War on Drugs

There was an outstanding article in Harper’s Bazaar a few months back providing all the logic that one could possibly want for ending the war on drugs which is one of the dumbest, most expensive and most destructive “wars” in history.  I won’t even attempt to summarize the article as I couldn’t begin to do it justice.  It’s something everyone should read for themselves.

Once you have read the article, you will be armed with all the arguments you need to refute any argument supporting the war on drugs.  But unfortunately, logic doesn’t appear to be enough. I fear that those who wish to end the war on drugs have very powerful enemies in the halls of power and the criminal-justice system which have benefited handsomely from this war.  Like all wars in which the promoters of war profit at the expense of victims, the drug war has funded a bloated criminal-justice industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people in federal and state governments, local police departments, courts, law firms, and federal, state and local prisons and jails.  In addition to those on the front line of this war are those who inhabit our Congress and those who profit from the manufacture, sale and delivery of equipment and supplies necessary to keep the war going (the logistic tail).  Terminating the war on drugs will cost a lot of jobs and a lot of profit to those who benefit from it, and they are not likely to give up the war easily no matter how logical an argument is presented to end it.

In addition, the war on drugs, like all wars, is a useful tool in the hands of the politicians as they can use it to instill fear and sway public opinion.  Politicians have long created enemies out of shear cloth to instill fear in the public and gather support for their political campaigns which, in turn, get substantial financial support from the promoters of war.  The politics of fear has been successfully employed for all of human history and was used extensively by both major candidates in the latest campaign for president (e.g., the wall on our southern border and the Russian boogeyman).

The logic opposing the war on drugs has been apparent since before the war was started, but ending the war has little to do with logic.  It is about profits and politics. Given the profitability for the criminal-justice industry and the usefulness to politicians, it will be extremely difficult for the rest of us to bring an end to this war as it is the people presently in power who benefit most from it. If we are ever to end the war on drugs, it will be necessary to remove those who inhabit the halls of power.