AMERICA’S 45-YEAR WAR AND WHY IT CAN’T BE WON

Whenever I do research for a book, I discover two things: How much I don’t know and how many times I was wrong about what I do know. That is the case when I stumbled across something extraordinary when I entered a Google search for “How to spot an undercover agent.” It led to a website, NEVER GET BUSTED, by a former police officer, Barry Cooper. The following statement on his Home page got my attention: These tips will help you avoid being busted by an undercover agent. Unfortunately, I worked as an undercover cop in dozens of drug stings. I bought drugs. I sold drugs. I traded guns for drugs. I did all of this under the direction and watchful eye of the American government. I feel bad for using undercover skills to cage non-violent citizens.  Please forgive me.
His apology stunned me and made me want to do further research.
I found out the War on Drugs was declared in 1972 by President Nixon. The hidden agenda for this program under the guidance of the DOJ shocked me. I learned that Nixon’s War on Drugs was never about drugs. More on this later.
What I learned: Since the start of the WOD in 1972, the problem has gotten worse, not better. The US has the highest rate of cocaine and marijuana use in the world. Heroin is now called an epidemic, killing around 30,000 Americans a year. The tighter controls on crystal meth have led to a bigger production of more potent meth in Mexico. With more regulations on the dispensary of narcotics, users have switched to the cheaper alternative of heroin. Although whites are more likely to be drug users, blacks are incarcerated at a rate ten times higher. One in five inmates in state prisons is serving time for drug offenses. One trillion dollars have been wasted to fight our way through the problem. The War on Drugs has led to mass incarcerations of non-violent offenders, more potent drugs, more violence and gangs, more guns on the street, and a higher murder rate.
Supply and Demand: There will always be a supply of drugs, a product that is not price sensitive. In order to make a dent in the problem, we must reduce the demand before the supply will decrease. Two countries, Switzerland and Portugal, have rejected the war on drugs approach. Instead they have decriminalized drug possession and use. In Portugal, the program is part of their Health Ministry rather than the Justice Ministry. Jail time is replaced with offers of therapy. People come out of this program and become viable members of society. Over more than a decade of this approach, Portugal has the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in Europe.
Now to the hidden agenda behind the war: The reason the War on Drugs was declared by Richard Nixon was to deal with two groups he called the enemies of his administration: the antiwar left and black people. In a 1994 article in Harper’s magazine, Nixon’s Chief Domestic Advisor, John Ehrlichman, told reporter Dan Baum the truth behind the lie: “Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.”
Do you agree the U.S. is losing the war and a new approach is needed? Comments are welcomed. For a simple explanation of why we are losing the war, watch this brief video called “Why The War On Drugs Is A Huge Failure.” Also CBS This Morning Report 03/31/17.

Note: I address this important issue in my new book, CRUZ CONTROL, a fast-paced suspense novel. You can find it on Amazon. FREE on Kindle Nov. 25, 26, & 27.

 

About Susan MIlls Wilson

Susan Mills Wilson is a native of North Carolina where she writes romantic suspense. She is the leader of the Charlotte Writers Club Mystery Critique Group and a member of Charlotte Writers Club. Subscribe to Susan’s blog at www.susanmillswilson.com.
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