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Editorial: Newsflash -- Governments Are Violently Destroying Lives in the Drug War

Submitted by David Borden on (Issue #508)

David Borden, Executive Director

David Borden
Newsflash: California authorities are taking children away from their families because of their parents' medical marijuana.

Newsflash: The US federal government imprisons thousands of people for decades over minute quantities of crack cocaine.

Newsflash: Indonesia's Supreme Court says it's okay to kill drug offenders.

Newsflash: Anti-drug law enforcement crackdowns are driving people away from health services and causing more of them to get Hepatitis or AIDS.

And much much more. Every day, more than 4,000 drug arrests are made across the United States, their targets often getting ticketed, fined, jailed, prosecuted, sentenced, incarcerated. Arrestees can lose their cars, their homes, their livelihoods, their families, their reputations; suspects or bystanders can get shot or traumatized by no-knock raiders. Yet the drugs continue to flow and it is all for nought.

The more typical newsflash in the mainstream media is when someone was arrested or a drug operation was raided or some drugs were seized. But that's not really news, it's just the background of futile activity taking place all the time. When the dust settles, another family is reeling, another mound of taxpayer money is squandered, another Constitutional right has been sabotaged and undermined.

Newsflash: It's wrong to attack millions of people in the ways the drug war does, and the drug war doesn't work. Prohibition needs to end.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

Question: How many among us would consider "prohibition repeal" as a single-issue cause reason enough to support a presidential candidate (given the rest of the candidate's platform was a moderate one)?

Fri, 11/02/2007 - 10:34pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Unfortunatly the war on drugs has been tied to the terrible effects of some drugs.
Herion,meth,coke can have devistating effects on abusers. Even first time users can overdose or get bad product.
Are theese effect due to the drug, or the prohibition of drugs.
You see, it is a no-brainer that violent drug crime would cease to exsist if the drugs were legal, but it seems that controled production and delivery of such substanses would greatly reduce these negetive effects.
I know preach to the choir.
The problem with cross the board legalization is the american public believes that we would be over run by crazed addicts.
I think that with a little modification and a little controled delevery that drugs could be used for thier intended purpose to make living a little nicer fr the people on this planet
yes i would vote to leagalize all phamacuticle products. Let the free market fix theese problems.
Do the drug useing populice prefer a drug that sends them into psycotic fits or one that produces the effects of stimulaton and euforia that they seem to need.
Also I don't belive that a goverment should legislate saftey and morality issues.
This is america and I have been taught that the ideal of our country is personal freedom, to live ones life with the benifits of unity, but free from the restrains of the few.
To me this should mean that if you don't directly negetively influence my life. I have no right to do the same.

Sat, 11/03/2007 - 4:45pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

That people die on drugs is a fact but it's not the drugs that kill.If addicts were being supplied by a pharmacy they'd know what they were getting.As usual,it's the law and the lifestyle that kills.The reason for the lifestyle?The law.

Sun, 11/04/2007 - 4:35am Permalink
rita (not verified)

Seems that whenever the warriors meet, they're sure to include on the agenda an ex-drug user or two to recount the horrors of addiction and its effect on children, but they never, ever mention the horrors of police violence, foster homes or prison. They never consider the long-term costs to society of their reckless destruction of families and a generation growing up with absolutely NO respect for the law.

People keep telling that it'll never change -- I say, it HAS to --

Sat, 11/03/2007 - 12:10am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by rita (not verified)

This dude is so on.............Destruction.........the Drug War/Prohibition...........the Drug War is the first Drug that has to go............It destroys lives worse than any drug...........

War occurs at a Critical Mass of Irrationality....and America is involved in........tooooooooo many wars....

