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April 05, 2009

‘Drug war’ is lost cause

 “We are speaking of a plague that consumes an estimated $75 billion per year of public money, exacts an estimated $70 billion a year from consumers, is responsible for nearly 50 percent of the million Americans who are today in jail, occupies an estimated 50 percent of the trial time of our judiciary, and takes the time of 400,000 policemen — yet a plague for which no cure is at hand, nor in prospect.”
— William F. Buckley Jr. writing about the war on drugs

When one of the most conservative journalists in the United States declares the so-called war on drugs a huge drain on our nation’s resources and a lost cause, it has quit being a liberal issue and has become an American issue. We can no longer afford to muddle our way through a medical problem by pretending it is a legal problem.

Hopefully President Obama will use his common sense when it comes to the treatment of this disease.

Steven Addison
Kansas City

Comments

Steven D. Addison

Once again the blind continue to lead the blind. By running the Taliban out of Afghanistan (at least attempting too), we have allowed the war lords to begin growing poppys with impunity. The US military continues to look the other way as long as the growers provide intel and soldiers to help America fight the Taliban. When the Taliban was in charge in Afghanistan the opium crops dried up. Now they are the cash crop of the 2000's.
When will we ever learn that we should be receiving tax revenues. Not the war lords in Afghanistan. As far as other countries are concerned my daughter just got back from Europe where she spent some time in Amsterdam and enjoyed the coffee houses along with a joint or two. Ironically not ordering tea or another type of drink is considered rude not declining a little weed.
We are becoming a third world nation, the last industrialized nation not to have a National Health Care Plan, decriminilization of drugs, and a more progressive approach to marijuana. Oh yes the drinking age in Amsterdam is 16. Still alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana. It is a poison that kills more Americans than all other illicit drugs combined.
So get your facts straight, even our elected officials are beginning to recognize the need for medical marijuana.
Wake up America, let those who want to use drugs do so, who gave you the right to legislate my body?

Steven D. Addison

Drups? Drugs have nothing to do with the economic crisis we are now facing except making it worse. Surrendering is not the same as legalizeing drugs. We have been fighting this so called "war on drugs" longer than WW II, Korea, Vietnam or even Iraq. This war is killing our economy and it is time to take a new look at our options, no one said anything about surrendering except you. One other thing Congress is now looking at the unfair manner in which we treat rock cocaine and powder cocaine. Those at the bottom of the economic ladder are more likely to use crack and also more likely to receive a tougher punishment when caught opposed to those with the money to afford a better defense than what a public defender has to offer. Those are the people using powdered cocaine. Check your facts, I suggest you visit the DPA web site.

stone

So glad I don't live in the bible belt anymore. So glad I have prop 215 & 420 to rely on. At least my state got something right.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Although there is no war on drugs that are buzzwordy and indoctrinate people.
75% of the population supposedly has ADD/ADHD according to geniuses in medicine.
Everyone has a syndrome or an excuse.
if the government had any smarts they would just totally legalize marijuana and tax it.
Maybe society needs to slow up and chill out.

Stifled Freedom

The other part is the loss of international face for the govt.

They first thing you must recognize is the US govt is not yours. It is its own entity that takes your money and does whatever it wants. It does not represent you....plain and simple....they dont even strive too if you read the other letters out here today. And I believe most people, for or against drugs, would agree on that.

For years, we have extorted many countries to establish severe drug enforcement policies....because they wanted to stop drugs from flowing in.....and later then they wanted to stop Americans from going overseas and doing drugs where it was legal there. So they had to demonize with propaganda and tie it all up in international diplomacy....and use your tax money to do the extorting. Much like they take your tax money now and extort your state in return (with the same money) to keep the drinking age at 21.

If we give up the fight, what do they tell the other countries who have beat thier heads against the wall for decades?

How can they extort them, from a "high moral ground" in the future over other lies like banning prostitution as if it were slavery.

What will be the topic for dozens of 6-figure bureacrats to host tax-paid State Dept luncheons with $5 meatballs for years and years to come if we have nothing left to demonize?

My God, they cant let it all go....how could they control you lifestyle???

These are the thoughts in those Washington minds about this very topic.

Stifled Freedom

Kee, you really wrote the book on doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Does it occur to you that, if we are on the cusp of failure, as you say, that drugs were illegal through that entire time we strived for that failure.....and it did not prevent it. Why would any rational person believe that an intensification of the same methods would provide a different result? It has not worked in 50 years....yet you cant give it up.

That said, as the devil advocate, legalizing drugs is just one of those long embedded injustices that will just take a violent revolt to get straight.....just like slavery and segregation required it.

Once poeple get used to it a certain way, they dont want changed no matter how sensible it is.

Marijuana was illegallized by a handfull of willfully delivered and willfully accepted lies to Congress in the 1930s. The liars knew they were lies. The politicians knew it was lies.

Today, poeple will fight to the death to hang on to those lies....doing everything they can to remain in denial. This is the real danger of a lying govt taking our money and establishing vast policies and power.

Keith Williams3

Well someone somewhere is doing something right because the price of Gonja is way too hight; let me refraise that I heard it was and the dealers are mad as hell about it. Over the last year into this year there have been 500 major bust throught US and borders along the US. Not to mention whats grown in the US. Keep it up!

TinaMcG

The answer to the drug problem is to dry up the market. Kill the demand. That's extremely difficult in a society where we are not conditioned to deal with emotions like fear, anxiety, self-doubt, and depression. We are not taught to live in the moment or to love ourselves. We are not taught to forgive those who ridicule or cheat us. We thrive on conflict of all sorts, both internal within ourselves, and external -- like some of the arguments you see on this blog.

Last night we watched a 'Dateline' episode where teens explained why they became addicted to heroin and prescription drugs like OxyContin. The drugs remove all their emotions, they said. The drugs make them not worry or care about anything, allowing them to function from day to day. The drug abuse is a tragedy, but their inability to cope with their own emotions is even worse.

I harp on mental health issues sometimes, and I'll probably keep on at it. Therapy and medical attention are very important, but in my opinion, our kids need to get more 'emotion education' starting at a very early age.

solomon

Legalize drups now!

Marctnts

It's never going to happen. There are too many thousands of people (and billions of dollars) addicted to continuing the "fight". We have numerous state and federal agencies (not to mention the hundreds of prisons) whose existence would be threatened by the decriminalizing of drug offenses.

You want scary? Here you go:

http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm

James J O'Keefe

All I can think about this is, "Gee. Just like Vietnam." Oh wait, we won that war didn't we? Just like Iraq or Afghanistan, right?

As a nation, our leaders have got to start looking at what is really happening in our country, and the world, and if we, as a nation, want it to change, we have to realise when we've gotten to the point of "throwing good money after bad". We are never going to get a different outcome if we continue doing the same thing.

I truly feel that Mr. Buckley is just trying to tell us, as a nation, it's time to start rethinking how to deal with this situation.

Kee

It amazes me.

Seriously.

Our Citizens wish to legalize drups and surrender...remember "tune in, drop out"?

Our country is on the cusp of failure.

I hope you will all remember who we were and what we are....

 
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