The drug war fails by attacking supply rather than demand | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 1, 2018

The drug war fails by attacking supply rather than demand

Posted By on Mon, Jan 1, 2018 at 9:23 AM

click to enlarge CNN
  • CNN
The thought isn't original but it bears repeating:  In a New York Times op-ed today, former Secretary of State George Shulz and Pedro Aspe write of the failed war on drugs.

Some snips:

The war on drugs in the United States has been a failure that has ruined lives, filled prisons and cost a fortune. It started during the Nixon administration with the idea that, because drugs are bad for people, they should be difficult to obtain. As a result, it became a war on supply.
.....
Studies show that the United States has among the highest rates of drug use in the world. But even as restricting supply has failed to curb abuse, aggressive policing has led to thousands of young drug users filling American prisons, where they learn how to become real criminals.
....
First the United States and Mexican governments must acknowledge the failure of this strategy. Only then can we engage in rigorous and countrywide education campaigns to persuade people not to use drugs.

.....
The current opioid crisis underlines the importance of curbing demand. This approach, with sufficient resources and the right message, could have a major impact similar to the campaign to reduce tobacco use.

....We should also decriminalize the small-scale possession of drugs for personal use, to end the flow of nonviolent drug addicts into the criminal justice system. Several states have taken a step in this direction by decriminalizing possession of certain amounts of marijuana. Finally, we must create well-staffed and first-class treatment centers where people are willing to go without fear of being prosecuted and with the confidence that they will receive effective care.
It makes perfect sense. And still it's resisted. The economics of the war also fuel huge investments in manpower, machines, prisons and court systems that many are loathe to give up. Think only of the corruption that frequently surfaces in operation of drug task forces in Arkansas and, even where legal, the benefit of seizures in those operations that flow to certain law agencies.


Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Conner Eldridge forms NWA law firm

    Conner Eldridge, the former western district U.S. attorney who made an unsuccessful Democratic race for U.S. Senate in 2016, has announced formation of a new law firm, based in Rogers, with Steve Brooks, a former Friday Firm partner.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • Government holiday includes Hutchinson news conference

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson won't take today's government holiday off. He's holding a 3 p.m. news conference to respond to a call from leaders of the House and Senate to hold a special session on the issue of pharmacy reimbursements under the state's expanded Medicaid health insurance coverage.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • The kids are marching open line

    The open line. Kids marching for gun control. And a recollection of how hard it is in Arkansas to restrict gun ownership, even by proven thugs.
    • Feb 18, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation