War on Drugs is a Farce!

by Ned Wicker

Last spring we saw grizzly images of murders in Mexican boarder towns, as drug lords rule despite the efforts of local police, killing at will with no regard for human life. Their business is selling drugs and when law enforcement, or regular people get in the way, death follows. If a drug deal goes bad, people die. The business of drugs is death.

America has had its “War on Drugs” since the 1960’s and always the focus of the conversation is on law enforcement. Drugs are illegal, so police have to intercede and stop the drug dealing. Courts have to uphold the law. Drug dealers have to go to jail. We need more prisons, because there are so many people who will risk everything for a quick buck.

Another side to the story

But there is another side to the “war” out there that we do not necessarily want to look at, because it requires us to step out of the shadows and into the light. Those monsters who produce the drugs, distribute them and profit from their sale are just one side of the equation. If the “good people” who have jobs, live in the suburbs and drive SUV’s didn’t have an appetite for illegal drugs, there would be no drug lords.

It’s not just the minorities in urban areas, the inner city people, or the folks who are down on their luck. It’s the prosperous, middle class, well-educated people who have a shiny veneer, but who inside lack the moral fiber and personal integrity to admit that they are equally culpable in this war and are just as guilty as the guy who sold the drugs, the guy who smuggled them across the boarder and the guy who directs the deadly empire.

The "family" is gone

The crumbling of American society, the destruction of traditional family life, the lack of any kind of values other than success and fame, are all to blame. We have chosen to go down that path. Last year in the Milwaukee area a teenage girl died of an overdose. It got attention because she was pretty and white.

She was the victim. It was a tragedy because a young life came to an end for a meaningless reason. But don’t tell me she was a victim. She made a bad decision, but she chose to take the drugs. The media had reports on the incident and we are expected to be outraged. The girl died and somebody had to take the blame, because society needs somebody to take the fall in order to feel better.

Had the girl been African-American, the news media probably would have ignored the story. White suburbanites rationalize the loss of “one of their own” by telling themselves that “those people” in the inner city are to blame. It’s a double standard. Drug lords live on this double standard.

It’s the hypocrisy of the American Dream. If people are living the good life, have jobs and homes, or maybe a boat, it is the dream come true.

A couple buys a lake home and tells anyone who will listen that they live on a lake, yet their teenage child mindlessly engages in reckless behavior made worse by the fact that there is ample money to buy a good time.

Their child isn’t a “druggie” and certainly the good people don’t become addicts, commit crimes and choke on their own vomit. They brush the dirt under the rug so the world doesn’t see, but the problem perpetuates and even grows because it can feed on excess cash.

They have been efforts to curb it

There have been efforts to curb the growing illegal drug trade. Programs like D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) are designed to reach kids at an early age and give them solid information.

The program is fine, mainly because anything that teaches kids proper decision-making and how to avoid the pitfalls of drug addiction is on the good side of the ledger.

However, if parents are not engaged, if parents are alcoholics and drug users, there’s only so much that D.A.R.E. can do. Still, the earlier a child understands the better, but the message has to stick and has to be delivered properly, not rammed down their throat and the program does well in that area.

To a certain extent you can change somebody’s behavior through laws. We can make tougher drug dealing laws, call for longer prison terms, and climb up on our political soapbox and demagogue the issue to death.

We spend billions for more police and more jail cells. The problem isn’t solved, but when we get “tough on crime” we feel better about ourselves.

The problem will never go away entirely, because human nature hasn’t changed since the dawn of history. If you know a problem is coming, however, and anticipate the event, it makes defense a lot easier. Don’t assume that Little Johnny and Little Jane are not going to get into trouble by experimenting with drugs.

Don’t arrogantly dismiss the idea that your child can get into harm’s way and blindly tell the world that your son or daughter isn’t “one of those kids” while they sneak off unbeknownst to you and smoke some weed. Anticipate a bad decision and plan for that eventuality.

The drug culture lives in the shadows and avoids the light of day. Programs like D.A.R.E. hopefully bring the darkness into the light.

Prevention and treatment are two tools to fight the war on drugs, and while the law will always be there to do its duty, it is hardly the answer to the problem. Cain asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yes, especially when your problem becomes his problem.

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