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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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September 2009
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Is there a forest around, somewhere?

Is war on drugs worth it? Maybe not, new FBI data suggest.

… fast forward to the obligatory prohibitionist comment:

Pro-legalization groups are missing the forest for the trees, says Gregory D. Lee, a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent. […] “[Under legalization], the crime rate would rise because of crimes committed by people under the influence of these substances.”

Mr. Lee points to the rising price of cocaine in the US as a sign that domestic and international interdiction is working. “The war on drugs,” he says, “is being won.”

Don’t you just love it when people attribute their own failings to their opponents?

So let’s see. Mr. Lee cherry-picks a short-term statistical blip in cocaine prices (that are probably more a result of the weakened dollar than interdiction) and says that the war on drugs is being won, ignoring such things as, say, Mexico. Classic case of… you guessed it… missing the forest for the trees.

[Thanks, Tom]

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8 comments to Is there a forest around, somewhere?

  • truthtechnician

    “The war on drugs,” he says, “is being won.”

    BEING won, forever, and ever, and ever…

  • Gee, with his foot nailed to the floor politics one guesses he hasn’t had time to learn about Portugal. Drugs Legal: Crime rate down, more asking for treatment. Yeah, he makes sense to me: NOT!

  • Duncan

    In my misguided youth I had occasion to live like a character on Miami Vice. What the heck is that man talking about, the price of cocaine is up? I admit I haven’t had any involvement for 20 years now but prices quoted in the news media are way below price points of product that were on the street then.

  • kaptinemo

    I haven’t had the time to add up all the tonnage of contraband drugs seized since the Reagan phase of the DrugWar began, but what’s of interest is the increasing amounts – again, measured in TONS – being seized have next to no correlation to the street prices being charged. This is hardly accidental.

    Were the DrugWar succeeding, the tonnage seized would actually decrease while price would skyrocket. This has not happened…nor is it likely to. Since illicit drugs are essentially agricultural products not largely dependent upon intense technological application for their production (you need tools to make tools to make tools to make…you get the idea), it remains a low-investment, high-yield proposition ideal for countries that lack extensive infrastructure.

    In other words, the guy with the garden hoe wins over the guy with the the satellites, battleships, the jet fighters, the helicopters, the cropdusters, etc., used to try to defeat the guerilla gardener.

    This song says it all: The Asylum Street Spankers, “We’re Winning the War on Drugs!” I’m sure people like Mr. Lee bleed from their ears and risk dying from apoplexy when they hear it, for it makes a mockery of how they’ve wasted their entire lives…as well it should.

  • R.O.E.

    These prohibitionists will use any reason to say that the war on drugs is being won….even using the butterfly effect.

  • Mike R

    Mr Lee seems to think that arresting 1.7 million, majoritarily non-violent Americans a year for majoritarily victimless crimes is an acceptable cost in waging the Civil War on Drugs. What type of inhumane demon does this make Mr Lee?

  • Actually, they’ve been claiming victory for quite some time: Link

    But, then again:

    Link

    It’s all part of a 150 year old insane merry-go-round ride

  • Cliff

    “Mr Lee seems to think that arresting 1.7 million, majoritarily non-violent Americans a year for majoritarily victimless crimes is an acceptable cost in waging the Civil War on Drugs. What type of inhumane demon does this make Mr Lee?”

    Obviously, Mr. Lee is also on board and toally cool with the millions, if not billions, of lost opportunity dividends from otherwise law abiding citizens. Responsible, hardworking, honest, loyal Americans have a right to participate in the market place as contributing members of society, no matter what metabolytes we happen to contain within the sanctity of our bodies.

    Locking up people for possessing some plant material and denying them the right to contribute to society as legal citizens is a war on its citizens. The damage to society due to the war on certain drugs is not limited to those whom it is targeted. The collateral damage is everywhere. Lost civil liberties and revenues with higher tax burdens to continue this war on America’s citizens.

    I’m done counting trees and ready to declare the existence of a forest.