Every year that passes, with prohibition in place.. I ask myself; ‘what is the REAL purpose of the WAR on Drugs ?’ As a cannabis plant can hardly fight back. Officially (according to UN convention etc.) it is about controlling the manufacture/supply/trade of DRUGS, preventing addiction & preventing harm, BUT I don’t really see this, in fact.. I see:
1) huge profits created by black-markets & gangsters, as a result of this prohibition.. also corruption (paying off police/’officials’) & ‘tuft wars’
2) drug use & abuse running rampant & virtually unchecked, especially in the western world
3) $billion police, judiciary & corrections budgets, which according to many would be better spent on; healthcare & addiction treatment.. instead results in overcrowded prisons, with little or no reduction in drug use
4) alienation of mostly people from; lower socio-economic & ‘ethnic’ racial groups, who are the main targets on the ‘front-lines’ of the drug war
5) ‘illegal’ drug use at an all-time high, especially amongst youth who break the law, specifically to rebel
6) many people losing employment & travel options. because they are branded ‘ criminals’ after arrest, prosecution & conviction.. often for little more than possession or cultivation of cannabis for personal use
7) sick people being denied access to cannabis drugs in many countries, who refuse to look beyond the zero-tolerance/prohibitionist policies that have arisen specifically since 1971 (Nixon declared the WAR !) even though the UN convention gives it clear exemption for medicinal use
8) massive levels of pollution as a result of the huge increases in fossil fuels, petro-chemical pesticides/fertilisers etc. used in : paper, plastics, cotton & vehicles.. many of these products were once made from HEMP (almost zero-polluting) prior to the Drug war.. slowly being revitalised
9) a Drug War industry that is becoming increasingly militarised & ruthless.. War for WAR’s sake
10) loss of civil rights; eg ‘stop & frisk’ & non-warranted search, just on the vaguest suspicion of drug possession
It is FAR too simplistic to just say ‘DON’T BREAK THE LAWS’, but I think it’s really time that we collectively STOP & ask, ‘Is the War on Drugs really achieving its supposed purpose ?’ & also ‘IF the War on Drugs, is not achieving these stated purposes/outcomes.. is it time to move on to an alternative way of ‘drug control’ ? : ie Legal Regulation !
Its been over 40 years since Nixon declared his ‘Global Jihad’ on Drugs.. now the longest running war in recent centuries.. How much longer ? Starting to feel/sound like a stuck record ??