Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs as a campaign issue to show Republicans were the “law and order” party. Have we won the war on drugs? It seems the answer is “no.” Is it time to re-assess our strategy?
Despite the fact that thee United States has just 5% of the world’s population, we hold 25% of the world’s prisoners! We have more prisoners per capita than North Korea. (So much for calling ourselves “the land of the free”!) In the world of supply and demand, supply of drugs has gone up (despite U.S. efforts), resulting in prices for drugs being cheaper than ever. There is even a documentary on Netflix, The Drug Wars, that indicates that the government is actually providing help to drug dealers, and it has crossed both republican and democratic administrations.
- During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military transported drugs in servicemen’s coffins.
- The CIA has admitted to selling drugs on the streets of Los Angeles
- There are some who claim that the Iran-Contra Affair also involved the transport of illegal drugs to fund the operation as a way to get around Congressional funding limits.
- Some watchdogs have claimed the recent Fast and Furious scandal was actually a case where the federal government provided weapons to the Siniloa Drug Cartel. The deal was that the Siniloa cartel would provide influence to find other drug groups, while the U.S. government would allow them to increase their territory.
We tried Prohibition once, and it was such a failure, that the state of Utah cast the deciding vote to repeal Prohibition. Prohibition actually increased violent crime, and increased the number of criminals in jails. When the public was fed up with the violence, we decided to tax alcohol.
The state of Utah (as well as other states) are tired of paying more taxes for more jails, and are looking at better ways to deal with non-violent, drug addicted inmates. The fact of the matter is the “law and order” party is now having to deal with high taxes to incarcerate these so-called criminals. Is it time to start legalizing drugs and taxing them in order to shrink our prisons and cut down on the associated violence?