War on Drugs over! Drugs win!
A momentous day has come. Gil Kerlikowske, Obama’s brand new drug czar has ended the war on drugs. In his first ever interview after his appointment he explained to the Wall Street Journal, “Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them. We’re not at war with people in this country.” He is trying to bring an end to the drug war that Nixon started. Where were the final shots do you ask? Clearly if we haven’t cleaned up Afghanistan, Baltimore, and the narco war in Mexico the drugs must still be winning. This can mean only one thing, America is surrendering to drugs. Well, it is about time.
The War on Drugs was ridiculous from the start. How can you declare a war on very broadly used noun. Imagine a War on Bugs or a War on Mountains. Preposterous. You can’t wage war against a collection of things. Humans have been using drugs far longer than we have had laws. There are lots of people who enjoy using drugs, and that will never be changed by law enforcement. By ending the war on drugs Kerlikowske will come at the problem from a totally new direction. The hope is to treat the addicted users to lower the demand for drugs. Of course they will continue to go after violent criminals and major dealers. Frankly it is a relief to see a more nuanced approach to he problem.
Think of it this way. According to the numbers in that WSJ article 10% of people in America said they smoked pot in the last year. That’s 31 million people who should be in jail right now under federal drug law. Imagine how catastrophic putting that many people in jail would be. Lets not forget that the biggest cash crop in California, which has the biggest economy in America, is weed. Just like Kerlikowske said we cannot attack so many of our citizens. We have to change our language and laws to better reflect reality, because the Dude abides here!
The War on Terror is equally un-winnable. You might as well declare a War on Horror, or a War on Glee. You can’t ever win a war against an emotional state, or a method of attack, or an non-unified force of local guerrillas. War has proven a costly and ineffective solution for so many problems. It is time we re-brand this country firmly away from it. We have to stop saying a war on this word or a war on that thing. Peace is the only path to victory.
Make peace with drugs. They have always been here, will always be here, and should not result in 15-20 year in federal prison. Instead non-violent offenders need to be treated. Think of how good that A&E tv show Intervention is at stopping drug use. Why shouldn’t our government support a less expensive and more effective tactics like this? It really goes to the root of the problem and helps the unfortunate people who become deeply addicted to drugs. Take a mans crack away, and he won’t do crack today. Teach him not to do crack, and you will cure him for a lifetime.