The War on Drugs began in Reefer Country, in the 1930s. It was an indiscriminate campaign that resulted in countless millions of people getting hooked to illegal substances, including opioids like morphine, cocaine, and crack.
Today, the War on Drugs still rages, even though many citizens consider it to be unnecessary and counterproductive. The War on Drugs isn’t the War on Drugs at all. It’s just an old, failed experiment. And if it was unnecessary, why do we still have it? One possible reason for the War on Drugs might be the fact that many of our public policies are based on the belief that drugs are bad. That belief may be partially true. For example, the penalties against those who possess illegal substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine are significantly more severe than the penalties applied to those caught using, distributing, or selling alcohol and cigarettes. That’s because, although both legal substances are technically illegal, the laws against them tend to be much stricter. So the perception that drugs are bad could be partially true.
However, the War on Drugs doesn’t fight drugs themselves, it fights substances that are related to drugs – like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.
Another possible reason that the War on Drugs might have been necessary at some point is that the distribution and sale of controlled substances were very difficult during the early stages of its creation. It was illegal to manufacture, sell, or import most of these substances.
And even today, it’s difficult to find any kind of medication that was made in the US without some kind of governmental license.
Thus, the War on Drugs might have been necessary at some point to make pharmaceuticals freely available to the American public.
But what does this have to do with the War on Drugs? In a very real way, it illustrates how irrational lawmaking can be. Some people don’t want the government to regulate the sale and use of drugs, arguing that the government should not intervene in the private lives of citizens. And yet, there are plenty of reasons why regulating the distribution and sale of illegal substances would be a sensible thing for the government to do. After all, we all know that drug abuse is a problem that costs society billions of dollars each year.
The problem that most people face when they start using illegal substances is not the physical addiction itself. It’s the psychological effect. To an addict, nothing will make him feel good other than having drugs. Even if he has to steal them from other people or steal them back from the police, he’ll do it to get the high he feels from the drugs.
He’ll probably go to great lengths to try to acquire more drugs – perhaps even killing other people to get them. All this is just the psychological effect of the illegal substances; it doesn’t include the cost that drug abusers place on society because they keep bringing illegal substances into the country and across state lines.
The government should take the criminal justice angle when it comes to the War on Drugs. After all, people are being convicted and sent to prison for things that would seem like minor crimes. If people are put behind bars for crimes that seem like minor ones, they won’t have the money or the means to hire attorneys to help them get out of jail – they’ll just end up serving time in jail, and they’ll be dead inside a few years. It’s a true cost of the War on Drugs that isn’t easily ignored.
Of course, the government has various ways of controlling the distribution of illegal substances, and that means that there are plenty of ways that people can get their hands on drugs. The distribution of drugs through the Internet is very new, but it’s already creating problems for the government as well as private individuals. With more people getting involved with the buying and selling of drugs online, the War on Drugs has found itself mired in the cyber realm. The War on Drugs has an ugly aspect, and that has a lot to do with the fact that so many people are getting caught up in the web rather than doing anything illegal.
If the War on Drugs was the best solution for the problems that it causes, then everyone involved in the drug trade would be heading towards the jail, instead of making money by selling drugs. Instead, we see tons of people, including doctors and other medical professionals, being arrested and convicted of distributing illegal substances. This type of injustice must be stopped. Unfortunately, the War on Drugs doesn’t just apply to those who sell drugs, but also to those who are prescribed them. This type of injustice must be corrected immediately if we’re ever going to see an end to the War on Drugs.