Opinion: Policing, alone, can never win the war
Talk of the Town (Louisiana), October 9,
We're losing the war on
Much has been written concerning society's
ever-increasing demand for and abuse of drugs --
whether obtained by prescription or not.
Countless man hours and hundreds of millions of
taxpayer dollars have been poured into the
interdiction and prosecutorial processes that
accompany this pandemic. Millions more are spent
annually to incarcerate those convicted of
trafficking, using or possessing illegal drugs.
The intent of
this commentary is in no way intended to
minimize the collateral damage to individuals
appears that even with this massive investment
in the war on drugs, we find the situation
relatively unchanged at best, with no
significant reduction on the supply side of the
drug equation. Drugs continue to flow unabated.
What would be the net effect if aggressive
interdiction suddenly ceased? Would the supply
of drugs and the corresponding use reach some
Or, would the
masses proceed to abuse drugs to the point of
annihilation? If the later is so, what does this
say about the mental and emotional state of our
communities and its people?
Should we not now
direct additional energies and attention to the
underlying causes of our insatiable appetite for
drugs? Although axiomatic, without buyers there
would soon be no sellers.
abuse is an equal opportunity employer and not a
respecter of age, gender, race or social status.
Drugs cannot be relegated to the ghetto, but
find their way downtown, uptown, across town and
out into America's heartland.
analysis and solution to this conundrum is
rather simple. In the end there are only two
classes of people in this supply and demand
relationship -- the needy and the greedy.
The greedy are
those who for money will exploit the weaknesses
of others, and traffic in whatever can be
exploited; weapons, dope, false hope, human
flesh and destructive thinking.
While the needy
are those in need of a sense of self worth,
gainful employment, understanding, sincere
compassion, a liberating and empowering
education, family and Community.
can never win the war on drugs.
However, if we
are willing to personally invest in addressing
the needs of one another, we can begin to reduce
the demand for drugs.