Can you really win the war on drugs?

6 years ago

Can you really win the war on drugs?

In 2010 the US Department of Justice released its National Drug Threat Assessment. “Seizures of illegal drugs in transit exceeded 1,626 metric tons” this includes all manner of drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine and other concoctions like methamphetamines and ecstasy (MDMA).

North of the border, Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police website offers more stats about the prevalence of drugs in North America. “Marijuana… remains the top domestically produced drug in Canada, comprising approximately 75 percent of all drugs seized in 2008.” However, all the drugs I listed above are also produced and trafficked in both large and small scale across Canada.

It seems that despite the US spending over $15 billion dollars in 2010 alone and Canada injecting its own dollars and manpower, North Americans are not truly ready to stop using. Trying to change the prevalence of drugs in our communities is an ongoing, uphill battle. Though laws, penalties and drug awareness campaigns have increased, people are still unwilling to get the message that drugs are bad for self and society.

No matter how far back we go in history or what culture you study people always found a way to get high. Whether for youthful experimentation, recreational purposes or to ease pain, the need to delve into an alternate reality remains firmly intact.  There are also those that purchase and use drugs as a way to harm others; which is a category of buyers that should be flagged by public and agencies alike.

Growth in prescription drug use is also a problem; with narcotics, stimulants, sedatives and tranquilizers making their way from the medicine cabinet to the streets. Gained either from natural sources or pharmaceutically derived, drugs are in the hands of millions of people worldwide whose sole goal is to change the way they feel.

There is no disputing that it kills people, causes widespread problems in communities, damages families and drains systems. The demand also creates a thriving business for the scum of our society who have a vested interest in keeping addicts wanting more.  But will any of that ever change?

Year after year, generation after generation, country to country we have been unable to stop the need for drugs. Those that want it find ways to get it, those that don’t use simply don’t buy.  If one finds themselves addicted and wants treatment it is apparently hard to find a program available that can take them in. Why? Lack of funding.  I wonder how far the scale tips when looking at funding the war on drugs vs. treatment programs.

Here is another thing to consider: With almost all other consumer driven products available on the market we offer choice. Why? So that not one business or entity can take over and gain full monopoly.  What we have for drug users is no other alternative but to become a criminal, gain access to low level gangs or go to high level cartels to purchase the product.

I’m really not sure what the answer is, truly I don’t know what is right anymore. However, when someone can go to prison and still die of a drug overdose, when so many people admit to smoking marijuana, when kids despite numerous ad campaigns still find another drug to use at a party, when prescription drugs are as easy to buy as a candy bar then I would say demand is far exceeding the capabilities of any law enforcement agency.   How do you win a war against something so many are still supporting? Such a challenge with seemingly no easy answer.

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