How America Lost the War on Drugs

After 35 years and $500 billion, according to Ben Wallace-Wells of the Rolling Stone magazine, drugs are as cheap and plentiful and ever.

What went wrong? Here's an article on how America lost the war on drugs:

But after Escobar was killed in 1993 - and after U.S. drug agents began systematically busting up the Colombian cartels - doubt was replaced with hard data. Thanks to new research, U.S. policy-makers knew with increasing certainty what would work and what wouldn't. The tragedy of the War on Drugs is that this knowledge hasn't been heeded. We continue to treat marijuana as a major threat to public health, even though we know it isn't. We continue to lock up generations of teenage drug dealers, even though we know imprisonment does little to reduce the amount of drugs sold on the street. And we continue to spend billions to fight drugs abroad, even though we know that military efforts are an ineffective way to cut the supply of narcotics in America or raise the price.

All told, the United States has spent an estimated $500 billion to fight drugs - with very little to show for it. Cocaine is now as cheap as it was when Escobar died and more heavily used. Methamphetamine, barely a presence in 1993, is now used by 1.5 million Americans and may be more addictive than crack. We have nearly 500,000 people behind bars for drug crimes - a twelvefold increase since 1980 - with no discernible effect on the drug traffic. Virtually the only success the government can claim is the decline in the number of Americans who smoke marijuana - and even on that count, it is not clear that federal prevention programs are responsible. In the course of fighting this war, we have allowed our military to become pawns in a civil war in Colombia and our drug agents to be used by the cartels for their own ends. Those we are paying to wage the drug war have been accused of ­human-rights abuses in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. In Mexico, we are now ­repeating many of the same mistakes we have made in the Andes.

Link (Photo: Dalton/AP Photo)

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pharmacuticals are also the problem,how many americans go through the day without opening a prescription jar? Do you honestly believe that is better? Look at the waist size of americans! Now find out the ingrediants that don't have to be listed.When is the last time americans ate real food? And some would have a pot smoker executed? Even though it's organic!READ KEVIN TRUDEAU you are all being lied to
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I have to say after reading the whole article I am amazed at the thorough research the author put into it. I wonder if I'll be able to find a copy of this issue's magazine at my shop.
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About the dangers of pot: "According to the NIDA [National Institute on Drug Abuse], the conclusion that can be drawn from this scientific research is: someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a reduced intellectual level all of the time, even during periods of brief abstinence." (source)

And no, I don't smoke pot or drink alcohol. Well, I don't abstain from alcohol but just never got the taste for it. My "drug" of choice is Neatorama ;)

@Cori - re: Neatorama being plagued by all of this political stuff. Having personally written close to 10,000 posts on Neatorama, I got really tired of just posting innocuous "neat" stuff.

Don't get me wrong - the bulk of Neatorama will continue to be interesting tidbits from around the Net (I promise!), but I'd also like to post something of a more serious nature. The discussions are what I like most about editing for Neatorama, and you don't get serious back and forth on a post about a neat gizmo or something.
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About Pot - I'm from holland and i've never seen a more innocent drug than pot, the people that smoke pot here smoke it to relax and kick back - why people would think this is a gateway's in no way as agressive as any other drug. Take alcohol: most fights, accidents and dumb things happen because of alcohol.
At party's most people drink alcohol and wil take drugs because they're drunk.
So in my opinion if there's a gateway drug i would say it's alcohol.

By the way, i used to smoke pot from my 16th to my 19th and i haven't done any other drugs(accept alcohol ;).
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oops... I hit "enter" too by mistake.

@Sasha, I am interested in your perspective on the ADD/ADHD meds that are pushed into increasing numbers of our kids yearly. I think it's an absolute digrace as well. Where we differ is in where the blame is laid. I would rest it with the pediatricians that prescribe it, the schools that pressure the parents into doping their kids, but ultimately responsibility must rest with the parents.

The benefit of such powerful psychoactive medications may be there for a *tiny* fraction of the populace (which is why I do not blame drug companies), but not 10% or more as it is in some government school districts. Parents dope their kids because it makes them easier to control. What a poor message this sends to them as they continue on through life.
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