One of the main claims of the ‘War on Drugs’ was that it was intended to create a ‘drug free world’. Those at the forefront have claimed that zero-tolerance & draconian law enforcement is the ‘best method’ to achieve it !
BUT in reality; drug use has increased & the massive profits going to black-markets & gangs has exploded.
I listened to a radio broadcast this morning.. talking about recent research into the Drug war & its obvious failure to achieve these stated outcomes. The interviewee also talked about an experiment that was famously touted as proof of drug addiction:
A rat was put in a cage with two drink bottles; one contained plain water, the other had Heroin dissolved in water. The rat tried the water in both bottles, but continued to drink the ‘drug water’ & became ‘addicted’. This was held up as PROOF that Heroin is addictive & the nature of this, is that given the choice.. anyone/everyone would turn to drugs. Of course the parameters were very narrow: the rat had nothing else to do, so it continued to ‘relieve’ its boredom, with the drug.
This experiment has since been expanded upon. A researcher built an alternative; a cage with exercise wheels, other rats for company & food. The same two bottles were installed, but as the rat had other distractions & the company of other rats.. it drank only the plain water !
Many who claim to support the ‘drug free world’ say you can’t allow open access to currently ‘illegal drugs’ (cannabis, coca, opiates) because you risk turning the whole world into Heroin ‘junkies’.. WRONG !
If the experiments proved anything, it is that given other distractions.. drugs are only used by those who are : isolated, bored or as a temporary escape from the ‘problems/cares of the day’. This is further ‘evidenced’ by claims that drug use is highest amongst the unemployed.. as if they are using the drugs, as an excuse to avoid work. You could turn this on its head & say; they are using the drugs because they are unemployed & isolated, bored etc.
The whole nature of the drug war has been one of fear, suspicion & misinformation.. designed to create a myth around ‘drugs’ & the supposed nature of addiction. In the early days it was strongly racist.. but now it is mostly centred on people from lower socio-economic demographics (still including many in ‘ethnic’ & ‘indigenous’ communities).