I noticed that the three commenters, Aesop, Peter, and myself, who were relegated to the pro-war on drugs camp have their opinions formed by having been in the trenches on this so-called war.
Aesop on the front lines in an ER
I have a step-son who retired out as a paramedic in Richmond, CA.
You literally cannot conceive of what medical personnel not only witness, but with which they live and wake up to in their dreams.
PTSD is not only found in soldiers.
Peter as a prison Chaplin.
Myself: Twice my employment involved drug users and they damage they do: once as an MP in the Army (I was actually the NCOIC acting, for two months, at the maximum security cell bloc for an area confinement facility. Some of the troops returning stateside from The Land of Bad Things had drug problems and drug problems morphed into behavioral problems.These guys speak passionately about their experiences dealing with people who are destroying their own lives, or the lives of others. They speak passionately because of what they've seen.
I'm also going to speak passionately for a moment, about something that effects my life. The Queen Of The World has had problems with her knees, problems that have been going on for a couple years now and which had her on crutches for months at a time. Her doctors won't prescribe her pain medications because of the restrictions that they're under from the War On Drugs.
It's something to have to see the pain in her eyes day in and day out. She's quite a trooper, but I can tell that it wears her down - the months and years of chronic pain take their toll.
To the people that think that the War on Drugs needs to get dialed up to 11, that there needs to be even more of what we've been doing - that we need to do it harder - well, she is the collateral damage from the stupid war.
Your point is a good one that people destroy their lives using drugs, but it's them who do it to themselves. It's them that cause the aggravation and pain to their family and neighbors. It's they who are not - and never will be - perfectible, or possibly improvable because they don't want to be.
But it's the government that is forcing the Queen Of The World and millions of others to remain in chronic, unrelieved pain for months or years at a time. Remember, they say that government is just the things that we choose to do together.
This is personal to me. Come up with a way to fight the War on Drugs that doesn't burn down the village to save it, or declare victory and go home. I don't think that there's a way to win without massive collateral damage because the people using drugs want to use them, they don't want to stop, and they won't cooperate with efforts to improve/perfect/save them.
Out of the crooked timber that is Man nothing straight was ever built, and all that.
But it's not cool to keep the Queen Of The World and all the legions like her in constant pain. It's not cool for local police departments to get all ninja'ed up. It's not cool for no-knock drug raids to go into the wrong house by mistake. It's not cool for law enforcement to get corrupted by bribes (or intimidation) from the cartels.
But there's no reforming a system this big. Bureaucracies gonna bureaucracy and while the people in the system mean well, the system is lousy and getting lousier. Out of the crooked timber that is Man nothing straight was ever built, and all that.