Monday, February 14, 2011

Ludicrous priorities: As the law collapses, the War on Drugs continues

A nice article in The Guardian illustrates in a nutshell the stupidity of the War on Drugs and the unthinking mindset of those who believe in it.

Camden, New Jersey has a failing administration. It's a deprived, crime-ridden neighbourhood that is so broke is has just laid off nearly half its police force and raised taxes by 23%, according to The Guardian.

While readers of this blog will understand how drug prohibition both creates crime and doesn't work, the local police don't understand this and they name fighting drugs as one of the top priorities for the remains of their police force.

We are coming up to the 40th anniversary of President Nixon's declaration of the War on Drugs. While the US has spent over a trillion dollars on this war, drugs are just as plentiful, much more varied and relatively cheaper than they were back in the 1970s. over half the arrests over that time have been for cannabis, a drug that has never caused a single death.

While an obscenely rich country might be able to gloss over this colossal waste of money, times are tougher now and enclaves like Camden show just how wasteful, profligate and ineffective prohibition is. It's time for a new way of thinking, but that seems to be one of the most difficult challenges for the human mind.

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