Reports tell us that over half of Federal prisoners are drug cases and some $1 trillion has been spent on the ‘War on Drugs.’ The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has offices all over the world. That adds to a lot of locked-up lives and spent money; the question asked is, for what? Does anyone believe that drugs aren’t readily available at reasonable prices in the U.S?
TV pundit Bill O’Reilly opposes legalizing pot; He says that legalizing it tells kids it’s ok and that’s wrong. We deplore pot too. But Mr. O’Reilly pretends that whether pot is good or bad is the same question as whether it is legal or illegal, when that is clearly not so.
Consider beer. Is beer good, or bad? That depends, right? Beer is legal, but do we want kids to drink it? Do kids in fact, drink it? Beer was illegal during Prohibition; that was repealed simply because people demanded booze anyway and the government was unable to prevent it. worse, the various costs of its failing efforts were simply, too high.
The drug scene is the same: People, including some kids, are getting what they want while the billions of wasted dollars and millions of jailed, wasted lives amount to waste that accomplishes nothing. They are pure, absolute waste. So what is our reason for perpetuating such waste?
Two things empower the status quo: First, the ‘War on Drugs’ has become a world-wide, major industry controlling billions of dollars; that industry fights for its existence. Second, lots of voters feel noble opposing the evil drugs and politicians join Bill O’Reilly in urging that. They revise the old: “When you find yourself in a hole, first, stop digging!” to instead, dig harder. That justifies more spending.
Let’s for a moment, consider drug alone, without the politics. Drugs make people think they are happy, or joyful, or excited or pain-free or whatever…while the high lasts. They variously addict the susceptible, who gradually discard reality and ultimately health, as a result. Drugs lead people to behavior they would never use without them. Drugs are also very useful medically.
We could write the same paragraph about alcohol, a drug. Prohibition failed and is gone; alcohol claims many victims today, including kids and far too many innocent motorists. But few push a return to Prohibition. We have arrived at less than perfect accommodation with alcohol as the best that we can do at this point. Sort of, it sucks but Prohibition was worse. Maybe medical research will provide better tools eventually.
Drugs, unfortunately, are no different. We hate to add to the list of alcohol-like substances, but we’ve already done that, plus we keep adding new ones. That genie is long out of its bottle and nothing in sight will return it there. Too many people want their chemical nirvana.
Our choice: Watch a huge human cost of drug use… Or watch a huge human cost of drug use, plus billions of wasted enforcement dollars and millions of locked-up lives. a lot of whom are parents.
So is pot hot, or not? It’s just one of many available forms of human self-abuse. It isn’t going away. The question is really: Should we add to the self-abuse, even greater abuse by the government? If we wish to say, “yes” to that, kindly explain what is to be gained that justifies it…