THINK AGAIN: War on Drugs Can’t Be Won With Prohibition

4 09 2007

Prohibition does little to stem the desire for drugs. . .Yet futile rhetoric about winning a “war on drugs” persists, despite mountains of evidence documenting its moral and ideological bankruptcy. When the U.N. General Assembly Special Session on drugs convened in 1998, it committed to “eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008” and to “achieving significant and measurable results in the field of demand reduction.”But today, global production and consumption of those drugs are roughly the same as they were a decade ago; meanwhile, many producers have become more efficient, and cocaine and heroin have become purer and cheaper.It’s always dangerous when rhetoric drives policy—and especially so when “war on drugs” rhetoric leads the public to accept collateral casualties that would never be permissible in civilian law enforcement, much less public health. Politicians still talk of eliminating drugs from the Earth as though their use is a plague on…

And talk about money being behind everything! Will we think smarter about this or will we keep tilting at ridiculous rhetorical windmills like PC speech in movies and textbooks? (I personally was outraged the other day when a free cable channel aired a movie and in some misguided attempt NOT to offend, changed the supposed pejorative “gay” to “girlie.” I couldn’t believe my ears, had to call in Favorite Daughter and rant for a good five minutes . . .)