An Outdated Policy
It’s without a doubt that police officers work hard every day to keep our communities safe from drug dealers, criminals, rapists, stalkers, etc. But the war on drugs is an outdated policy that no longer serves our society any good. The opioid and meth epidemics continue to spiral out of control, with no improvement in outcomes.
When the U.S. government banned pseudoephedrine pills, the meth market in Portland, Oregon became controlled by the Mexican Cartel. As a matter of fact, the Mexican Cartel controls up to 60-80% of the drug market in the United States. While kingpin busts occur here and there, new lieutenants await around the corner to replace them.
Many of these drug smugglers are also illegal immigrants who eventually get caught, but because of their legal status, get deported back to Mexico with a slap on the wrist, only to start over from scratch. This is all while our fellow citizens continue to remain hooked on these deadly drugs.
If the war on drugs worked, we wouldn’t be facing drug epidemics in our country. You cannot defeat criminal organizations who rely on lucrative methods that make millions of dollars every year. As long as the demand for drugs continues, which it always will, the drug cartels will continue to work overtime to amass their wealth.
So what is the solution? We need to change our perspective on addiction. Rather than viewing it as a criminal act, it needs to be viewed as a public health concern. Addiction is a brain disease without a doubt. The only possible way of defeating the drug cartels, is most likely by legalizing all drugs.
When you have the U.S. government responsible for the manufacturing and regulation of all drugs, it will establish safety measures that will ensure the purification of drugs and the establishment of specialized drug centers where users will be required to consume them. Users will not be able to walk into a store similar to a liquor store or marijuana shop and take their drug of choice home.
If addicts want to use a certain drug, they will be required to spend a certain amount of time in a specialized drug center, as well as sign up for social services and mental health counseling. Many drug addicts will admit to you that it’s no longer the high that they are chasing; they are chasing the good effect that will get rid of their withdrawal symptoms.
The war on drugs has not worked since its inception. Is it not time to try something radically different, since we are dealing with multiple epidemics in our country with no clear solution on the horizon?
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)