War on drugs.... pointless?

We all know about the long war on drugs that has been fought by the United States and her allies for at least 10 years, I’m not sure how much longer, but it’s really been popular knowledge since the early nineties. I really don’t see the point of this war though.

Sure, you can throw out statistics that show that we are reducing the access to illegal drugs. I’d beg to differ however. It’s blatantly apparent that we either, 1) Aren’t stopping the supply, or 2) that drugs are more accessible now, then they were 10 years ago.

Case in point. At a neighborhood high school, there was recently a major bust of around 5 Sophmores, and 10 or so Freshmen for marijuana after a dog search (Not sure about the legality on that though). I realize that that may be only a small portion of the student body, but from talking to students, the drug problem seems to be escalating rather than depreciating. For instance, the drugs are apparently more readily available then they were only a couple of years ago. An example of this, is that one of the kids that was arrested, and later expelled, was actually DEALING marijuana in the bathrooms.

Now, that may not seem too bad, but estimates from these same students put the total consumption of illegal drugs at somewhere around 10% of the student body. Tell me that we are stopping the drug supply. Please!

However, even though thats only one example, there are plenty of examples of how the drug trade has increased in recent years regardless of cracking down on the dealers. Apparently, heroine is available moreso now then it was 5 years ago, and it’s purer.

So, how do you justify such a costly venture (somewhere in the cost of at least $500 million, I thought it was somewhere in the billions)? What is the point of the war on drugs even though the drugs are more available now, more than ever, and they are available more consistently. I mean, a sophmore dealing marijuana!!! That’s a little ridiculous. Are we eventually headed towards legalized drugs? Why not? I mean, couldn’t we ensure the taxation and quality of such drugs? I suppose if the government ever gets desperate enough it is a huge, untapped supply of money…

Honestly though, how can you justify something this expensive, and ineffective?

If we save just one kid… :rolleyes:

It will mean more for me!:smiley:

With the war on terror and a real war on the horizon, the sight of federal agents searching and arresting people, in states that are trying to get out (at least) of the wasteful war on marihuana, is nothing but idiotic; foolish before, reckless now, since it would be better to have all those agents searching terrorists that are ready to do more harm.

Supporting legalization is still seen as the kiss of death among politicians. When soccer moms think of “drugs” they think of crack heads beating grandmothers to death for the change in their purses. They think of filthy bums on the street, begging for quarters. They think of heroin overdoses, LSD freak-outs, drive-by shootings, and whores. Let these people get away with it? Not on your life, buster! Drugs are the boogeyman that causes all of the crime in society, leads to slacking and immoral behavior, and makes people abandon their babies. No politician wants to appear to support such a lifestyle.

We still have the puritanical whisper in the back of our heads that any substance that makes you feel pleasure for pleasure alone is bad. Never mind that alcohol-related crime is worse than drug-related crime . . . you never hear that statistic anyway. I’ve seen it when I talk occasionally to vehemently anti-drug people. They recite all of the social ills that accompany drug use. I point out that crime wouldn’t be a problem, and there’d be plenty of cells for those who do offend society if drugs were legal. After a lengthy debunking of all of their myths, they still just repeat, “Drugs are bad!” but eventually can’t say why they feel this way.

There’s also the perception that drugs have the magical, witchy power to take a high-achieving, motivated person and instantly turn them into a drooling idiot who dives into the welfare system. The concept that someone might use drugs responsibly, much like a man who has a six pack on the weekend is utterly foreign. For those who were raised on After-School Specials, it’s all, or nothing. Once you touch drugs, you’re cooked, and will end up as a bum on the street, so fried that you can’t remember your last name.

We may have come a way since propaganda like newspaper articles which preached that marijuana causes “Negroes” to go crazy and rape white women, and films like * Reefer Madness * (in which the narrator intones: “Marijuana. The weed with its roots in the pits of firey hell!”) but the propaganda is still there, just a bit more subtle. It’s always a worst-case scenario in films and televison when a character uses drugs.

