The War on Drugs - Part I

What do you think we’re fighting when we fight the war on drugs? You think we’re fighting the Medellin cartel? Street pushers? Corrupt customs officials?

Wrong. Picture this:

Imagine yourself a 19-year old living in some bombed out ghetto, working 60 hours a week in a Jiffy Lube because you had to drop out of high school to support your family. You have no prospects, no hope and the wrong skin color.

One day a well-dressed guy comes up to you driving a spanking new BMW and he says, "Kid, how’d you like to do an exciting little favor for me? By tomorrow night you’ll have more money in your pocket than you could make in a whole year lubing other people’s cars, and it’s all cash and tax-free."

He explains that you’re to fly down to Colombia, swallow a few condoms filled with cocaine, come on back and shit them out, all for $25,000. Sure, there’s some risk, but as we both know, the odds of your getting pinched or dying from a ruptured balloon are very, very small, contrary to what the DEA would like you to believe.

Would you do it?


Of course you’re going to do it. Again and again until you’re driving the Beemer and recruiting your friends.

This is what the war on drugs is fighting.

As long as ordinary people have the opportunity to make truly enormous sums of money for very little work and surprisingly little risk, the so-called War on Drugs will have the same effect as it’s having right now: more drugs flowing in, more people using them, more addicts and a crime rate so high that many parts of the world’s most affluent nation look like armed camps. (Don’t believe me? Go visit your grandmother in south Florida and try to get past the security guards in her apartment building.)

As long as such sums of money are involved, it wouldn’t make a difference if we arrested and incarcerated every single drug dealer in the United States in the next 24 hours. Because 24 hours after that, they’ll be replaced by the millions of people waiting in line behind them to get in on the action, and we’d have to do it all over again, to equally futile results.

And why is there so much money involved?

Because of the millions of people willing to pay so much money to use the drugs.

This includes ordinary, middle- and upper-class, otherwise law-abiding citizens who think that their cocaine and marijuana is supplied by elves who would never dream of rubbing shoulders with criminals.

Every attempt by governmental authorities to keep the citizenry away from things they badly want — alcohol, pornography, drugs, gambling, prostitution — has been a dismal failure. As long as some are willing to pay, many are willing to supply.

The War on Drugs as currently configured cannot be won. Period.


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