The U.S. war on drugs has failed

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

By Daniel Wise

In 1971 President “I Am Not a Crook” Nixon declared war on drugs. He proclaimed “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”

It is fiscally and morally irresponsible to continue a “war” that has proved to be ineffective. The reason that so many politicians from both parties still seek to perpetuate the drug war is tied to lobbying.

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When law enforcement can practice things like Civil Asset forfeiture without a warrant or even substantial evidence, then they will benefit from such laws. Many of my really close friends are in Law enforcement, and most of them share my view. Private prisons also benefit from this failed drug war.

Since the launch of mandatory minimum sentencing in the 1980’s our prison population has more than quadrupled. The United States of America has the highest prison rate in the world. Mississippi locks up more per capita than China or Russia.

Who else does this war benefit?

Have you heard of the Sackler family? They own a little legal prescription drug called Oxycontin. Forbes Magazine says they are worth $15 billion.

Here is an interesting fact, in 2015 76,000 Americans died from prescription drug overdoses.

Did you know that in states with legal medical marijuana painkiller deaths have dropped by 25%?  Fewer prescriptions for pain pills in states with legalization is bad news for big pharma and they are fighting against it hard.

Go look into the campaign finance reports of your congressmen and representatives, national and state level and see how many get checks from big pharma. In Mississippi, it is almost everyone I have researched. I am talking big money here…look into it.

How do we win an unwinnable war?

The most successful thing that has been done to hurt the rich drug lords of Mexico and south America in the last few years has been the movement to legalize marijuana in some states. 

While I do believe that this still falls under the 10th Amendment, meaning it is the people’s decision, the question must be asked…how it is that marijuana is treated with such disdain yet there have been ZERO cases of overdose while the W.H.O. reports that Tobacco kills almost 6 Million people and alcohol kills 2.5 Million annually.

As an economist, I oppose barriers to the free market. As a Libertarian, I believe the government has no right to tell us what we can and cannot put into our bodies.

As a small businessman from a family of farmers I want to see industrial hemp as an option for our state economy.

As a compassionate human who has watched several friends die from cancer (or the chemo and other treatments) I want our citizens to have access to all medicines, not just those big pharma decides make the most profit.

As a decent human being I want everyone to know just how much influence lobbying and big corporate money have on even our local and state elected leaders.