The Harms of Drugs Versus the Harms of the War on Drugs

Okay now the redneck version, drugs and their use are a fact. Nothing short of execution of addicted users will significantly reduce their use. It is a product which means it is a victim of supply and demand. When the ‘War on drugs’ succeeds it actually makes the profitability of drugs go up. Reduce supply and have a constant demand prices will go up. Simple economics which speaks to the ignorance of people calling for legalization. Legalize it and you still have the illegal drug problem. Why pay 5 bucks for government approved heroin that its high only lasts 30 minutes or 50 bucks for the Afghani stuff that keeps you stoned all day? We only trade one set of problems for another.

Harms of the ‘War on Drugs’ sounds interesting. When a Columbian Army helicopter sprays herbicide on a coca field it does kill the plant and drive up the street value of cocaine. Who does it harm? Let me tell you a story about Honduras that I experienced first hand. Marines discovered that you could use chemical detectors (Useful in Chemical Warfare) to detect labs processing cocaine. Enter a little village in Southern Honduras which boasts 3 buildings over one story. The detector found a drug lab in a hidden basement under the town hall. Did everyone in the town know it was there? Of course but these people are not stupid, they knew telling us or local authorities was a death sentence. Well, the report was forwarded up the chain and word came down to destroy the drug lab. No one at the fire-base was going to walk into this town and throw a satchel filled with C-4 into this lab for fear of killing those innocents living in the building. So what to do? Simple we arrested the workers in the lab, removed the chemicals and other products to be destroyed later, and then filled the area in with sand up to the ceiling. Finally a 4 foot concrete wall to seal it off.

Well no good deed goes un-punished did local drug-runners say ‘shux’ lost a lab and look for a new place to set up shop? No, they went in one night and killed every man, woman, and child. They even killed the local dogs so their barking would not alert us. So, are drugs or the ‘War on drugs’ responsible for this tragedy? Well, put the cause in its place; drugs and its use and then add the effect; War on drugs. Regardless of which way you fall on this debate, I and other good Marines had to move bodies into a mass grave. Not the first time and certainly not the last. Legalization will not prevent a tragedy like this, a greater or lesser effort or ‘war’ on drugs will not neither.

Bottomline, if you are against drugs don’t use them and teach your children the same. If you believe they should be legalized visit places where they are produced and then preach the virtues of ‘legalization’ to people living in abject poverty. If you believe in a ‘war on drugs’ put your money where your mouth is and join the military or DEA. Otherwise, your just another armchair quarterback. Drugs of one form or another have been part of society since its inception, education is the only viable solution to reduce but never eliminate them.