Drug Wars are a Social Health Menace

Many people know how the drug war has affected them personally, or those close to them. Less attention is focused on the insidious impact of drug enforcement on society as a whole. A new initiative by the Drug Policy Alliance called ‘Uprooting the Drug War,’ seeks to expose the damage caused by drug wars beyond the usual mass of arrests and incarcerations:

“Even as there is growing momentum for treating drug use as a matter of personal and public health, the systems on which we would normally rely to advance an alternative approach are infested with the same culture of punishment as the criminal legal system and have operated with relative impunity. Today, we expose those systems and their role in fueling drug war policies and logic that compound the harms suffered by people who use drugs and people who are targeted by drug war enforcement,” said Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance [DPA]. “Ending the drug war in all its vestiges is critical to improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities….”

…at Uprooting the Drug War, …analysis of six different systems through first-hand stories, data spotlights, and reports … take a deep dive into how drug war policies have taken root and created grave harm in the fields of education, employment, housing, child welfare, immigration, and public benefits. […]

An exposé of drug war social harms is important, but it doesn’t address a key issue needed to scale down the war and end it. What about all the federal, state and municipal employees whose income and livelihood depends on the continuation of current drug policies? President Biden or Congress needs to provide prohibitionists with a parachute—something that allows them to retire early or easily transfer to another line of work. Failing this, the drug war’s labor force is set to continue to act in every way possible to preserve their jobs up until they retire.

Prohibitionists still retain influential and powerful drug war allies, such as Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Chuck Grassley. The two senators recently introduced a bill, HEN21186, that among other things allows a redundant relic of the drug war, the federal cannabis farm in Mississippi, to continue its operations at taxpayer expense, effectively retaining prohibitionists in the federal loop. Ending the drug war will require targeting it from all directions.

This entry was posted in Servetus. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Drug Wars are a Social Health Menace

  1. WalStMonky says:


    Perhaps we just need to demand continuity from our governments. I think we all know that the Feds published goal of the war on (some) drugs is to eliminate them from the planet. Here’s something that I just learned. The Peyote Cactus is an endangered protected species. I learned that because a California Lawmaker has submitted a bill to truly decriminalize possession of psychedelics…except mescaline derived from the Peyote Cactus because of its protected status. Do lawmakers see everything bass ackward? Implement regulated re-legalization and allow home cultivation. Endangered species no more. Following not far behind will be the idiot prohibitionists complaining that we have peyote cacti coming out of our collective ears.

    (True decrim = no civil penalty or private property confiscation by jack booted thugs.)

  2. Son of Sam Walton says:

    Michele Alexander wrote about how the black culture has accepted gang culture as a source of pride. And in this investigation, she and nobody could understand why the gang culture was such a positive role in the overall community, though the act of ‘gangster’ was deeply despised inside the same community. Part of the reason is music and style.

    Netflix had a recent doc about ‘crack’ and dealers were forced to through away their humanity just so they could look tough. They talked about how ‘laughing’ became bad or ‘romance’ became bad, lest you get robbed and killed. Crack was what made the small time street dealer look as ruthless as the Italian Mob.

    And it was better to be a heroin addict since heroin addicts were humans suffering from addiction. But crack made people monsters and bad parents . . . according to the Doc and the mindset behind why the Black Community demanded heavy policing. Crack meant you were already bad and that was the end of the conversation in regards about you. Crack became the modern reason why young black men were deemed animals meant for cages. All of this according to the doc and I felt it left off on what Mrs. Alexander’s book was pointing at.

  3. strayan says:

    New study: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0003134821995053

    There was no apparent increase in the incidence of driving under the influence of marijuana after legalization

    • WalStMonky says:


      Not long ago I read an argument that said that regulated re-legalization was causing youth to drive while “impaired” by cannabis. That because the prevalence of admitting to driving “impaired” by cannabis was 15% compared to only 5% of high school students who go out driving drunk.

  4. Carlyle Moulton says:

    There is not now nor in the past ever has been a “war against drugs” but there has been and still exists “The war against people referred to by the N_word”.

    Authorities can always use discretion to look intensively for crime in some places but not others. However laws against normal human behaviour such as using or trading mind altering drugs, sex or rock and roll provide such a huge number of crimes that no enforcement mechanism can afford to tackle more than a fraction and in such cases authority prefers to concentrate on those that they already know are criminals such as poor Negroes and Hispanics. Since the dominant classes also want to prevent upward social mobility by these people because social mobility is a convection process and relative rise by the unprivileged implies relative downward mobility for someone else.

    The war against certain mind altering chemicals is effective at imprisoning Blacks and Hispanics at a far greater rate than respectable people mostly white, prevents them from accumulating assets and felony bars on help with education, food stamps, housing and access to certain professions such as barber and beautician cripple them in terms of earnings after release.

    The other thing that selective criminalization via the drug laws do is blacken the reputation of all Blacks thus justifying racial stereotypes that in turn justify in the minds of respectable people discrimination against all blacks via other social mechanisms. For example why spend money on education in majority black schools for education when it can be better spent on the school to prison pipeline? The sooner those black students have mug shots those can be used in a photo lineup the next time a particularly horrid rape and murder occurs. The sooner a present or future gang banger is in prison the better.

  5. Carlyle Moulton says:

    I tried to edit this comment but doing so was very difficult because the comment extended outside the bounds of the edit box. The editing ought to be in the same font and point size as the displayed comment.

    I did not get the edit done before the edit time out expired or I did something that accidentally cleared the edit box.Pete can you get your webmaster to fix?

Comments are closed.