“War on drugs” is a failure in many ways

In a step few politicians would take, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle…declared the nation’s decades-old war on drugs a failure…

“Rather than invest in detaining people in the Cook County Jail at almost $150 a day . . . we need to invest in treatment, education and job-skills training. That’s the only way . . . we are going to reduce crime and stabilize our communities,” she said…

“We all know that the war on drugs has failed to end drug use. Instead, it’s resulted in the incarceration of millions of people around the country, and 100,000 here in Cook County on an annual basis,” she said. “Drugs and the failed war on the drugs have devastated lives, families and communities. For too long we’ve treated drug use as a criminal justice issue, rather than a public issue, which is what it is.”

Academics, religious leaders and social-service providers spoke out, but Preckwinkle was the sole politician to address the crowd, which cheered her on.

Kathleen Kane-Willis, director of Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, kicked off the rally by citing recent statistics indicating Illinois leads the nation when it comes to putting far greater percentages of African Americans behind bars for drug crimes than whites.

The sad thing about the war on the drugs is that most people know it has failed,” added Rev. Alexander Sharp of Protestants for the Common Good. “They just don’t have the courage to say so…”

Preckwinkle’s call for more treatment and less punishment was in keeping with her statements on the campaign trail, when she often talked about diverting drug users into treatment programs. She said she now is working with the courts, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the sheriff’s office to find ways to do that.

“If 70 percent of the people in the jail are there for non-violent offenses, and 83 percent of the people who walk through the door have illicit drugs in their system, clearly the issue we’ve got is around addiction as much as it is around criminal justice,” she said after making her speech. “It is a public health issue.”

American politicians lead the Western World in hypocrisy. Moralizing based upon myth, laws carrying sanctions better suited to the Dark Ages, characterize the unproductive foolishness that our jurisprudence and book of laws has become.

Most drug use should be decriminalized. Take crime and drug cartels out of the equation altogether – and treat simple addictions for what they are. A product of many causes from genetic sensitivity to social and economic despair.

8 thoughts on ““War on drugs” is a failure in many ways

  1. Morey says:

    “The sad thing about the war on the drugs is that most people know it has failed…”

    How true. I’ve thought a lot about that one.

    At this point, it becomes like trying to get out of Vietnam. But I think that more people are starting to lose patience with official policy, which makes it easier for people in positions of authority to speak out.

    I would have to add to your comments that in addition to causes from genetic sensitivity to social and economic despair, there is frequently also a simple element of stupidity involved.

  2. Cures Riches says:

    A guy that was delivering candy to a corner store (sort of makes him an expert) told me about how the opiate poppy crop in Afghanistan has bounced back to business since the North American invasion. Serves me right when I’ve semi sarcastically joked that if we wanted to win, we would be bombing them with Ho Hos and Twinkies with proper gander cardboard inserts.. Do you think the barbiturate and cocaine habit of many politicians including their daemonic “dado” daddy Silvio Berlusconi might have something to do with the poppies return?? Dado is Italian for buddy. If you think this Sunday morning word play was bad, >>> I will reveal that the spirit of Berlusconi is using our use of the syllable “ca” as his excuse for CANNIBALISM. Ever felt: faint, dizzy, Na-WA headache, the rape chill, the oppressive amalgam rape? Please get off the denial for dollars sometimes to complain about the lousy brain activated WiFi spirit internet service that comes from Silvio Berlusconi etc. Dream fictions and “scripts” adjacent sleep is lame.

    • Addendum says:

      After 50 Years Of The War On Drugs, ‘What Good Is It Doing For Us?’ (NPR) https://www.npr.org/2021/06/17/1006495476/after-50-years-of-the-war-on-drugs-what-good-is-it-doing-for-us
      June 17, 1971: In a press conference, President Nixon declares drug abuse “public enemy number one” and announces the creation of a special action office for drug abuse prevention

      In a 1994 interview published in Harper’s Magazine, Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman suggested racial animus was among the motives shaping the drug war.
      “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the [Vietnam] War or Black,” Ehrlichman said. “But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.” https://harpers.org/archive/2016/04/legalize-it-all/

      • Footnote says:

        John Ehrlichman was counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs to President Richard Nixon. As such Ehrlichman was a key figure in events leading to the Watergate break-in and the ensuing Watergate scandal, for which he was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and served a year and a half in prison.

  3. Propósito says:

    “The US Should Own Up to Its Share of the Bloodshed in the Drug War” http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/opinion-us-should-own-up-to-its-share.html
    Christopher Landau, President Trump’s former ambassador to Mexico, published an opinion piece on Mexico’s “losing strategy” in the war on drugs. It is an expansive indictment. Landau explains how successive Mexican governments have failed to stop the flow of narcotics to the United States. While he acknowledges the importance of capturing the leaders of Mexico’s various criminal organizations, he worries the country’s “law enforcement and judicial institutions” are ill-suited to the task. He is also not sure the strategy is all that sensible. “Most of these organizations have lieutenants willing to take the leader’s place,” he writes.

    Christopher Landau: “We can target all the drug kingpins in Mexico we want, but that’s a losing strategy : If we want to stop the flow of illegal, increasingly deadly drugs into the U.S, we can’t rely on Mexico to do the hard work for us.” https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2021/06/11/mexico-cant-stop-america-drug-crisis-us-needs-depend-itself/7589221002/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.