Nation’s Drug Czar Laments Drug War Failure

Here’s the direct quote:

“In the grand scheme, it has not been successful,” drug czar Gil Kerlikowske told the AP. “Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified.”

That’s certainly good to hear, but here’s the chief problem:

This week President Obama backed up that rhetoric by announcing a new national policy that treats drug use as much as a public health concern as a criminal issue.

That seems like Obama is just heightening the drug war while not militarizing it. If he were to take slow steps to rescinding the whole failed enterprise, he would be treating drugs as a public health concern and less as a criminal issue.

  • dj

    Prisoners being held for the peaceful, non-violent possession, sale, transport or cultivation of cannabis hemp must be released immediately. Money and property seized must be returned. Criminal records must be wiped clean, amnesty granted and some sort of reparations paid for time served. These cannabis prisoners are the real victims of this monstrous crime against humanity called the “War on Drugs.”
    The United States is supposed to be a free country, yet those who choose to smoke or eat this mostly harmless drug are penalized. An American can go out and drink themself to death, but they cannot freely use a drug which is less toxic and less prone to making one out of control than alcohol. I say this is not only unfair, but also un-American!
    The police, prosecutors and prison guards should not be in charge of which herbal therapies people may use to treat their personal health problems.
    Federal Judge Francis Young in 1988 called “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

  • melvin polatnick

    Making it difficult to arrest petty drug offenders will curtail the senseless war on drugs. Dealers should be arrested only in their homes. Public streets and parks must be declared no stop and frisk zones. Good detective work will still apprehend major violators in their hideouts, but never in the fresh air. A bunch of druggies on the streets and in the parks is preferred over the morbidity of a police state.

  • John222

    Less toxic? Try non-toxic. You might choke on a stem or wish you were dead, but marijuana won’t kill you by itself. Alcohol on the other hand is very toxic and has killed more than a few.

  • Richard

    Our policy is used by the government and corporations around the nation to exploit people for money.

    Some of the biggest corporations in america are in bed with the government, lobbying for strict laws.The laws function as a low hanging limbo bar to fill the prisons to full capacity with many non-violent offenders. The more people that are put into prison, the higher the private prison companies’ stocks soar. The US and private prisons have a deal with the corporations to use inmates as cheap labor tripling their profits and permitting more money to lobby the government with. This is also steals fair paying jobs from Americans.

    The absurd drug laws in this country mean we pay for a lot of non-violent people to enter the prison system for government and company profit.

    We are paying to erode liberty.

    All of this on top of the Oil Scandals, Iraq war profiteering and Wall Street Meltdown. Anyone see a pattern? The Government is the largest corporation in America making trillions while we lose our jobs, freedoms, retirement accounts and environment.

    Its time to end the drug war.

  • malcolm kyle

    Prohibitionists dance hand in hand with every possible type of criminal one can imagine.

    An unholy alliance of ignorance, greed and hate which works to destroy all our hard fought freedoms, wealth and security.

    We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: “Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!”

    Nobody wants to see an end to prohibition because they want to use drugs. They wish to see proper legalized regulation because they are witnessing, on a daily basis, the dangers and futility of prohibition. ‘Legalized Regulation’ won’t be the complete answer to all our drug problems, but it’ll greatly ameliorate the crime and violence on our streets, and only then can we provide effective education and treatment.

    The whole nonsense of ‘a disaster will happen if we end prohibition’ sentiment sums up the delusional ‘chicken little’ stance of those who foolishly insist on continuing down this blind alley. As if a disaster isn’t already happening. As if prohibition has ever worked.

    To support prohibition is such a strange mind-set. In fact, It’s outrageous insanity! –Literally not one prohibitionist argument survives scrutiny. Not one!

    The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

    During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    In an underground drug market, criminals and terrorists, needing an incentive to risk their own lives and liberty, grossly inflate prices which are further driven higher to pay those who ‘take a cut’ like corrupt law enforcement officials who are paid many times their wages to look the other way. This forces many users to become dealers themselves in order to afford their own consumption. This whole vicious circle turns ad infinitum. You literally couldn’t dream up a worse scenario even if your life depended on it. For the second time within a century, we’ve carelessly lost “love’s labour,” and, “with the hue of dungeons and the scowl of night,” have wantonly created our own worst nightmare.

    So should the safety and freedom of the rest of us be compromised because of the few who cannot control themselves?

    Many of us no longer think it should!