartel tells someone to let convoys come through and the guy is unsure, a proposition might be made. “Don’t allow the shipments and we will turn your family into fish food, douse you you with gasoline and set you on fire. Allow the the shipments and we’ll give you a quarter million dollars a year in cash.” A butt-scratching moment for sure. But just a moment. ‘ The Untouchables’ are a pretty rare breed, and Wal-Mart is now selling the movie for $5..