The War on Drugs Can Only Be Lost

Big Brother understands these very simple concepts. He only made a show of actually trying to rid the country of drugs so that his little ruse would not be found out. Quietly, he introduced law after law that would, supposedly, rid the country of its drug problem, but that only succeeded in robbing you of yet more precious freedom. In other words, the plan worked brilliantly. If the government had actually cared about the prevalence of drugs in our society, it would have set out to create better opportunities for people so that they would not.
longer feel the need to escape into drug addiction. Although perhaps right from the start, your government understood that even this approach would have met with little success.
Drug use cannot be wiped out. Like prostitution, it has been around from the beginning and will be around long after we are all dead. Some people use drugs to seek a brief refuge from a reality that is, rightly or wrongly, perceived by them as cruel and unbearable. Others use drugs to seek relief from boredom. The fact is that there will always be some people who will take drugs of their own free will, serious and proven side effects notwithstanding. These people will in turn create a market for drugs and thus ensure their presence in our society. The obvious question, that no one dares ask, is that if drugs are always going to be here, then why not eliminate all drug related crime with one almost deceptively simple maneuver? Why not legalize drugs?

Freethinkers such as Milton Freedom have been arguing that drugs should be legalized for a long time now. Their arguments invariably make a lot more sense than those put forward by government in its war on drugs. Most people do not know that narcotic drugs only came to be outlawed at the start of this century. Sigmund Freud habitually used cocaine. Still, as far as his contemporaries were concerned, this was his own personal business, not something that society ought to interfere with through laws or regulations. Before 1913, drug use was considered a vice. Today, it is a crime only because certain politicians found that stirring up anti-drug hysteria was good for a few votes. What have their actions accomplished? Since drugs have been made illegal, their use has only increased many times over.
The use of legal drugs must also be taken into consideration. Very powerful lobbying groups ensure that killers such as tobacco and alcohol stay legal and freely available. Nicotine is responsible for more deaths than all illegal drugs combined, yet few talk about banning cigarettes. Alcohol has also destroyed far more lives than can possibly be imagined, yet history shows quite clearly that prohibition failed before and would only fail again. Similarly, even those sheltered behind the highest White House hedge realize that the war on drugs of today is a miserable failure. The cost is enormous: violence between drug traffickers, increased crime by addicts, overflowing jails, needless deaths. Not to mention the fact that this war on drugs has also produced the constant erosion of everyone’s civil rights, an invasion claimed to be necessary by those fighting and losing battle after battle.
In 1989,1 wrote in the first edition of PT that when a solution fails time after time, the only intelligent alternative is to try something else. As every other effort has failed, legalizing drugs is an issue that at least ought to be studied. Champions of legalization argue that if it is done properly governments could take the world’s largest untaxed industry out of the hands of criminals and start to exercise workable controls. In addition, through taxes on the newly legalized drugs, Big Brother could reap tremendous rewards. Indeed, it is surprising that this alternative has not at least been mumbled by the odd politician here and there. Even the likes of Bill “at least I didn’t inhale” Clinton avoids this entire issue like the plague. Some of his subordinates, however, have displayed at least a little more intelligence.
Of the pack originally appointed by Bill Clinton, Jocylen Elders is probably the one who makes the most sense when she opens her mouth. She was the first black to serve as the problems. Jocylen Elders was eventually relieved from her office in an attempt by Clinton to save his fumbling career. Her crime? She had suggested that teenagers might actually be interested in the topic of masturbation. She has since returned to teaching in her home state of Arkansas. We can only hope that at least a few of the bumbling bureaucrats in Washington actually heard a thing or two that she said during her brief stay in their midst.