America’s Undeclared Wars: The War on Drugs

Adam Griffin
  Staff Writer 

America has the problem of fighting numerous wars that they cannot afford and create more problems than they solve.

The War on Drugs is one of these undeclared, nontraditional wars that America is fighting to no positive avail for its citizens and taxpayers.

The War on Drugs creates a black market for illegal substances that both ratchets up prices and earns money for the many crime syndicates and drug cartels that facilitate the black market in America.

These drug cartels operate across the border, which essentially creates a warzone that endangers those border-states and makes for a greater drag on our illegal immigration problem. This is not to mention the financial cost incurred to our already bankrupt government by trying to enforce drug laws and fight the cartels that are produced as a result of the effort.

Additionally, the War on Drugs has a further anti-constitutional element to it in banning substances that a person should have an individual right to choose over whether or not they should take.

After all, liberty is only something worth defending when it is controversial. Something that is universally accepted as good normally does not require an invocation of liberty to defend. Liberty is important to defend matters of personal autonomy when the action performed within the bounds of liberty does not pick the pocket or break the leg of another person.

Given the organized crime, black market, border war, financial burden and infringement on individual liberty wrought by the federal government in the War on Drugs, it is reasonable to call this a “war” that is not worth conducting.

Richard Nixon began the War on Drugs in the 1970s by calling drug abuse “public enemy number one” in the U.S.

Forty years later this ongoing conflict, according to the Huffington Post, has cost the taxpayer approximately $51 billion.

This total includes an overwhelming part of the prison system, by the way. As of Sept. 30, 2014, 50 percent of inmates in federal prison were serving time for drug related offenses. Additionally, 53 percent of state prison inmates are locked up for drug-related offenses while only 7 percent of the prison population is in jail for violent offenses.

A person’s fist of individual liberty extends to the nose of someone else’s liberty — violent actions committed against people are a true violation of liberty, whereas non-violent crimes, such as drug use, are not proper exertions of police power.

If a person wants to grow a plant on his or her property and inhale or otherwise consume that plant they planted, then it should be deemed an exercise of liberty if anything is.

The cost of keeping these men and women in prison for nonviolent crimes is heavy on the taxpayer and unjust to the liberty of the criminal.

The American system should only punish crimes actions that are rights violating of another person in nature.

An administrative critique of the War on Drugs is that it creates its own enemies by making criminals out of drug-users who band together in cartels that are plaguing our border and law enforcement agencies.

The illegal drug trade makes over $300 billion worldwide, producing over 1 percent of total global trade. This black market generates so much money that it will persist against law enforcement, whereas decriminalization, an end to the War on Drugs or even legalization would take away the financial benefits to crime syndicates that facilitate the major sectors of this global black market.

The problem of the Mexican Drug War and associated cartels is the biggest threat facing the U.S. from waging the War on Drugs. These cartels use the weak enforcement forces of the Mexican government to lay down their extensive organizations, then penetrate American markets.

When prohibition was ended with the repeal of the 18th Amendment by the 21st Amendment, the greatest levels of violence with organized crime abated because much of the money that funded these illegal activities dried up when legal avenues to obtain alcohol reopened.

The Mexican Drug War is not contained within Mexico and the principal enabler is the market in the U.S. created by the criminalization of these substances in our borders.

So, it can be argued, the American black market is the principal cause of the violent war ravaging American borders. Repealing the fight in the War on Drugs would be a more effective way of putting an end to the violence than fighting with law enforcements that are already stretched thin facing other crime problems not caused by laws and legal “war” campaigns.”

Drug policy is not an easy fix as it is difficult to allow the legal use of heavy drugs, such as cocaine and heroine, that can have devastating health ramifications to the user and potential violent actions caused in the wake of the drugs effect or impairment.

Unfortunately, this is a risk of liberty and by bottling liberty up it only creates a greater monster in leading to the formation of a market for illegal activities and criminal cartels.

The Mexican Drug War, according to the Huffington Post, alone has resulted in over 100,000 deaths as of 2013 a death toll that is higher than that caused by individual drug use that is not connected to the syndicates that facilitate the illegal trade.

The War on Drugs is a war against inanimate substances that has made an enemy out of thousands of people by the U.S. government. Government’s legitimate functions are protecting the rights of citizens from infringements on their life, liberty and ability to pursue happiness without being molested by the liberty of others.

Drug use may lead to rights-violating actions of others, but it is a symptom of a crime rather than an actual crime itself.

The problems caused by drug use should be solved through education, while violent actions should be prosecuted with the utmost force of the law; however, the casual user of drugs that funds these cartels that operate on government created black markets should not be punished for using a substance that only affects the person at liberty to use it.

Categories: Columns, Opinions, Uncategorized

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