Until there is true social perceptual change, and information about the potential effects of drugs are more realistic and honest, there won’t be any legal change, because your average soccer mom doesn’t want it, nor does your grandma, and she votes!

Because of the subsidies to gangs, you end up getting more people killed.

I want some pot. I can’t buy it easily, and thus, have none. That pisses me off.

Nothing more to it.

When I was in High School in the early 90s it was easier for us to get marijuana than it was to get alcohol, and not much harder to get Crystal Meth, Cocaine or Crack. Acid, has and always will be hit and miss. Ecstacy is available like candy here in New York. It’s all there, and easy to get. I could walk out my door and come up with heroin within an hour if I wanted to.

The war on drugs is oppressive and does more harm to global society than many of the things that “civilized” society is railing against.

One of our tactics in the war on drugs is to spray defoliant on the crops of peasant farmers in foreign countries. Of the crops that they grow, bananas, coca, etc… the coca is the most resistant to the defoliant, therefore they increase their coca crops because their bananas have all been destroyed. In the event that their coca crops are also destroyed, they are left with no source of income, and must seek alternate employment. The only other viable source of employment in the hills of Columbia are organizations like FARC, which is on the United States list of terrorist organizations.

Another example of useless efforts in the war on drugs is the payoff option. We pay the poor farmers in other countries NOT to grow a certain crop. What this does is encourages farmers who aren’t receiving subsidies to begin growing coca just so that we will pay them to stop.

The drug war artificially inflates the profitability of the drug trade, creating a very lucrative black market. Many terrorist organizations fund their operations with drug money.

In the United States we incarcerate people for using drugs, punishing them for making a decision that harms themselves, but in the process giving them an even greater obstacle in their attempts to later rejoin society.

We lose a potential source of revenue. The United State government could create a monopoly on the drug supply, rather than taxing it. The United States could provide low cost narcotics to the consumer, ensuring purity and destroying any profit motive. In the meantime 100% of drug revenue would go back to the state. This could then be used to fund drug treatment programs to take care of the problems that legalized drugs would create. It would also be able to fund socialized medicine, or lower taxes.

It would decrease government involvement in our daily lives as it would no longer be criminal to posess drugs. The 30+ billion that we spend on fighting the drug war could be spent on other things, like education.

We would be able to decrease US involvement overseas, at the same time promoting stability by not asking other countries to solve our domestic problems.

The drug war is the biggest example of western decadence that you can find. We oppress poor people in other countries, and here in our own just so we don’t have to look at junkies on the street.


OOC, is there poll data on what percentage of the U.S. supports the WoD?

My sympathies, Apos. I can’t find mine either.

Only users lose drugs.

It has been more like 90 years that drugs have been illegal, and for marijuanna, since 1939.

I think there are more drugs, more addicts, and more drug use now than in 1912 or so when it was perfectly legal for anyone of any age to go to the store and buy opium, marijuanna, laudinum, or whatever.

I also think there is more crime related to drugs now, than before when it was legal.

The Drug War has not reduced drugs, nor the crimes that go with it, in fact, it has increased.

Making drugs illegal, has made the mafia much richer, and given them a very good source of income for the past 90 years. It has also given the police, attorneys, judges, prison guards a lot of jobs, but those are the only “pluses” or “benefits” that I can see.

Our police make over 750,000 arrests just for marijuanna. That is a lot of time our police are busy stopping and searching millions of people, in order to arrest, book, take to the station, jail, and appear at the trial of 750,000 people.

How many real and violent criminals are not arrested because the police are so busy with non-violent drug users?

If drugs were legal, they would be very cheap, marijuanna will grow anywhere, it grows like a weed, and opium comes from floweres. I dont think there would be any crime if drugs were legal since anyone could panhandle or turn in a few pop bottles for a quarter to buy a legal fix, and nobody would have to rob or steal to get hundreds of dollars to buy artificially high priced illegal drugs. There would be no more drug wars between rival gangs, since no criminal would want to sell illegal drugs for a quarter, and pushers would find another occupation that paid better, so no more pushers either trying to get others to use very cheap and inexpensive drugs.

