There are many protests by people in various states that want drugs like marijuana legalised (in places where it already isn’t). What people tend to not understand is that these are usually college or young people who are protesting for this cause. In their eyes, it is a harmless way to unwind or have a little fun with friends, but what they don’t understand or simply are unaware of is that there are a number of groups that might take advantage of this situation. A number of violent groups in countries like Columbia grow and sell drugs and narcotics to collect quick money to fund their regimes.
This has led to citizens who are forced into working in these farms and are tortured by these groups. Mexico’s drug war claims about 50,000 live every single year. Even back at home the picture isn’t so pretty. The debate about marijuana being a gateway drug is still very heatedly on and once marijuana is legalised, there would be people who would want other drugs to be legalised as well. The world facing a large population of drug addicts which is increasing every year. The problem is becoming harder and harder to tackle by the day.
Obama stated in 2004 that “the war on drugs has been an utter failure”. Similarly, a self-appointed Global Commission on Drug Policy in 2011 stated that “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.” The report met with intense criticism by organisations that were anti-legalisation of drugs. The Global Commission on Drug Policy brought forth a detailed report regarding the failure of the war on drugs in June 2011.
The commission comprised of various members like well-known international politicians and important writers. It was during that time that U.S. Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin released the first ever National Prevention Strategy.
A year later in May 2012, the U.S. Government body came out with a newer version of its Drug Policy. The ONDCP director remarked that this policy is not like the old one, and is distinctly different from the war on drugs.
This policy is different in many ways. Firstly, the Government does not rely on just the policy itself. It looks at the policy as a “third way” approach to drug control. This will be largely based on research by eminent scholars in the field of substance abuse, private companies, toxicology and disease and on the results of the large investment in their research.
The policy remarks that the pretext of drug legalisation is not perceived as some sort of “silver bullet” which might solve the problem on drug abuse and offer a long term solution to drug control. The U.S. Government also remarks that it does not see the policy where success would be measured by the number of arrests made or on the basis of prisons built to apprehend illegal trade.
Drug addiction is a lot more serious issue than most people who want the legalisation of drugs think or believe to be. We still need the war on drugs because there are lives which are destroyed on both ends, from those who are forced to work to produce them to those who get addicted and pose a real threat to those around them and themselves as well. The war against illegal drug trade, however, needs to be modified to be more accommodating and gentle when it comes to treating addiction or finding addicts and bringing them to justice.
Hopefully, it can be won.