Why?....because only Irrational Gov'ts can start a war, think about it.....only a Gov't starts a War....individual people or businesses cannot start Wars....but a Business that has tons of money can corrupt the Gov't by high priced Lobbyist..... who Lobby for Favors, Monopolostic tools, War, restrictions, tarrifs, limits, regulations and laws.....this is total Corruption.....It's more of a Market Corruption.....because the Market comes to the Gov't for Monopolistic favors...there can be no Monopoly without Gov't help.....think about a truely Free Market......any one can enter the Market.....therefore busting the one can have a monopoly......because if you corner the Market on Cars....someone can always come in with a different model, engine, color, whatever and some customer may like yours better than mine....then I have no Monopoly........maybe all my customers will run to you can I have a monopoly unless I force people at gun point to buy from me.....I can't.....but if I go to the Gov't and get a tariff passed....meaning that now.....cheaper imports..have a tougher time competiting against me....because they have to pay a tariff..........this is's not 100%....maybe 20% monopolistic....but you see what I mean...
Now if Business and Gov't were Seperated like Church and State.....then there would be no tariff and the foreign shoes could come into this country and we could buy them for cheaper....thus we shoes and save money to buy something else....and the businesses compete against each other in a Truely Free Market....and we get better shoes and lower prices......this is how is would work for everything....America is more of an Open Market thant a Democracy...or real Democracy comes from is a whole philosophy in itself......once you understand money you really start to understand the U.S.A.......the US is more of and idea than a people....and the US is Spreading around the World...look at Russia, China, India.....these countries that are turning into Capitalistic Giant we speak....

Capitalism works well....but it gets intellectual....people have to study to throughly understand Ayn Rand....and then you will understand money, the dollar and the USA.
World Peace, Justice, Prosperity and the Future depend on the firm understanding of Free Open Capitalism.
One Last thing.....abolish the Public School System....we will never get anywhere staying in the Box.....Public Schools are the Box......

Sat, 11/03/2007 - 4:11pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

If the mainstream media (MSM) targeted the War On Drugs (WOD) in the same way they target celebrity 'x', the WOD would be over fast.

I suggest that someone create a killer press release that clearly shows why the WOD is unhealthy for this nation, post that release online, and have supporters send (more like flood) the MSM until the issue gets the coverage it deserves, assuming that's legal of course.

According to a public relations book I read, the news people in the MSM are simply looking for good stories. Anytime you have a policy that costs tens of billions of taxpayer dollars annually, anything involving it should be big news? Add to it the abuse of the civil part of civil liberty, thriving black markets to a degree that military resources are used to combat it, and zero solid evidence concluding that the WOD works at all (more or less to a degree justifying the insane amount of damage caused), and you have a very eerie silence that "We the people" should not be tolerating.

Why is the MSM avoiding this massive obvious corruption? Is it connected to the Bush administration's recent request for 120 or 130 million taxpayer dollars just to run those ridiculous 'above the influence' style ads? Is the powerful advertising industry that seems to be in support of the WOD throwing their influence around?

Those who believe that replacing the Controlled Substances Act with an effective system of abuse prevention and treatment should be pressing the MSM hard to investigate the WOD and reveal the horrible damage resulting from it.

Sat, 11/03/2007 - 9:24am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

There's no question we have to get prohibition repealed,the only question is how?This is a capitalist culture and the one thing Everybody cares about is the bottom line.Once people become aware of how much money is flushed down the drug war toilet,they'll come around.It's essential that we,those commited to ending this insanity,continually put it in front of the people.Once they find out how much of their tax dollars are being wasted on the most evil, futile and expensive experiment in human conditioning in history,things will change.I live to dream.

Sun, 11/04/2007 - 1:53am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

What would you do if you suddenly realized that the drug deal that you entered into turned out to be a sting /trap and you realized you are facing at least half of your life in prison?

Many people find themselves in that situation and already have decided it would be preferable to fight with the chance of getting away or dying in the oncoming fight. Rot away, as some bad man's bitch, die and get it over with, or escape to freedom.

The State and Federal drug boys don't want to chance this senereo either! So, what do they do? Go after low risk perpertraters that nearly always, don't resist. It could be a doctor who has screwed up filling out the confusing paperwork, a couple at home, with children, or known peaceful citizens of a once great Republic (we are NOT a democracy). The penalties are the same but the risk is nearly nonexistant. This is why most busts are against nonviolent people who just want to stay out of chronic pain, hold on to thier eyesight, or just get high in what used to be the privacy of thier homes. I have to wonder how much longer Americans are going to allow thier employees to treat them like slaves.

