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Everybody knows that the War on Drugs

has been an abject failure, except for people who benefit from it- law enforcement, criminal justice, prison interests, conservative politicians.


So sure, let's double down. 


One problem with taking a different tack is that it will leave the Good People angry that they don't get a gold star for not using drugs (except those who do).

And, of course, anything meaningful would produce a massive reallocation of resources and there would be winners and losers. The losers, predictably, don't want that.


I'd also submit my personal beliefs, based on quiet observation and listening over the last 40 years, that the war on drugs produces fabulous corruption opportunities (under and over the table) for local law enforcement.


Let me explain. They know that they're never going to stop it this way. So they logically say, OK, we're going to permit certain people to operate in our jurisdiction and we'll have some control, get some of that free money too. So we sort of keep it under control and keep the worst actors out.


And those official dealers act as perfect CIs- they know what's going on in that world and let us know who else is trying to muscle in on their business and the cops get to bust them and have a story on the front page, and ask for more funding to fight this terrible scourge that is coming for your children.


I do believe that is quite common.



4 Replies

Of course the most exceptional nation

has nothing to learn from places like Uruguay or Portugal, where limited decriminalization and treatment has been quite successful by comparison.


As Kellyanne's leadership on the National State of Emergency further crashes and burns (at this rate I'd project this year's 30 rise in overdoses on into the next 3 years), it is time for the Ds to grow a pair and propose a very different approach.


It's a risky move since there have been few issues that have been safer for pols to take than being tough on drugs (and getting the endorsement of the people who make their livings off of it, either above or below board). Even though it has failed, fear always sells (the NRA knows this well).


The original War on Drugs was, in large part, an part of the broader culture war, targeting minorities and hippies. I've been fascinated to see if the needle moves any as the new scourge targets the ultimate Good People (coal miners and such), but, I guess, not so much yet?



one of the problems with any rationalization of drug policy is that there will always be a story- somebody in a program does something bad- really bad- and it'll go Willie Horton.


Nevermind that 5 Americans will OD in an average hour, etc. Fear sells with the sheeple. Sells guns too.


Putting the cartels out of business would also be the most important step in limiting immigration although the rebuilding of civil society in Central America and Mexico won't happen overnight.


But whether the road was paved with good intentions or not, the Good People are in this thing near as deep as the Bad People (anybody who provided demand and beyond).






Re: Everybody knows that the War on Drugs

as I've shared here before, my view of how the world works is partly based in a couple of folks I've watched over the years.


I'd heard things and what I observed of their trajectories seemed to be consistent with those suggestions.


Not withing to slander them, I've talked about it confidentially with 2 people who I trust and they were 100%, independently of the same mind.


Our further conclusion was that if we- not being well connected in that world- suspected that then there would be little possibility that the local constables wouldn't.


Local Sheriffs tend to be popular if they approve everybody's CC permits and have a couple big drug busts.

Senior Contributor

Re: sheep

agree in part, this the best example of someone to "look up to?", and I'm not sure, but probably with tax funding...would make me MAD..


Marion Barry honored by Washington, D.C. statue.
The late Washington mayor, famous for having been caught on video smoking crack cocaine in a 1990 FBI sting, served six months in prison for cocaine possession, although a deadlocked jury couldn't convict him on some of the more serious charges. After his 1992 release, Barry won a seat on the city council, then successfully ran for mayor again in 1994 and served one term. Despite legal troubles, corruption allegations, drunk-driving arrests and a host of other issues, he ran for city council again and won in 2005, serving until his death in 2014.