By every measure the war on drugs has been a complete failure, and there are few people outside of Washington who would dispute that. Despite this, Obama’s new budget asks for $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs, a billion more than last year. More lives will be lost, more people will be jailed and more criminals will be rewarded. It is a tragic cycle that is perpetuated by politics and an entrenched serpentine bureaucracy that demands to be fed.
For nearly a century, we have been accosted with propaganda from the government about the dangers of drugs and addiction, and brainwashed into believing that drug users are dangerous “others” or criminals who will sell their babies for a fix. Like I said, this is the propaganda. The truth, however, might shock you.
I read a truly illuminating article at Alternet this morning here. It’s an interview with Johan Hari, author of the book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.” What’s fascinating about Hari’s findings after four years of world-wide research is that basically everything we think we know about drug use and abuse and how to deal with it is wrong. The war on drugs, according to Hari, is based on totally false notions of what the problem is and how to deal with it.
If you have any interest in drug policy or the war on drugs, I encourage you to read this article and pass it on.