Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to Win the War on Drugs

About that war on drugs.

Trump and Sessions want to double down on authoritarian, senseless and failed policies. They are wrong.

We know the war on drugs is a costly, brutal, unjust and deadly failure.

Drugs and drug abuse are public health issues. 

Treating drugs and their abuse as a medical, rather than law enforcement problem, is really the bottom line. Treatment is always a better solution over incarceration. It is ineffective, costlier, and more destructive to families to punish users as criminals.

The best way to win the "war on drugs" is to end the war on drug users.

Dangerous street drugs are a public health issue, so we need the DEA, but for countering illegal sales and manufacture of lethal and addictive drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. We also need to enforce against importation of such street drugs.

Since cannabis and psychedelic substances are not as toxic as aspirin or alcohol, and they are incorporated into religious traditions, they should not be included in that class of dangerous drugs. Their possession and use must be decriminalized.

Drug gangs depend on their products being illegal to be in business. Street sales, not possession, should remain criminalized. If an addict had cheaper access to a legal prescription, with treatment as an option, that would take a lot of crime out of the equation. The costs of treatment and even legal maintenance doses is far cheaper than crime and incarceration.

Decriminalization of simple possession and employing treatment over arrest and incarceration are the sane, compassionate, and most effective solutions.



Spain and Portugal are now showing this to be reality, not theory.

1 comment:

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dave, I share your views on drug use decriminalization. The current laws are senseless and are only designed to control the population -- either through addiction, or incarceration. But I wouldn't place any large bets that there will be any major positive changes, other than the proposed ramping-up of enforcement by Trump/Sessions.

Drug addiction is too profitable and strategic for the federal government to dump the current paradigm -- specifically for the CIA. That organization is the biggest pusher in the world. It's undoubtedly the only reason we've occupied Afghanistan for so long. It's all about controlling the source and the distribution channel. Before the United States invaded the country, the Taliban destroyed and ended poppy production. Of course, the CIA didn't like that. It cramped its subversive style.

"On July 7th, 2015 NBC reported on Afghanistan’s opium production and where they stand in terms of world supply. 'According to the United Nations, the war-torn nation provides 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium poppy, the bright, flowery crop that transforms into one of the most addictive drugs in existence.' NBC also quoted John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction who did say that 'Afghanistan has roughly 500,000 acres, or about 780 square miles, devoted to growing opium poppy. That’s equivalent to more than 400,000 U.S. football fields — including the end zones.'

That’s a large amount of land devoted to opium production which provides an opportunity for the CIA to cash in on the illegal drug trade for their secret covert operations (which avoids public scrutiny) and re-establish a drug trade route to target the populations of China, Iran and Russia.
"

Of course, the targeting of the U.S. population wasn't just collateral damage, just as it wasn't during the Iran-Contra era. Of course when the lid was blown on that debacle, the part concerning the drug smuggling by CIA operative Barry Seal through a small airport outside Mena, Arkansas, never made the news. Neither was it made public that then-Governor Bill Clinton played a major role by creating the apparatus for laundering the money through credible trade organizations during his tenure. Yes, the illicit connections among Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and of course the CIA, interweave more diabolically than Americans realize.