A protection racket is an organized crime in which racketeers threaten and scare people to force them to pay a monetary tribute to the racketeers to avoid future harm. A racketeer can be a criminal, politician, corrupt government, or any one of their organized accomplices.
Few differences exist between protection racketeers and prohibitionists. Prohibitionists promise American taxpayers reliable public safety from illegal drugs at a bargain-basement price. Then they direct massive and expensive drug arrests by law enforcement that ruin millions of lives with fines and other criminal sanctions. Protection rackets don’t always protect.
Part of a prohibitionist’s tribute is called forfeiture, otherwise known as confiscation of the type that emerged as one of the triggers of the American Revolution against the British. Forfeiture might involve the confiscation of a person’s automobile once drugs are found or planted in the vehicle. Exclusion from voting rights, public office, and employment by the FBIare part of a wide portfolio of authoritarian sanctions. No detail is left untouched. Harm prevention is scorned. Fines are still levied in some states for possessing marijuana while not purchasing a state marijuana tax stamp to accompany it. Homes can be raided with no-knock warrants using conventional law enforcement or SWAT teams armed with military hardware, all for some trivial amount of drug cash believed stored in someone’s hallway closet. Evidence tends to come from some informant under legal duress who says it’s there. A drug cash raid for a non-recovered $8000 resulted in the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor. Police officers have been injured or killed in similar military-style confrontations.
Funding for drug war racketeers will continue as long as prohibitionists can manufacture consent by making civilians believe that fire and brimstone await those who smoke marijuana or take forbidden drugs. Decades of relentless public training in the popular detestation of illegal drugs and their consumers has been a steady windfall for various bureaucrats, politicians, and the dominionist religious groups whose members dominate the ranks of drug enforcement. Giving up a drug war is like beating an addiction. Drug war addicts may well need interventional drug treatment to educate them about their destructive habit.