The War on Drugs

The “war on drugs” is a dismal failure. One of the evil-empire building destructive actions that President Nixon started. It has resulted in funding one of the largest criminal enterprises ever. It has resulted in millions of addicts and a failed country in Afghanistan, funding endless wars and horrific suffering.

“Harm reduction” means alternative options for those who use artificial stimulus as a relief from tragic lives, or indeed for social lubricant. Ok, so the “don’t do drugs” crowd may have be making a “valid” point but their message has not changed anything much globally except to encourage a younger generation to protest by doing them, anyway. Because drugs are illegal and yet widely used by young people, it sets them against the establishment, reduces respect for the law and induces a sense that the police are not on “their side”.

“Legal highs” have been developed and fill a void made by the criminalisation of “soft” drugs like cannabis. Many of these “legal highs” are addictive and not actually that good for consumers, and there are some that are more benign than others. In New Zealand the Government have just banned all these legal options, opening the door to criminal gangs dominating the market and stopping R&D into harmless non-addictive substances.

Prohibition of alcohol caused more problems that it solved. Are they going to ban this, the most destructive legal drug? No, of course not. Watch the hospitals fill, witness the road carnage and domestic violence. And those poor souls who are dependent on drugs can now look forward to manufacturers who have absolutely no legal framework, no ethical regard and mix their chemicals with things like bleach.

Addiction is a serious problem most people really do not understand. The legal framework is a hope to redirect the culture that is rampant in countries like New Zealand, but instead this stupid “war on drugs” is going to resume killing children and financing criminals.

The War on Drugs

Of course legalising does not “fix the drug problem” in the same way that making laws does not fix traffic jams. But leaving the laws as they are, continuing this unproductive, ineffective and certainly destructive “war on drugs” lacks political intelligence.

The point is that people are dying because of the laws. Addiction is a disease that doctors can not treat as their patients do not go to their doctors when they feel ill, they are far more likely to go to their drug dealer to “fix” it.

Making heroin illegal causes the addiction to become a disease of magnitude and a locus for crime as well as ultimately funding the Taliban. If the police could arrest all the addicts would society be any better? No. That is the worst thing to do. a society that locks up its weak and its artists is not a society worth living in. Let them live and explore their complex worlds without making life so unrewarding and banal that the only inspiration comes from the desperate need and the onrush of illusory satisfaction from drug use.

The War on Drugs may be the worst solution to the problem. The political will to change this can only come about by education.