There is a rather infamous Spanish saying that sums things up pretty well. “Plata O Plomo?” Do you want to be payed in silver or lead?
The War on Drugs has gone on far too long.
We should start by legalising all drugs, with sin taxes sufficiently low that there’s no incentive for criminal trafficking.
Overdose risk would drop dramatically, with better quality control and a wider range of safer drugs available to those seeking altered states.
We should then ask why so many people regularly seek escape from reality. Drugs can be fun, but dependency is grim. People need dignity and purpose.
Personally, I don’t think legalising drugs would be at all helpful though I do think the war on drugs is pointless. I find it intriguing that people are arguing for both making smoking illegal and heroin legal. As to addressing demand and destroying the market, I agree: people need meaning, and purpose. Here is one theory as to how China escaped mass opium addiction: ‘The People’s Republic of China dealt with addiction as a political problem, offering the new society hope, food, shelter, work, and land instead of opium. Addiction no longer had its appeal. Opium producing poppies were replaced by food corps. Large opium distributors were imprisoned. Addicts were “clean”. A mass campaign against addiction mobilized the entire nation. Before Liberation in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party had kept opium out of their areas. However, it took until 1953 to rid China completely of opium. Twenty million Chinese outside the People’s Republic of China continue to have serious narcotic addiction problems.’
Just to clarify, I am not advocating for communism, only exploring the idea meaning and purpose are powerful weapons in the war against drugs.
I read at the time that the policy was less benign than described. Addicts were required to get clean cold turkey. Found addicted a second time, they were shot. Effective but not a policy where individuals, not the state, is primary.
I have no doubt the methods of the Chinese authorities were at times brutal though unlikely to have been more brutal than the methods of the cartels, I am not naive, but I do think there is some truth in the article.
Mexico is the original narco-state. The likes of El Chapo are just figureheads to distract the public. The real cartel bosses are in the Mexican government and military. There is little that AMLO can do about it. The US media don’t want to report the trial because they can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that any official relationship with the Mexican government is a relationship with drug cartels.
The war on drugs can’t be lost. There is no alternative. History offers no example of a drug addicted society. It can’t because one never existed. The best that could happen is Appalachia or Chicago which only survive on the life support given by others. As the tide of drugs comes in, the others will be fewer and fewer and the Chicagos bigger and bigger.
Drug rehabilitation is a false prophet. It is like a bucket brigade against Niagara. The landscape is testimony to the efficacy of prevention.
All the structures that might have contained drug addiction have weakened, disappeared, or been replaced by ones that encourage it; partially out of fatigue, partially on purpose. America, at least, is facing something as unprecedented as the appearance of hostile aliens from another planet.
Yes, yes, yes! Just ‘Say No to Drug!” It really is that simple. Never start, and you never have to stop.
This an unwindable war.
Legalise the lot, and let Darwinian self-selection run its course.
Why do we persist with this nonsense?