Outstanding and passionate OpEd by Froma Harrop: Waging war against war on drugs
She starts by welcoming Pat Robertson to the discussion in the hopes that other conservatives will follow.
Where are the foes of big government in this? They should note that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s budget has more than quadrupled over the decade to $2.6 billion â€” without making a dent in the quantity of illegal drugs sold in this country. (The narcotics, meanwhile, are more potent than ever.)
But the DEA bureaucrats know how to expand a mandate. The agency now operates 86 offices in 63 countries and runs a shadow State Department that at times mucks up American diplomacy. It employs nearly 11,000 people.
And the DEA is but one expense in the drug war. Add in the costs of local law enforcement to round up suspects, courts to prosecute them and jails to hold them, and the war on drugs weighs in at about $50 billion a year. States and municipalities bear most of the costs.
Here’s one paragraph that really hit home.
No one here is advocating drug use. I have never touched hard drugs, but the “war” against them lost its romance the day that a drug addict pointed a knife at my gut, demanding money for a fix that should have cost him no more than a head of celery.
The reflexive non-thinking approach to that situation is to say “More laws, tougher sentencing.” But Froma is smart and realizes that it’s the drug war that created the situation to begin with. And…
Then there’s the rank hypocrisy. President Obama admits to having “tried” cocaine, and President George W. Bush all but did, refusing to answer questions about his previous drug use. Yet we still ruin the lives of teenagers caught using or dealing in far less dangerous marijuana.