With all these American misadventures so prominent in people’s minds, it is easy to forget yet another war the United States has initiated and has been fighting for over 40 years. This war has destroyed lives, economies and societies in many countries around the world.
Like the majority of American wars, this war, which is based on failed policy, is brutal, insane, costly, and unwinnable. Unlike the others, this war has continued insidiously and unremittingly for 40 years, with little chance that reasonable politicians would ever admit a mistake and change course. This undocumented holocaust which has squandered US 2.5 trillion dollars thus far is Richard Nixon’s brainchild called “The War on Drugs”.
Let us examine the many reasons why “The War on Drugs” is a failed policy and an unwinnable war, and why its continued prosecution should be reconsidered not only by the Caricom region, but by every nation which considers itself civilised.
It is a violation of the most basic human rights.
Ask yourself the following questions: Who should have the final authority over what goes into your body? You, or a mob of rich, alcoholic politicians in Washington, DC who determine what policies best suit their investments and then force them on the rest of the world? After all, what is a human being’s most sacred possession, if not his own body, without which there would be no life itself? Even if you make poor decisions about what goes into your body (as most people do), does that mean you should go to jail when you have not harmed anyone in your life with the possible exception of yourself?
If you believe that you should have sovereignty over your own body, and you shouldn’t be owned by a government of highly imperfect people, then you already have enough reason to oppose “The War on Drugs”. If you believe that government should own your body and dictate what you may consume, then you cannot believe in true liberty, freedom or humanitarian principles. But perhaps you still believe in common sense, so please read on…
It is the creation of crime where crime did not previously exist
This is the most important and least understood aspect of “The War on Drugs”. Without a doubt, the manufacture, sale and use of illegal drugs is surrounded with gangs, guns, and violent crime. An uninformed person might think that the crime arises from the use of the drugs themselves, but there is nothing inherent in cannabis, cocaine or even heroin that causes one to act criminally. Most users do not engage in criminal behaviour.