Saturday, January 04, 2014

Our addiction to the drug war

  As momentum builds here in the U.S. and around the world to bring the costly war on drugs to an end, our government continues to drag its feet, stubbornly feeding the international war machine with billions of dollars annually while continuing to harass medical marijuana distributors around this nation. Some will contribute this continued emphasis on law enforcement and interdiction to older men and women in positions of authority still clinging to mid-twentieth century drug hysteria, and that is a factor, but there is a much more practical rationale for our government’s reluctance to end the futile drug war.

 In the same way that the surveillance state grew into a many-headed monster with a will of its own, so went the war on drugs. From the mid-seventies when Richard Nixon birthed his mutant baby, the drug war machine has grown tentacles that reach deep into the government infrastructure. From the DEA, CIA, FBI and on down the line, there are scores of departments and agencies and tens of thousands of employees carrying out this endless war. In other words, the heads of these agencies, just like the heads of the various surveillance groups, will argue until their dying breath that what they do is vital to America’s security and safety. After all, there are billions of dollars involved here.

Once again, our government fails us as it sacrifices our tax dollars to continue fruitless policies that are of no value to anyone except the elites who have their hands on the controls of these dead-end programs. The war on drugs was a boneheaded idea from the very beginning, but now we are stuck with an immense bureaucracy employing many thousands of people, and, of course, our political leaders don’t have the courage to admit their folly and shut the damn thing down.

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