Drugs and the US

While reading through some livejournal stuff, I came upon this interesting entry on DARE. For those of you who didn’t have DARE in your schools growing up, it’s an anti-drug education program. Not a good one. Read up, it’s very interesting.

While reading it, I was reminded about how poorly we deal with drug abuse in this country, and how the topic was completely absent from any mention in this presidential race. It was such a big deal in the 80s, and now it’s not even worth a mention. Considering that 1/4 of prisoners in the US are non-violent drug offenders I’d say it’s still an issue worth discussing.

approximately one quarter of all our prisoners (nearly half a million people) are there for nonviolent drug offenses—that’s more drug prisoners than the entire European Union incarcerates for all offenses combined, and the EU has over 90 million more citizens than the United States.

It is obvious that the war on drugs has been a failure. Google will quickly reveal the pertinent numbers. The only people who don’t admit it are politicians and the organizations receiving federal funds to fight the drug war. In Arizona, voters had to try twice to pass new legislation encouraging treatment over incarceration. Our stupid state legislators did their best to scuttle the bills. Turns out the plan works. Despite this, efforts to implement these changes nationwide continue to be killed. Ignoring the hard facts that the current policies are failures, and that viable methods have been established and proven which do not imprison addicts, but actually work to get people off drugs, we continue to back methods that have failed for 20 years. We’re not interested in helping society, we’re interested in putting people in jail.

Read more here. US drug policy needs far more scrutiny, and deserves easily as much as the war on terror. One has to wonder what is guiding our drug policy, since it is clearly not logic or facts.