Best-selling author Don Winslow took out a full page ad in the Washington Post yesterday as an open letter to Congress and the President: “It’s Time to Legalize Drugs.”
Let me come right our and say what you won’t tell
the American people. The War on Drugs is unwinnable.
It was unwinnable for Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan,
Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama. At forty-four years,
it’s America’s longest war and there’s no end in sight.
The people who benefit most from the War on Drugs are the traffickers. Every dollar we spend on drugs and every dollar we spend trying to interdict them raises the profits of the Mexican cartels and makes them more powerful.
So in the very act of fighting this war, we lose it.
Cops standing in front of big drug seizures look great on the evening news. But it sells a lie that we’re winning, just like George Bush on an aircraft carrier declaring that a war was over that still rages on today.
It’s not only that we can’t win this war, it’s that we’re destroying ourselves fighting it. We are literally addicted to the War on Drugs. A half-century of failed policy, $1 trillion, and 45 million arrests has not reduced daily drug use—at all. The U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug consumption, drugs are cheaper, more available, and more potent than ever before.
Our justice system is a junkie, demanding its daily fix of arrests, seizures and convictions. It needs drugs. It’s as hooked as that guy sticking a needle into his arm even though he knows it’s killing him.
It continues on, with lots of good material, and ends with:
How much more money do we have to waste, how many more families have to be destroyed, how many more people have to be killed before you summon the courage to tell the truth to the American people?
The War on Drugs is not only futile, it is wrong.
The answer is legalization.
The only way to win is to stop fighting.