Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some thoughts on the war on drugs

From day to day I like to ask myself the question, "WHY is the war on drugs still continuing even though it's clearly a failure?" The answer can be diverse and wide-ranging.

For one, politicians would rather not touch on a topic as heated as the war on drugs, heck, not even the issue of medical marijuana. I posted a video of Barack Obama a while ago where he would support a bill that legalizes medical marijuana, but that it would not be high on his priority list. Others just avoid the issue altogether.

There are many who benefit from the war on drugs - Pharmaceuitcal companies, government agencies, drug dealers, the media, and many more. With the war on drugs, many stand to profit.

Who does it hurt? All taxpayers (it has been an expensive failure), people who have found marijuana to work for medicinal purposes, people who enjoy using drugs (even in the smallest and most spread out instances), our law enforcement (they are stretched and could have much more time and money if they didn't have to devote so much to the war on drugs), and anyone who stands for liberty.

Most people are mis-informed about the war on drugs. They believe that it is something that is necessary and not to be questioned. In reality, it has caused much more harm than good, and the main purpose (prohibition) simply has failed. If someone wants access to drugs, they surely could get them within a day or two. Over 20 million have been imprisoned on drug-related charges, many have been killed (some innocent individuals during drug raids on the wrong houses...), and millions if not billions have been wasted on this failed effort.

Is drug law reform impossible? I don't believe so. If everyone had even minimal information about the negative effects of the war on drugs, its history, and saw how prohibition simply did not work and caused social injustices, I think that drug law reform is entirely possible. I don't think that it is easy, with so many people and organizations having an interest in continuing the war on drugs, but I do believe it is entirely possible.

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