Friday, June 17, 2011

War on the war on drugs

The "War on Drugs" began 40 years ago today, and there are a slew of op-eds and articles criticizing it (including an NYT op-ed by Jimmy Carter).  It is telling that there are no such examples praising it.

In fact, the vast majority of Americans believe this "war" has failed.  From an April 2011 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll:

"We are losing the drug war" (74% Agree, 20% Disagree, 6% Unsure)

"We will never be able to stop drugs from coming into this country because the demand for drugs is so high in the U.S." (74% Agree, 24% Disagree, 2% Unsure)
This is consistent with many past polls.  There is no consensus about precisely what we should do, but there is broad agreement that what we're currently doing has not worked.

The more vocal opposition to drug policy has coincided with the increase of violence in Mexico.  There may well be a correlation.  A high level of violence in, say, Colombia, does not get the attention of the U.S. public, whereas in Mexico it does.


GRP 8:42 PM  

The reverse onus of proof for drug possession is incompatible with the rule of law and is therefore unconstitutional in all jurisdictions.

More: The universally unconstitutional war on drugs.

Tambopaxi 10:24 AM  

Legalize drugs. The drug wars are only the latest example of how prohibition systems fail and damage societies and economies in failing...

Justin Delacour 2:49 PM  

Yes, a rather dumb "war," to be sure. But for intellectuals and former heads of state to merely recognize how dumb it is will not end the drug war. To effectively counteract the drug war, people need to seriously investigate what are the social forces that keep it going. Only by understanding the forces that drive the drug war can we seriously purport to challenge such forces.

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