Guest Author - Susan Hubenthal
The war on drugs has become a war on people. The laws for controlled substances are completely uncontrolled and street drugs often contain additives of non-drugs to add weight so the price can be inflated. Punishment for possession or the sale of drugs has filled our already bursting prisons, which has done nothing to slow the supply and demand of illegal drugs. The ballooning prices of street drugs has driven addicted citizens into desperate situations that eats up their finances or leads them into doing crimes in order to support their chemical dependency. Putting these people in jail doesn't make any sense. It doesn't change their priorities. Effective treatment rather than incarceration should be available for those who wish it.
Youth gangs accumulate power and money by having younger kids run the street sales of drugs. Many of these kids have been selling crack and gathering large sums of money by the time they are 12 or 13 years old. Many of these kids carry guns because the older people involved in the street drug culture often attempt to rob them. It is a dangerous job, but lucrative and these young kids only receive a slap on the wrist if they are arrested, but by the time they turn 18, they will start to face hard time and they haven't learned any other skills to make a life, for themselves, off the streets.
The war on drugs needs law enforcement and underground sales to keep its momentum going. Doctors and pharmacists should handle drugs. If people want to do drugs, should ir impact the rest of the world?
An effective way to end the drug war is to legalize marijuana, and let the physicians treat the drug abusers who are addicted. The same kind of insanity existed during the prohibition of alcohol. There are nightmarish stories of brews that poisoned some of the buyers and users of the then illegal alcoholic beverages.
There are many kids who have experimented with illegal drugs, perhaps for the very first time and died! Their lives were snuffed out because of prohibition. Their parents are devastated. There is more and more evidence that drugs should be regulated, rather than the totally uncontrolled black market that is in existence now. Should we allow any more of our children to die because of a childhood indescretion?
It is evidnet, to me, that some of the cluster drug deaths could be avoided. These cluster deaths come as overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal and the numbers of these overdoses are rising across our country. Over the last twenty years , nationwide, drug related deaths have risen from approximately 2,000 annually to nearly 16,000 annually. Is this a successful "war on drugs?" What do you think?