If I were to take billions of dollars if not closer to a trillion and provide an accounting of failure year after year, would you accept that as normal? Well in our land of complacency we have. We have offered one program that distorts the financing of many departments. The cost of policing, social programs not to mention the justice system and over burdened courts. Meanwhile the true resource the medical system that deals with life and death goes underfunded.
I speak of the war on drugs which is a misnomer in title. The real war is a war on drug users and taxpayers. Here we are wasting court time and police resources to attempt to solve a medical and set of social problems by making criminals out of the victims. Present policy drives a thriving illegal business underground where the overlords hide in the shadows. Even when there’s a big bust in a private dwelling it’s the third or forth tier dealer that faces justice. Stop and think the enormous cost of the drugs confiscated were paid for by someone higher up the chain. While I don’t support the present operations, I do support continuing to go after the big money interests that finance the mega drug operations.
Unfortunately law and order still goes for the low hanging fruit.
We as a society separate the drug abuse problem into categories of acceptability. The problems from alcohol abuse and prescription drugs are every bit as damaging as the illicit drugs we deem to be a criminal for possessing. Unfortunately we attach a stigma to one group and let another almost skate. The problem is, we use the heavy hand of the law to treat a medical problem, or as I refer to it as imprisoning the patient. Ask this question, how acceptable would it be to imprison people for a broken leg or type two diabetes?
Then there is the tragic hidden costs of shoving the problem under the rug. Spousal abuse, the social trauma for children who go hungry or suffer the lack the necessities of life due to the cost of substance abuse all consequences of not accepting the reality of the problem. We see some take their own life out of depression or the feeling of helplessness.
We as a society created a homelessness and serious drug problems with the abandonment of those with mental health issues. Not having adequate housing facilities turned many out on the street to be preyed on by drug dealers, pimps and god knows who else.
I believe if we honestly addressed the substance abuse issues and the social problems we face in a realistic manner with real programs targeting the problems rather than the symptoms it would not only solve some of the problems it would save both lives and money in the long run. It is time for government to act. It is time for the public to accept the fact spending endless dollars on a futile war on an inanimate object is a fruitless pursuit and a waste of taxpayer dollars.