As that last post on “causation” reminded me, anything can be said to have caused anything.

Especially when it comes to the war on drugs. Anything caused by the war on drugs can be and is said to have been caused by the drugs themselves. This includes insanely high prices, murder, corruption, terrorism, whatever. It is absolute flimflammery, and I cannot believe so many people fall for it.

A major reason the drug war will not go away anytime soon is that illegal drugs are powerful. Certainly much more powerful than legal drugs. By attributing “power” to them I do not mean that the drugs themselves do anything especially powerful. Rather, I mean that their illegality is a huge source of power for those whose lives and fortunes revolve around their continued illegality.

Illegal drugs mean fortunes can be made, and vast power acquired. Not only by criminals, but by enforcers. It creeped me out to read about a massacre of troublesome student protesters in Mexico. Not so much because they were murdered by drug cartel thugs, and not so much that they appear to have been burned alive. Rather, what bothered me is the way the police simply sicced the cartel hit men on the students.

MEXICO CITY — The search for 43 missing college students in the southern state of Guerrero has turned up at least 60 clandestine graves and 129 bodies over the last 10 months, Mexico’s attorney general’s office says.

None of the remains has been connected to the youths who disappeared after a clash with police in the city of Iguala on Sept. 26, and authorities do not believe any will be. Prosecutors say the students were turned over to a drug gang that killed them and incinerated their bodies in a case that has put attention on the huge number of people who have gone missing in Guerrero and other Mexican states where drug violence is widespread.

That’s power. And while we are told that the power derives from drugs, it actually derives from the war on drugs.

Try explaining that to a drug warrior.

Or to Hillary Clinton, who opined that we cannot legalize drugs because there’s too much money involved.

(Too much power might be more accurate.)