Friday, July 12, 2019

All the ways that we are losing the War On Drugs

This is an update to an older post, but given the discussion on the stupid WoD, it's time to roll it out again.

This is what losing looks like:
Coroner Kent Harshbarger estimates that ... the state [of Ohio] will see 10,000 overdoses by the end of 2017 — more than were recorded in the entire United States in 1990.
Peter has an excellent and in-depth post of the utter idiocy of the "War on Drugs"and you should RTWT.

This would normally trigger an epic Borepatchian uberpost.  Instead, I will merely summarize the costs of this idiotic program:

40 year cost of War on Drugs is $1 Trillion
Half of all Federal prison inmates are serving time for drug offenses (same link as above)
$100 B black market in drugs shows no sign of going away

A single ship was seized, carrying $1B of cocaine.
Remember, after all of this treasure we are looking at an epidemic of overdose deaths.

Now add in the corruption of Law Enforcement:
The proliferation of SWAT teams
The proliferation of "No Knock" raids
The unaccountability of police (warning: autoplay video)
Billions of dollars taken via "Civil Asset Forfeiture" without charges, trial, or conviction
Police selling seized narcotics on the side

Now add in the corruption of the Intelligence Agencies:
DEA covers up program to collect information on all Americans

Now add in the corruption of the medical community:
A "Civil War" over pain medication is tearing the medical community apart
Patients can't get pain medication and so turn to heroin
How the War On Drugs fuels the Opioid epidemic

I could go on, but let me sum up: The war on drugs has made us less free, has fueled the growth of the Police/Surveillance State that targets us, has corrupted Law Enforcement and driven a wedge between them and the citizenry.  It has done this while drugs have become both more prevalent and more deadly, and while legitimate patients are forced to turn to illegal drugs because their doctors can't prescribe them the pharmaceuticals that would ease their chronic pain.

And let's return to what started this rant.  Consider the death toll: Ohio expects 10,000 overdose deaths this year, from a population of 11.6 M.  Nationwide overdose deaths are over 70,000 each year.  That's more than the war dead we suffered in Vietnam.  And that entirely ignores the fact that most murders in this country are over drug turf battles.

Think about that: all the treasure, all the lost freedom, and we are suffering a Vietnam War each year, every year, with no end in sight.

The War on Drugs is futile, stupid, and evil.  It should end immediately.  This is a stupid game, we're losing, and we shouldn't play.


Aesop said...

The Mutually Beneficial Slapfight On (Some) Drugs should go away.
On that, we're agreed.

We've never had anything like a "War" on Drugs, not one day in your life or mine, anywhere, any time, to any degree.

We've had a jobs program for bureaucrats, following the Iron Law of Bureaucracies. (Color me shocked.)

And there is nothing involved in fighting an actual War On Drugs that requires the current abominations visited upon the Bill of Rights.

Drugs were the excuse for those, but not the reason, as you well know.
[cf. the War On Terrorism, which curiously has impeded terrorists not a whit, but requires I be sexually assaulted every time I fly a commercial aircraft anywhere, just for one example.]
Almost like anything that can be used to ratchet the Bill of Rights into irrelevancy would be used by a corrupt FBI, a corrupt CIA, and a corrupt NSA, because they can.

You've also concatenated a host of things that are related to the drug problem, almost none of which would go away if you surrendered, and let Drugs win, as you would wish.

But you haven't addressed any of that, nor will you, because it undermines your narrative.

Legalization will not make the black market in drugs go away, nor ever could. In fact, it will blossom and multiply.
So you'd still be putting people in prison for smuggling untaxed drugs in, like they would, and stopping but a fraction of them, like we do.
But once they got here, you'd be absolutely powerless to go after them, because legalized.
And if you went after them because not taxed, you'd merely swap the BATFE and IRS for the DEA. Well-played.
And you'd still have the exact ineffectual but expensive "War On Untaxed Drugs" that you decry now.

The police wouldn't shelve a single SWAT team.
Nor forego a single no-knock warrant.
Nor make police more accountable.
Nor stop asset forfeiture (which has been around since at least 1929).
Nor make any dent in corrupt cops selling drugs on the side.

You'd still have the DEA.

So you'd still have government trying to tell doctors what to prescribe, how much, and to whom.

All you'd do is make heroin readily available without prescription, ensuring addiction to it went up multiples of the current level, (I'm betting five- to ten-fold for openers) except now with absolutely no means whatsoever to put any brakes on that, not even harsh language.
Which would take the Opioid Epidemic, and throw gasoline on that fire.

You'd keep us less free, do nothing to curb the surveillance/police state, keep law enforcement corrupt, and oh BTW, you'd be pumping billions of dollars directly to the Taliban and Mexican and S. American cartels, destabilizing entire regions in perpetuity, and putting the US at odds with about 50 friendly nations.

In fact, the US would become Columbia and Mexico in the drug war, to every nation that didn't follow us into the insanity of "Legalize and Tax".

Almost all the problems you decry could be solved without touching a single drug statute, yet you don't advocate those.

And the death toll you claim to be worried about would probably double or triple, and we'd still have to spend billions to interdict the illicit (and thus untaxed) boatloads of drugs that would still be shipped here, 24/7/365, except now partially funded by buying product from the exact cartels doing that smuggling.

In short, you'd have laundered every penny the cartels make, forever, and given them a cash infusion that would enable them to grow by orders of magnitude, overnight.

Greybeard said...

(This from a 26-yr retired EMS helicopter pilot.)
We don't learn from history.
And we don't have the ability to turn our backs on the stupid amongst us.
I don't think the govt. should force us to wear helmets or seat belts.
But if you choose to not use either and get hurt, you should be given pain medication only and allowed to heal on your own.
Same with drug addiction. Boil in your own oil, but don't hurt the rest of us.
And there's the problem, huh?
I also don't want my home to be burglarized.
What a mess.

Comrade Misfit said...

I've also blogged about it off an on. The WoD is both stupid and lost and has been for a very long time.

If my memory is correct, there was a bit of a stir in Tennessee because it seemed that the state cops were very bad at interdicting the drugs, but very good at interdicting the cash going the other way.