The war that is the biggest failure

Terrific piece on the idiotic decision of Trump/Sessions to “get tough” on drugs from the editors of The National Review.  The fact that this is the source gives me some hope.  At least some conservatives see the utter folly of the war on drugs approach:

Jeff Sessions wants to get tough in the war on drugs. The problem with his line of thinking is that managing the duplex problem of drug abuse and drug trafficking is not a war, however much the rhetoric of war may be mistaken for the fact of war, and the Trump administration’s get-tough posture is unlikely to produce the desired result…

The problem with the war on drugs is the war on drugs.

To believe, as we long have, that the decriminalization of some drugs is preferable to the prohibition of them is not to adopt a stance of moral neutrality on the issue of drug abuse and drug addiction. It is instead a concession to reality, which even politicians must take into account from time to time. The reality is that drug prohibition has not produced the desired results; that it is not an effective means of managing drug abuse or drug addiction; that it creates enormously powerful economic incentives for domestic trafficking operations and allied cartels abroad; that incarceration is in many cases not the best way to turn a drug user or drug dealer into a citizen; that the human and financial costs of fighting a “war” on drugs are enormous, and that the martial rhetoric and assumptions associated with that effort are a menace to privacy and civil liberties; that fighting drug crime has become a ready excuse for police and prosecutors to abuse tools such as civil-asset forfeiture; that our focus on winning the so-called war distracts us from the much more important business of winning the peace by helping addicts and offenders reenter society as productive and valued citizens.

Wow!  Could totally imagine the same thing on the editorial pages of the Times or the Post.  Alas, the guys actually setting policy are retrograde morons.

And, speaking of which, Secretary Tom Price, M.D., is just a stupid, angry old man when it comes to the reality of opiate addiction:

Addiction experts are up in arms following remarks from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, in which he referred to medication-assisted treatment for addiction as “substituting one opioid for another.”

Nearly 700 researchers and practitioners sent a letter Monday communicating their criticisms to Price and urging him to “set the record straight.”

The medicines Price referred to are methadone and buprenorphine, both of which are opioids. The letter notes that there is a “substantial body of research” showing the drugs’ effectiveness, and that they have been the standard of care for addiction treatment for years…

Experts say Price’s remarks, made last week to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, ignore the primary benefits of such medications and go against scientific evidence.

“I was just totally gobsmacked,” says Brendan Saloner, an addiction researcher and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Saloner says that Price’s own Department of Health and Human Services displays information online that contradicts his comments.

Yeah, but who needs scientific evidence– much less common sense– in Trump’s America.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to The war that is the biggest failure

  1. rgbact says:

    The war on murder is also a big failure. Still lots of murders. We need to give up I guess. War on speeding also a big failure. Lets get rid of laws…..people break them.

    • Nicole K. says:

      You do know what false equivalency is don’t you?

      Last I checked there was no ‘war on murder’ or ‘war on speeding’.

      I mean even the National Review and Rand Paul get this. It’s about changing policies that don’t decrease drug abuse, encourage police corruption, enrich foreign and domestic drug traffickers, reduce our civil liberties and have led to a ton of deaths in Central America.

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