Sun, 11/04/2007 - 2:50am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified) not a solution. not democracy. a solution...democratic... and provides taxes...and is SAFER for people....and that means the kids too...for the politicos, who seem to be all worried up about messages .

Sun, 11/04/2007 - 10:06am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

is the only way to end the war on drugs.

That means more and more aggressive letters to the editor.

In election seasons it means confronting candidates both in person and in their office mail boxes.

Because the drug war supports terrorism I went to John Kerry events in 2004 with a tee-shirt saying that both Kerry and Bush are bin Laden supporters.

Now, since the market for illegal guns, that kill cops, would be much smaller if it were not subsidized by the demand for guns by the drug gangs I confront drug warriors and their politicans calling them cop killers. For years I have been telling them that they are alQaida and Taliban supporters thanks to their drug war support.

I also tell the Democrats that I am now a registered Independent after being a Democrat of three generations and that I vote against drug warrios. I have since 1996.

The only thing they will listen to is to deny them the affection of our electoral embrace until they do the right thing and end the war on drugs. Political tough love.

There are plenty of alternatives. In the primaries register to whichever party you want to vote for a drug war reformer in Republican for Ron Paul. Democrat for Kucinich or Gravel. Then, in the general election, switch to Independent or a third party in order to best force the two dominance parties to think about the drug policy platforms of the Greens, Libertarians and (in the past) the Nader Independents.

Tough love if they don't want to wise up.

A third party or independent vote IS NOT A WASTED VOTE if it reflects and respects your values in opposition to the war on drugs.

Mon, 11/05/2007 - 7:20pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Personally, I think the drug war is just another way to make money and control us. Since when does anyone actually believe 99.999% of government officials actually cares about what happens to you? There's too much money to be made by the DEA confiscating property without due process and having drug gangs roam the streets keeps people in line. Certainly makes it much easier to 'stage' a drug hit when someone needs to be gotten rid of, doesn't it?

I've found one presidential candidate who is for ending the DEA, repealing the drug laws and ending the War on Drugs and he's consistently voted this way. Dr. Ron Paul. This is one of the major reasons I support him. Please don't think I'm here just to stump my candidate. I can see what this false war on drugs is all about. Money and Control and I'm sick of it.

Personally, I have never done drugs, and have never felt a need or want to. I've also never ridden a motorcycle or worn a helmet. I don't think you can legislate against stupidity, and there are so many legitimate uses for hemp, just to start there. I just cannot understand how people have come to the point now, where they allow government and media to decide almost every facet of their lives.

Thu, 11/08/2007 - 11:56am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Please allow me to remind the readers that the "War on Drugs" as we know it today was instigated by then-President Richard M. Nixon over 35 YEARS AGO (Ahem--no "victory" in sight -- or ever intended for that matter!!)

The one and only president in US history forced to resign in disgrace due to impending impeachment and likely conviction for HIGH CRIMES and MISDEMEANORS. His inner-circle wasn't so fortunate as to be pardoned by succeeding President Gerald -let's-alter-the-Warren-Report-on-the-Kennedy-Assassination-report- Ford and ended up IN PRISON for BETRAYING THE TRUST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Richard M. Nixon, Ladies and Gentlemen. A man who left a fecal-stain on the American presidency that, for decades, remained unrivaled until our present Administration.

WHAT A LEGACY "We the People" have to be proud of. NO WONDER Americans are hated and disrespected the world over.


Thu, 11/08/2007 - 6:37pm Permalink
rita (not verified)

Did you know that almost TWICE as many Americans die every year from adverse reactions to prescription drugs (taken as directed) as ALL illegal drug use combined? Remember that the number of deaths from "illegal drug use" INCLUDE such drugwar-related causes as police violence, accidental overdoses and needle-borne HIV and Hepatitis C -- even skewing the statistics, deaths from illegal drug use is WAY at the bottom of the page.

Our government is KILLING us and using our deaths to justify MORE killing, and it seems that the main-stream media has been bribed or threatened into a conspiracy of silence.

Fri, 11/09/2007 - 10:14am Permalink

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