The New Year is generally considered a good time to look back over one’s faults and consider changing for the better. Unfortunately, what is good medicine for the middle and lower classes is hardly sweet enough for the rulers of our world, who have been needing a good dose of self criticism since well before 9-11. But let’s start there.
Shortly after 9-11, it became clear that the war on terrorism would be a new front for the erosion of human rights and freedoms. Just before 9-11, Mexican President Fox and a group of South American Leaders had finally stood up to Plan Colombia and the Andean Initiative, and demanded that Bush call off the dogs of drug war. Since communists had lost their scare, and drugs were losing their bite, the impending doom of thousands of New York office workers was well timed. President Fox’s demands were never repeated. The timid American mass psyche was frightened back into its cave, safe from imaginary predators – as well as the wealth of privileges envisioned by America’s founders.
It seems an unspoken creed of the elite that those who demand such privileges must be rounded up and destroyed at any cost, and it’s a good thing that it’s easy to tell who they are ?? advocates of the poor, advocates of the environment, and yes, even pot advocates. In the minds of our rulers, these issues are all one and the same. Thus the war on terrorism is an effective new justification to push forward with the war on drugs.
This truth is never more clear than upon a trip to the DEA’s traveling exhibit, “Target America: Drug Traffickers, Terrorists and You,” which features a chunk of blasted concrete and wire left over from collapse of the World Trade Centre, along with a collage featuring drug users, jets striking buildings, and Bin Laden.
So it follows that although they have yet to catch a single terrorist, beefed up border security units have refused entry to well known activists even while blocking the flow of pot from Canada to the US.
According to an article appearing in Time Magazine’s August issue, seizures have “doubled and redoubled” since 2001.
“There’s significant increases in both apprehensions and narcotics seizures,” US Border Patrol Agent Sentha Figueroa told the Bonner County Daily Bee in December. “The more [agents]that they put up here, the more that we’ll see.”
Canadian Border Services say that the war on smuggling has begun to pay off: according to their statistics, there has been a 20% drop in major border busts in 2004, after a record peak in 2003. In an interview with the Globe and Mail last December, RCMP Constable Alex Borden praised anti-terrorism efforts, which had provided border police with equipment that allowed them to scan the handles of briefcases or even air quality to determine the presence of mind-altering substances.
Indeed, anti-terrorism funding has gone to purchase billions of dollars of equipment, the primary purpose and use of which was never to find terrorists, but to find drugs. As the National Post warned last November, the Department of Homeland Security, supposedly founded to prevent terrorism, will be using their new “high-tech air surveillance” equipment, speed boats and specially trained agents at five new air and marine bases to arrest Canadian pot smugglers. The first base, along the BC border in Bellingham, Washington, has already opened, with a second scheduled for New Year’s 2005 along the Quebec border in Plattsburgh, NY. More will follow near Detroit, Michigan; Grand Forks, BC; and Great Falls, Montana.
True terrorists must be laughing. Homeland Security will be so busy seizing pot that bombers and hijackers should have no problem getting over the border.
Meanwhile, at 50 of the busiest official border crossings in 10 states with borders against Canada or Mexico, the US has begun fingerprinting and photographing most out-of-country visitors. They call the program “US-VISIT,” and it is being implemented at the biggest border crossings in Arizona, California, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Vermont and Washington. Fingerprints and photos are matched with federal criminal record databases, which will make it easy to target anyone who has ever been arrested for pot and permanently prevent them from entering the country.
So Happy New Year, and Happy New World Order! As we continue through the first decade of the third millennium, the war on terrorism has become the perfect Christmas gift to despotic world rulers intent on destroying our freedom to smoke a little herb. Since they are unlikely to change, we should make a resolution in their stead: to stand firm for pot freedom in 2005!