President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in June of 1971 which continues until this present day and although the semantics of this "war" may have changed, the policies certainly have not. Why is it that this declared war has been such an abject failure? There are a myriad of reasons but the primary reason has to do with money and I don't mean the lack of monies spent trying to intercept and interdict drug smuggling--I mean instead the power of money to corrupt. There isn't any doubt that our police, our paramilitary troops, our justice system, our government agents, out cities, counties, and states have all implicitly or deliberately aided and abetted drug trafficking into our sovereign nation.
The illegal drug trade is in aggregate a massive criminal enterprise which could not continue to be successful without the appropriate acquiescence or support of the same peoples that are paid to put it out of business. This corruption breeds not only contempt of the law but also rewards the very behaviors that the war on drugs is suppose to eliminate. This prohibition of the drug trade has met with the same lack of success as prohibition of alcohol beverages did upon its passage.
America's bully-beating to put down the illegal drug trade and trafficking is an exercise in futility. Additionally, it is the height of stupidity to spend time and resources to incarcerate small-time drug users in lieu of going after the peoples, networks, and organizations that provide the very drugs themselves. Incarcerating a drug user serves little or no benefit to the community at large. How is it the government's business what chemicals we put into our bodies. If our body is not our own sovereign instrument than whose is it?
Drug wars are a further waste because it allows the government to arbitrarily determine what or what isn't legal or illegal to ingest or inject or to smoke. This is a prime example of the government creating crime where a previous behavior was accepted through historical precedent or community standards. Therefore, instead of providing real human aid, our government often runs havoc over those that are less fortunate and powerless to protect themselves from this misapplied force. In addition to these misguided efforts, the Federal Government takes it upon themselves to run roughshod over State rights in regards to drug laws in which the Feds have no real or compelling reason that they must do so except that they can.
Times and people do change. For some, the usage of illegal drugs is a rite of passage, that is there for a period of time and then gone. For others, it is a social thing, or a weekend activity, that brings some sort of relief or enjoyment no matter how fleeting. Then there are those in which illegal drug usage becomes a chronic problem but that problem is best dealt with and by organizations that take a whole-person viewpoint in which they can also provide group support and logistics to address the problems at large.
Life goes on, let us live it.