Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was the Play?

A group of Nobel-winning economists recently issued a report calling for an end to the War on Drugs. In part, their statement read

“The pursuit of a militarized and enforcement-led global ‘war on drugs’ strategy has produced enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage,” says the 82-page report. “These include mass incarceration in the US, highly repressive policies in Asia, vast corruption and political destabilization in Afghanistan and West Africa, immense violence in Latin America, an HIV epidemic in Russia, an acute global shortage of pain medication and the propagation of systematic human rights abuses around the world.”

I guess the drug war has a few negative consequences….

When you insist on criminalizing behavior that ought to be treated as the public health issue it is, you shouldn’t be surprised when those sanctions do horrendous collateral damage.

Alcohol prohibition didn’t work; neither does drug prohibition. There are better ways to address the problem.

But we never seem to learn.


  1. We have been misled by all involved in the War on Drugs and the results of cancer research. Both are flourishing as if no one has tried to stop either insidious scourge on humanity. The amount of money wasted on the War on Drugs could have put to better use for treatment for users and prisons for major dealers – not petty marijuana peddlers. What exactly are the millions in donations being used for regarding cancer research and treatment. No honest answers will be found in the media because those involved in both areas are not telling the truth. The general public is being given misleading information on the drug issue and treated with placebos regarding cancer research and treatment. And the beat goes on!

  2. As a baby boomer, I was not surprised the politicians in charge during my youth had unfavorable view of marijuana, after all Pot was a part of the Anti-War, Anti-Establishment scene. I still read and hear comments that all the Liberal trouble in the USA was started by Pot Smoking Hippies.

    Problem is we now have the Wall Street-Security-Military-Industrial Complex heavily invested in arresting, prosecuting, and jailing drug users. We have the “Pay to be on Probation” Privatized Business Interests. Who knows how much of the vast sums the Drug Lords make are laundered by their willing accomplices in the Off Shore Banking Industry??

    Also as a note it seems suspicious that where ever our CIA-Military Complex has a big foot print drugs are there. Back in my youth there was the “Golden Triangle” in Burma-Thailand and Laos during the Vietnam War. We had a shift in the 80’s of drugs to Columbia, Central America about the time of US Interventions there. Now the Poppies are blooming again in Afghanistan. Guess who has a big foot print there???

  3. Charles Whitebread, in a wonderful speech to California judges in 1995 (http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/whiteb1.htm) talked about the bizarre history of pot laws and use of pot in the U.S. He ended with the insight that Americans love prohibition, beginning with the driving force that it’s “they” who use whatever has been prohibited until people realize that the “they” is really “us”, and then it changes.

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