There are two distinct harms being discussed here. There are the harms of drug abuse that destroys bodies, minds, families and communities. There is physical harm, multi generational harm, death, damage and destruction to the body that, in some cases, is irreparable.
The harm of drugs
The harm of drug abuse extends beyond the harm to the users and to the increasingly horrific crimes against the victims of users. These new crimes can only be committed by those who are so intoxicated that they do great acts of harm and destruction without remorse or even juvenile levels of judgment.
There are those who will do anything to obtain drugs or to appease those who enforce the rule of the drug cartels. There are those who decide to enrich themselves through means that range from taking bribes while in official positions, to becoming low level distributors.
The drug business is mean. Those who make a living in the drug business do not shrink from the realities of death, torture and horrific crimes against children and innocent citizens. It is a mean business that leads people to lives with no human conscience or empathy for their fellow humans, even when those humans are their own children.
The harm of the drug war
The drug war has never truly been a war against those who make the real money from drugs. The actual war is being prosecuted against the lowest points in the pyramid.
The pyramid starts in the fields, farms and jungles, where no one who works the crops or proccesses the initial product becomes rich. It rises through the levels to the top of they pyramid where the cartels and drug kingpins live. Then it slopes down the other sides to the points where the consumer dwells.
It is the lowest level farmer, processor and mules who are under attack. It is the last point on the other side where television shows like “Cops” have been showing only the bullying and dubious policing of poor, drug infested neighborhoods, while the drunk driving model citizens and their drug abusing and shoplifting children somehow manage to avoid being arrested on camera.
It is the same principle again and again: attack the poorest and least acceptable to society and leave alone the richest, most powerful and most influential with governments.
Cut off the tail, but leave the head and body alone, even if the beast is more than capable of growing another tail.
The corrupted courts and private prisons scheme in the US is indicative of the way in which drug influence and drug profits have influenced the highest levels of government. Private prisons collude with legislatures and courts to create designer sentencing strategies that have more and more prisoners to bring more and more money pouring into the pockets of the prison corporations.
There has never been a war on drugs, there has been a war on people.
And the drug wars are mean. They have no remorse or pity. These wars, in fact have become arrogant and corrupted beyond any hope of effectiveness.