The War on Drugs Is An Epic Fail

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The War on Drugs Is An Epic Fail

Thomas Ramsburg
Feb 5, 2023


Remember when Axl Rose stepped off the bus from Indiana in the beginning of that video with an actual piece of straw in his mouth? A voice in the song says “You know where you are? You’re in the jungle baby, your gonna die.” Well, maybe that’s because he walked right into 1980’s LA while the CIA was flooding the streets with crack. This is not a fable, it’s pretty well documented at this point.

Seems crazy, considering the fact that years prior, in 1971, then President Nixon had named drug abuse “Public Enemy Number One” and declared an all-out War on Drugs whose focus was the eradication of illicit drugs from our streets and the incarceration of those involved in it’s sales, distribution and use.

The war continues. Today, the US spends $51 billion per year in this effort. Matter of fact, fifty years into this campaign, in 2021 total spending had exceeded $1 trillion. I don’t know about you, but the wasteland of my formerly addicted brain can’t compute how much that is. In technical terms, I’d say it’s a metric fuck ton of resources.

So, with all of our highly educated lawmakers, law enforcement professionals, and high tech surveillance and tactical prowess we probably have this whole thing pretty well on lock down. I mean, certainly all of these people have our best interest in mind, and with all that dough? C’mon man, game over. Right?

Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

Middle aged bald man with heavy metal t shirt and tattooed face raises hand: “Um, like, dude. I’m clean like 13 years now, but if I wanted to…I don’t…but If I was like, uh, so inclined, man..I could leave my apartment and buy a crack rock as big as a volleyball right now. Where’s all that money going DEA dude?”

Our friend from Delray Beach raises an interesting question. One that I’m not sure why every single person in America isn’t asking right now. What the literal fuck?

Let’s take a trip down south. Way down south. Last month, Ovidio Guzman was taken into custody in Mexico. You’ve heard of his dad, they call him El Chapo. With dad and son both locked up there is a power vacuum in Mexico. Immediately, the streets erupted with insane violence, the likes of which you and I could not ever imagine. Just to give it some context, Mexico suffered more than 26,000 murders last year from drug gangs. With waring factions vying for control of the drug game, things can only get worse.

Now, if we zoom out here, it looks like on one side of the border people are dying every day to decide who’s gonna be in control of supplying drugs. On the other side of the border, people are dying every day from using drugs. Last year more than 92,000 Americans died from a drug overdose.

Real Talk? The War on Drugs is an epic fail. It’s not working, it’s not stopping the supply. Not even a little bit. So, you kinda have to ask, with all that money, all those resources, again… “where’s like all that money going dude?” Who profits? Who stands to gain from this crisis?

You may find it interesting that 45% of all inmates in Federal prison are serving drug offenses.

“Well, bro when I was in jail they made us work and stuff, is that like…”

Yes tattoo face, that’s exactly what it’s like.

“Bro, not for nothin’ but this whole deal here sounds familiar? Like, wasn’t booze illegal in our country way back in the day?”

Ugh, the burnout keeps making points. Yeah, well, you don’t have to look too far back in American history to see how gang violence was running rampant during prohibition. Gangsters waged war on the streets right here for the right to sell illegal alcohol in your hometown. Why? News flash, people drink. News flash number 2, people use drugs. And when they can’t get it, somebody’s gonna provide. And that person’s gonna be a shady fuck.

At some point, someone had the brilliant idea to legalize, control and tax the sale of alcohol and now, it’s as acceptable to have a drink as it is to attend church on Sunday morning here in the US.

 Is alcohol less harmful than other drugs? It is? Ok yeah, I get it. You like to have a nice glass of wine “with dinner.” Well, when I get drunk I like to drive into bay windows and fight an entire bar full of bikers “with dinner.” We are not the same. Anywho…

Countries like Switzerland, Netherlands and Portugal are handling things a whole different way and they are actually getting hard results. The Swiss have decriminalized drugs. Sounds crazy. I picture addicts lying on sidewalks with syringe’s hanging out of their arms. Asleep at the wheel at stop lights. An entire country in economic free fall, as everyone stays home all day shooting meth.

Not quite.

People who use drugs can go to clean injection sites, receive pure drugs and even meet with counselors. It costs their government about $1800 for this type of service as opposed to around $20,000 to lock someone up for half a year.

With clean drugs available and a safe place to use them, you know what they don’t have? Crime. Not like us. Not even close. Not EVEN close. You get that? Les crime. K. Also overdose rate are extremely low, and the spread of diseases common to IV drug users like hepatitis and HIV are low.

“Bro Sweden sounds lit! And Swedish babes are like…babes.”

Our tattooed friend here gets it. He’s not supposed to be the smart one though. The guys in the suits and the uniforms still don’t see it I guess.

“Be a lot cooler if they did…”

 Thomas Ramsburg

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