Citizens of the World,
It has been considered common knowledge that when a war is conducted there will emerge one side as victor, and the other as loser. There is a particular war that defies that logic and whose battle lines are not so clearly drawn. To which am I referring is the United States of America’s War on Drugs, declared by President Richard Nixon in June of 1971.
The expressed goals of this shift in U.S. Domestic + Foreign policy was to counteract the rise in drug use that had characterized the previous decade, which Nixon described as “Public Enemy #1”. Overlooking the argument that the right to choose drug use is up to the individual, it would appear as if Nixon did want to keep Americans safe. However, regardless of sincerity of his intentions, it has become apparent that his approach to the issue of drug usage has done little to achieve it’s stated goals + actually has done much to the opposite end:
Not only has drug use not declined, at all…
…self-proclaimed “Land of the Free” leads the world in incarcerations, directly due to the criminalization of Cannabis use. Rather than regulating marijuana in a legal manner, it would appear as if the Federal Government would prefer to imprison…
…What’s worse is the recent trend to privatize prisons for profit, in the name of saving taxpayer dollars. Some even require a minimum occupancy, creating a system of incentives where police officers are pressured not only to meet their personal + department quotas, but also that of the prison company. A prime example of the profit-motive being used to obstruct justice…
…Private Prisons aren’t the only entities profiting off the Drug War. The fact that substances like cannabis are illegal forces their consumers to turn to the black market to acquire them. This funnels much money into criminal organizations, funding their other, most likely violent, illegal activities…
…With nature’s most prominent medicine locked away + anyone who uses it locked up, Pharmaceutical companies are able to synthesize chemicals that target single symptoms rather than the array of ailments that marijuana assists with. So, not only can you not grow the cure-all in your own home for free, you must pay for your relief on a case by case basis.
Amidst all this is an emerging acceptance of alternative forms of drug use than the traditional alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. In 2011, the public approval of marijuana legalization reached 50% of all Americans, a reflection of the inability of our elected officials to properly gauge and/or react to the will of the people, as no federal efforts to reform marijuana laws have come to fruition.
In conclusion, when one looks beyond the rhetoric and promises of prohibition, it becomes more clear that in practice this policy is not working and is overdue to change. When one looks closely enough, they may come to the realize that the Drug War is actually a
War on the American People and their Rights.
Winners: For-Profit Prison Companies, Drug Lords + Pharmaceutical Companies
“People before profits!“