We tried it both ways, legal and illegal, and I think we had less problems, overall, back when it was totally legal. I know my grandparents said there was no drug crime, and they knew no drug addicts at all, in school or otherwise, back when it was legal.

The problem with the war on drugs is that it has never been properly targetted. A distinction needs to be made between “soft” and “hard” drugs.

The detrimental impact of hard drugs on society is very appreciable. The detrimental impact of soft drugs on society is very minor indeed.

Yet the war on drugs treat both sets equally. and therefore becomes self-defeating.

If you teach kids that cannabis is a terrible and dangerous drug, and then they see for themselves that it is not what they were told, then why the heck are they going to believe what was told about heroin and crack?

I agree with most of the posts…the war on drugs has resulted in MORE drug use than ever before! What will really blow this thing sky high: OXYCONTIN (aka “hillbilly heroin”). It is cheap and easilyy synthesized. Once this stuff becomes readily available, nobody is ever going to stop it.
This is the paradox of the “waron drugs”-it has pushed people FROM marijuana (a basically harmless drug) to using very dangerous, highly addictive drugs like heroin. Talk about unintended consequences!

Ban it and people want it.
Other than that, what right is it of the government (or anybody else not my legal guardian) to tell me what I may and may not ingest into my body. Surely if it causes harm that is entirely my fault - and my problem to fix.
Now I do not really do a lot of drugs - but it must be the right of people in a free society to do so if they choose.

By all means, make one. What will it be?


This absolutely has to be true, unless you mean “excluding the crime of selling, making, or buying the drug itself” in which case it very nearly has to be true because of the increase in the number of users. Even supposing that drug users are distributed equally throughout the population, and criminals are, too, an increase in population will increase crimes related to drugs.

Bingo. Let’s not forget drug testing industry, a handy sink into which to pour endless military resources in the absence of an identifiable enemy, etc.

The law enforcement/prison industry is a HUGE lobby, used as economic stimulus in several states.

Law and order carries great weight politically, and there is no strong legalization lobby.

To add my 2 cents to what Susann hit upon, bureaucratic appointees from the drug czar down have every incintive to perpetuate the war on drugs. And what other political hot button is easier pressed or more effective in hiding the lack of true agenda than the spector of the children being corrupted mind body and soul by the nefarious urban drug pusher. Methadone at a prohibitive $25 a dose and up is the only alternative to opiate addiction in the major cities, but methadone’s negative side effects tower over herion. Methadone actually accumulates in the bone marrow and takes months to leach out were as herion is a 3 to 4 day withdrawal ordeal.

On the plus side, Pot possession is right now effectively legal in Canada as a result of some court cases (at least, until the lawmakers re-write the laws - which they are in no hurry to do).

Assuming that this does not result in social disaster a la “reefer madness” in the streets, will this not put pressure on the US to legalize - seeing Canadians live perfectly normal lives with legal possession in place?

It’s strange because this is one of the cases where we pretty much have an experiment that PROVES the ill effects on society of banning a substance. Prhobition. How many alcohol smuggling deaths do you read about these days? None.

But Lissa is absolutely correct-- any politician who advocates legalizing drugs will never be taken seriously on the national stage.

Are you expecting a War on Drugs to redue drug abuse and availibility to literally zero?

Murder has been illegal for centuries, and yet… gasp… it still happens! Same with robbery. And rape. And bar brawls. And tax dodging. And traffic offences. And late library books. Isn’t it about time that our awful, misguided authorities stopped trying to eradicate these so-called “crimes”? After all, they have been entirely unsuccessful in their attempts to do so.

Wiping out any evil is impossible. But it can be limited through law enforcement. That’s the point. If the illegal status of drugs, or violence, or robbery, or anything else hamrful (yes, sorry folks, they may be fashionable but drugs are actually harmful) can limit the amount of harm they do to society, then it’s worth it.

I now pass the floor to any overprivileged middle-class recreational drug-abusers who wish to have a self-righteous bitch at me for my responsible, realistic viewpoint.