First we shouldn’t have a “drug czar.” A drug “king.” Second, the War on Drugs has failed. It’s obviously failed. It destroys lives more than drugs. (I suppose some could argue this point, but it seems to me obvious after having spent years looking at the issue.) We don’t need a king overseeing this quagmire.
Drug addiction should be treated for what it is, a mental health issue. Many of our readers are probably smokers and more importantly former smokers. Nicotine is more addictive than most illicit drugs.
Now consider – current smokers – if you had to buy cigs on the black market. You’d do it. I say this as a former smoker. (I smoked for 10 years and have not smoked now for almost as long.)
And FORMER smokers. Do you think being thrown in prison or jail and being saddled with drug charges (for possessing illegal cigarettes) would have helped you quit – long term? I doubt it.
Then there’s the moral issue. What business is it of government to decide what citizens, free people, can ingest? In the United States, the government should not determine this. We are supposed to be different in this country. We are supposed to be a free people.
And lastly there is the crony factor. There are very powerful interests that want drugs to remain illegal. Not because drugs are going to go away, or because it’s the best policy for the country, but because they MAKE MONEY FROM THE DRUG WAR. Prisons, some law enforcement agencies (the DEA wouldn’t like suddenly having nothing to do), pharma (Marijuana is bad. I mean you can’t overdose on it. One can grow it in one’s garden and so is super cheap. Is highly effective for all sorts of things especially some brain diseases. And it makes food taste fantastic. It’s a nightmare. Now have some highly addictive oxycontin – that we make and make money off of – for your back pain. There, isn’t that better?) and other interests.
Reinvigorating the War on Drugs is horrible, horrible policy. Lives would be destroyed and the spirit of this country even further undermined. Such a reinvigoration is the exact wrong direction for the administration to head in. A mistake of colossal proportions.
America has had enough of the War on Drugs. How about we actually solve some of the problems around drugs? And that my friends comes with cutting the cronies out and being real about substance abuse and substance use.