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AP Bombshell: "US Drug War Has Met None of Its Goals"



May 18, 2010 – Comments (17)

 AP Bombshell: "US Drug War Has Met None of Its Goals"

Tony Newman

Drug Policy Alliance Network, Director of Media Relations

Posted: May 13, 2010 05:05 PM

The Associated Press has just dropped a bombshell on America's longest running war and the headline says it all: "The US Drug War has Met None of its Goals".

The extensive piece reviews the last 40 years, starting with President Nixon's official launch of the War on Drugs all the way to President Obama's annual strategy released this week.

I have been the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance for ten years and this is one of the hardest hitting indictments against the drug war I've ever seen. And because the story comes from the Associated Press, it will run in hundreds of papers around the world, reaching tens of millions of people.

The piece packs a punch from the start: "After 40 years, the United States' War on Drugs has cost $1 trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence more brutal and widespread."

****

17 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 18, 2010 at 2:36 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Clearly the solution is more money, more violence, more incarceration, and more government power :)

Strike the Root

David in Support of Rand Paul

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#2) On May 18, 2010 at 2:40 PM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

Given how well alcohol prohibition worked, I am sure success is just around the corner!

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#3) On May 18, 2010 at 2:43 PM, dargus (82.29) wrote:

How much revenue has the War on Drugs produced in fines and repossed property?

There are too many vested interests in the current policy so I'm not too upbeat about the prospects of change.

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#4) On May 18, 2010 at 2:48 PM, USNHR (29.50) wrote:

I think the US government should start selling the stuff and quit fighting it. It could pay for Obamacare.

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#5) On May 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM, TMFAleph1 (93.09) wrote:

Is that really a bombshell?

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#6) On May 18, 2010 at 4:36 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

There are goals and there are "goals".
Some are marketing tools, some distraction.
See "Freeway Ricky" or Gary Webb.
I beg to differ with "None of its Goals Were Met".
Ever heard of Mena?
+1 Cato

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#7) On May 18, 2010 at 4:45 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:

I believe that the reform of marijuana law is what this country craves (both morally and economically).

The violence and reckless spending have gone on far too long.

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#8) On May 18, 2010 at 4:47 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.91) wrote:


I think the bombshell is that the AP is actually reporting about it.  The mainstream media has swept issues like this under the rug for years.


I do think that, for the first time in my life, the political winds might be changing on this.  Funny enough, if the Drug War ever ends (or gets slowly eased out of existence), it will probably be because of fiscal pressures.  It makes absolutely no sense from a fiscal perspective to fight the War on Drugs.  

For that matter, I still can't, for the life of me, figure out from what perspective it does make sense.  Liberal, conservative, libertarian, green, socialist --- doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me from any of those perspectives.  

There are, of course, vested interests fighting against the end of the Drug War, but they are not quite as powerful as the banks, insurers, or pharmaceutical companies.  

What could be more appealing from a budgetary standpoint than eliminating a multi-billion dollar drain on funds (via law enforcement and prisons), all the while creating a revenue source (via taxes from legalized marijuana)?  As absurd as it sounds, that might actually be enough to help significantly put a dent in our budget hole. 

Moreover, the less people in jail, the more people are employed and making money (thereby, increasing tax revenue, in general).  It's true that some of these people in jail might be worthless and mooch of the state, but they would probably receive less in state aid out-of-prison than they would while in it; and there's actually a chance that they might get a job.  

I'll shut up now. :)


But I will say one last thing ... I'd probably vote for any Presidential candidate that made eliminating the Drug War a top priority.  I don't care if they are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or crazy nut-case conspiracy theorist ... if I thought they would end the Drug War - I'd vote for them.

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#9) On May 18, 2010 at 4:49 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

They should have just said "No!"

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#10) On May 18, 2010 at 5:37 PM, workfor (< 20) wrote:

What war on drugs? I believe there is a war on drugs like I believe in santa clause and the tooth fairy!

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#11) On May 19, 2010 at 2:05 AM, ralphmachio (< 20) wrote:

We have one agency bringing in the drugs, and another taking out the competition. Either way, it's our high schoolers that get exposed to heroin from opium grown in Afghanistan, where the opium production went up 10 fold when we invaded.

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#12) On May 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM, Melaschasm (< 20) wrote:

Much the same can be said about the 'War on Poverty', yet very few are calling for an end to the much larger sums of money spent fighting that war.

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#13) On May 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM, dinodelaurentis (85.75) wrote:


 I think it's because of a simple statment: "when drugs are criminalized, only criminals will have drugs."

It's just so easy to control a population of potential felons than it is to control free citizens.

Now apply the to the War on Poverty. "when poverty is criminalized, only criminals will have poverty."

See, it just doesn't sound the same does it?

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#14) On May 19, 2010 at 4:51 PM, ragedmaximus (< 20) wrote:

If the usa made all drugs legal then the drug industry would collapse and the govt could tax the drugs and we could get out of the recession on pot alone and eliminate bloated bureaucracy

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#15) On May 19, 2010 at 5:28 PM, TMFAleph1 (93.09) wrote:


Come to think of it, there are far too few denunciations of the folly of this war.


Alex D

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#16) On May 19, 2010 at 8:48 PM, kdakota630 (29.41) wrote:

It's probably too late in this conversation that anyone is going to read this, but:

John Stossel - Drug Dealers’ Nightmare: Legal Pot

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#17) On May 19, 2010 at 9:16 PM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

Thanks, kdakota630.

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