Jesse Ventura spares Obama the waterboard and settles for name calling over drug war


Coinciding with the publication of his new book, "American Conspiracies," Huffington Post gives Jesse Ventura free rein today for a rant on President Barack Obama's drug policies, and The Body isn't happy. Not waterboard-threat unhappy. More like policy-wonk unhappy.

"According to reports by Congress and the Treasury Department, American banks are 'collectively the world's largest financial beneficiary of the drug trade' -- with an estimated inflow of about $250 billion a year," he writes. "The hypocrisy is staggering when you consider that the Obama administration's "drug war" budget has about twice as much money going into the criminal justice system than to treatment and prevention."

But isn't it high time for complete reform of our drug policy? We've got a shadow economy happening, friends. One hundred million Americans have sampled marijuana, and that includes almost half of all the seniors in high school. More than 35 million Americans have tried cocaine at some point, and almost as many have taken LSD or other hallucinogenic drugs. Meantime, we've got "grows" or "gardens" of pot springing up all across our western states on public lands--and that includes almost 40 percent of national forests. About 3.1 million marijuana plants were confiscated in national forests over a one-year period, September 2007 to September 2008, carrying a street value calculated at $12.4 billion. I mean, how stupid are we? Go back to Chicago and Prohibition, when Al Capone became more powerful than the government because we'd outlawed the selling of liquor. Legalize marijuana, and you put the cartels out of business! Instead, we're going to further militarize our border and go shoot it out with them? And if a few thousand poor Mexicans get killed in the crossfire, too bad.