It seems the last few decades has seen the United States enter into wars unilaterally and our record of success has been, well, non-existent.
I’m not talking about “foreign” wars, that subject is enough for dozens of posts. I’m talking about “domestic” wars, wars that we wage on the citizens of our own country. In this case I’m talking about the failed war on drugs.
I don’t do drugs, I never have and never will. I don’t drink either, again, never have and never will. I’m probably one of the few people in this country that can honestly state that I have NEVER been, high, drunk, intoxicated, inebriated, buzzed, or anything else. Maybe that’s my problem, I can see things clearly.
For the last several decades the government of the United States has waged a war against it’s own citizens under the guise of “War on Drugs”. We have spent literally billions and billions of tax dollars and continue to do so annually and have absolutely NOTHING to show for our efforts.
To begin with, the whole premiss is based on the failed idea that the government can legislate personal responsibility and “morality”. This is a policy that will never, can NEVER succeed, period! You CAN’T legislate human behavior. People are going to do what they want to do regardless of the consequences.
Because of these failed policies we have largest prison population in the world. The vast majority of these “criminals” are convicted of non-violent (possession, sale, etc) crimes and never have posed a threat to the population. They are convicted and serve time in prison, costing the taxpayers billions of dollars each and every year. Even if they are sentenced to a diversion program, rehab or house arrest, these programs cost tax dollars.
Another problem is the “crazy quilt” of drug laws across they nation, what’s a felony here is a misdemeanor there. What’s a “ticket in one place is a arrestable offense in another jurisdiction. Then add the layer of Federal regulations and it gets even more confusing.
A war on drugs WILL NEVER be successful, even if you use the loosest definition of success possible. “Prohibition” was a failed policy, the ONLY thing that did was give the Mafia it’s foothold in organized crime and the EXACT SAME thing has happened with drugs.
Keeping drugs illegal has allowed the growth of incredibly vicious criminal gang in Mexico and South and Central America. Billions of dollars flow south every year because recreational drugs are kept illegal. Legalizing drugs takes away any incentive to smuggle them because if they’re legal the incredible profits will no longer be there.
We need to come up with a comprehensive recreational drug policy. A policy similar to what we have for alcohol, one that addresses the manufacture, sale , distribution and (most important?) taxation of recreational drugs.
Until we do this we will continue to have overcrowded prisons, violent crime, and rampant smuggling across the border.
Legalize it, regulate it, tax it.
The sad part is, I doubt anything will ever change because there are too many people, too high up, making too much money with things just the way they are.