It’s Time to end the War on Drugs

As President Trump fights the DC establishment in his efforts to bring home US troops and stop our “endless wars” in the Middle East, another “endless war” has been raging right here in America with equally, if not more devastating consequences for the American people.  This is a war against the American people and their appetite for recreational drugs.

It is often reported that the US war in Afghanistan, at nineteen years and counting, is the longest war in American history.  This is not correct, since President Richard Nixon, with the complicity of Congress, declared a “War on Drugs” in June of 1971, over 49 years ago.

Draconian measures, including no-knock warrants and extreme mandatory minimum prison sentences were enacted to prosecute the War on Drugs.  Many innocent people have been killed in their homes, even while in their own beds, during no-knock police raids.

A notable recent victim was Breonna Taylor, the Louisville EMT who was killed in her home when police, serving a drug warrant, broke down her door with a battering ram and shot her.  Her boyfriend, believing that criminals were breaking in, reportedly fired first, resulting in a barrage of police gunfire that took her life.  No illegal drugs were found in her home.

Breonna Taylor was not killed by police because she was black, since many innocent whites have also been killed by police during drug raids.  Cops are also victims in the War on Drugs, being required to execute such raids.  How would you like to be a cop who shot and killed an innocent person?  What kind of nightmares might you endure for a lifetime?

The primary guilty parties in this whole business are not the cops nor the drug users nor the drug dealers, but the politicians (and the people who pull the strings of the politicians).  They are the ones responsible for the War on Drugs.

It’s time to end the War on Drugs.  It’s time to combat the scourge of drug abuse by means of a public health approach, not a criminal enforcement approach.  We need education and rehab programs, not police raids and mass incarceration.

Look at how successful we’ve been in dramatically reducing the problem of tobacco use.  When I was a kid, it seemed like practically everyone smoked.  People who objected to smoking were considered to be oddballs.  It was actually common for physicians to smoke, even in their offices and in hospitals!

Today, the incidence of tobacco addiction is a small fraction of what it used to be. This success came about through education and rehab efforts, not through legal prohibition, no-knock raids and mass incarceration.

Let’s adopt a similar public health approach to all addictive drugs and END THE WAR ON DRUGS!