Defining new goals when the ‘war’ is lost

The 1986 crime bill set into law the “fact” that America would be drug free by 1995. Later Newt Gingrich wrote that the goal was for America to be drug free by 2001. There is an organization still in existence today called Partnership for a Drug Free America.
People really believed this nonsense. As if drugs were like some finite group of enemy soldiers who would march down a field dressed in red coats and our loyal warriors backed by all the forces of good would fire until they were all destroyed and that would be the end of drugs.
These days you don’t hear so much of that. Most people know that if it was really a war, it’s not even theoretically possible to “win” it. But the drug warriors can’t give up or actually look at alternatives, so they come up with some surreal justifications to continue as they have.
Stephen Colbert described them quite well in his tongue-in-cheek comment last night:

Sir, we have lost the war on drugs when we withdraw from the war on drugs. While we’re still in it, we haven’t lost it.

Funny, but also on the mark. Almost as funny is an actual serious quote by a new sheriff I reported recently:

The drug war is a war we’ll never win and it’s time to attack it on a daily basis and concentrate on drugs.

And then there’s this from Amarillo that really struck me…

The drug war of 2007 is off to a good start as troopers made two separate drug busts along I-40 this weekend.

“The drug war of 2007”? It’s an annually named drug war now and we get to start over fresh each January?
I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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