The War on Drugs is now 100 years old. It’s caused unfathomable heartache. It’s fattened the wallets of police departments and drug dealers alike. We have prisons full of people there because of drugs. Lives have been torn apart. Families have been torn apart. Countries have been torn apart.
The War on Drugs has made a mockery of the Constitution. Do you think the founders ever envisioned the police digging through the possessions of American citizens in a search for intoxicants? I don’t think so. I think the founders (at least most of them) would have been horrified.
And yet Americans have long been conditioned to accept the gross invasions of privacy which come with the drug war.
We need to examine very closely our reasons for continuing this effort, and indeed whether it should be continued at all. Attached is a very thoughtful and informative essay on the subject.
After a century of aggressive policing, mandatory minimums and enforcement that disproportionately targeted the most marginalized of American citizens, the failure of the war on drugs is ultimately a cautionary tale about pursuing an agenda at any cost—financial or human. From the founding of a vast bureaucratic infrastructure to support the new war, to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on military police equipment, to the $50 billion spent annually on incarceration, the story of fighting addiction in America has brought out its mirror image: An irrational dependence, despite all logic to the contrary, on a steady flow of government cash and brute enforcement.