As another Mafia don falls by way of gun violence, it is clear that the days of criminalized drug trade remain numbered. Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali headed the Gambino crime family before being riddled with rounds outside of his Staten Island, New York home. This Sicilian mobster committed extortion, yes, but it was the sale of illicit drugs like heroin and Oxycontin that fueled and continues to sustain underworld organizations like La Cosa Nostra. Just like when alcohol was criminalized and the likes of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Alphonse “Al” Capone arose and perpetrated crimes against the State, so do mobsters of today perpetuate the mystique of the gangster realm.
Much lauded in hip hop circles, seeing them as men of honor, principal, and character, these figures stood for bloodshed. At the height of Prohibition, more police officer deaths occurred in the United States than in any other time.
Now, with the prohibition of narcotics, we will continue to see deaths surrounding police and these shady figures. This Sicilian vermin resorted to threats of violence based on the rules and parameters of the mob. But minus the drug illegality element, would there be so many deaths of not only the nefarious figures but upstanding, smart working individuals?
Cali’s death is just another example of how vicious the world of the Mob can be. Now, of course the argument would be that these low lives will swing to prostitution and continue their extortion and racketeering activities. The legalization of drugs and the elimination of the drug prohibition would prompt Mafia families to focus their criminal minds on legitimate businesses. And they would not be the cover such as sanitation or construction only. They would rival Wall Street and Silicon Valley and the rest of corporate America.
Cali caught his because of the paranoia of the underworld. How many CEOs are gunned down based on their line of work? The heroin and Oxycontin ring with which Cali associated himself would be eliminated completely. There would be no outlet for any criminal activity. Again, as a second thought, prostitution would be legalized across the board as well.
The leader of a Mafia organization knows his fate before he even is tapped for high level positions. It is either an early grave or time in a penitentiary. Cali spent a little over a year behind bars and then met his end in classic fashion.
It is the glorification of the drug prohibition that is so common within the culture. For every million dollar drug seizure, there is still a multibillion dollar industry that continues to undermine the so-called “War on Drugs.” Cali’s death signals to law enforcement officials that the trade would be legalized and privatized. This means that the only regulations should be on age and driving and flying. This means that drugs should not be taxed by city, state, or federal agencies.
The bloody trail of disgraceful acts perpetrated by Mobsters like Cali show the need not just for marijuana legalization, but for every drug to be legal and for the Federal Drug Administration to be abolished. The Mafia would have very little legs to stand on, only committing corruption and other devious acts.
While America and the world continue to be enamored by the gangster culture, what needs to occur is a seismic shift in the idealism of who are heroes and who are villainous. As drugs continue to be a menace to those who choose to abuse them, it is not proper to have a War on Drugs, inanimate objects. For the trillions of dollar that have been funneled into “fighting” this notion, millions of lives have been adversely affected.
For America to be the shining city on the hill, unsavory fellows need not be the main focus. The idea should be to enact laws that state that the drug trade should be completely above board with the government only stepping into protect rights. As for the late Frank Cali and his ilk, if drugs are ever made legal in the United States and across the world, then maybe headlines of Mafia bosses being gunned down would cease to be printed.