Happy 40th Birthday!

Today is the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s “War on Drugs”. Much like all the other “wars” we’ve waged in the past half-century, on everything from poverty to terror, this one has been an absolute, unqualified, raging success. I mean, drugs have been completely obliterated from the landscape, schoolchildren frolic freely in the streets, and every criminal who’s ever even touched a doobie is now safely penned up behind bars for ever and ever. Right?

When the police themselves are saying the War on Drugs might need a reboot, maybe you ought to listen.

“”Since President Nixon declared ‘war on drugs’ four decades ago, this failed policy has led to millions of arrests, a trillion dollars spent and countless lives lost, yet drugs today are more available than ever,” said Norm Stamper, former chief of police in Seattle and a speaker for legalization-advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.”

“More available than ever”. Yup, that sounds like it was a worthwhile expenditure of MY hard-earned tax money. Yup. 

Now, let’s imagine a world where this little excercise in futility was never adopted…your ideas on how the last 40 years might have played out differently if the War on Drugs had never been waged, in the comments below.

4 Responses to “Happy 40th Birthday!”

  1. Pitt says:

    I caught this little snippet at the end of the article:

    “We jail more of our own citizens than any other country in world does, including those run by the worst dictators and totalitarian regimes.

    Wonder if that’s true?

  2. Dan says:

    If you take a gander at this site it shows markers for botched drug raids in the USA. Most recently there was the 29 year old marine who died in a hail of some 70 bullets because his house was being raided without a warrant (and no drugs were found), as well as a cop in Arizona who flat out executed a resident who asked to see a search warrant.

    So while I am a big believer that 99% of police are good, honest, hard working public servants, that 1% can royally screw up the lives of citizens.

  3. matt says:

    From Wikipedia:

    “The United States of America has an incarceration rate of 743 per 100,000 of national population (as of 2009), the highest in the world.[2] In comparison, Russia has the second highest 577 per 100,000, Canada has 117 per 100,000, and China has 120 per 100,000.[2] While Americans only represent about 5 percent of the world’s population, one-quarter of the entire world’s inmates are incarcerated in the United States.[3]”

  4. Pitt says:

    Well, at least the streets are safe, with all those bad people locked up behind bars.

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