Friday, 3 June 2011

The War

Officially, the war on drugs started on 17 June 1971.....with President Nixon.  He made a speech and coined the phrase.  So for forty-odd years....we've been at "war".  To be honest....this isn't much of a war....but the phrase sounds neat and nifty.

This week....a international group wrapped up their analysis of the war on drugs.  Their conclusion?  An utter failure and wasted money.

I'm not shocked over the analysis because I came to virtually the same belief a number of years ago.  The real bottom line on this war....is that if you were successful, then the price of drugs would escalate year after year, and it'd be awful hard to find crack, meth or cocaine on the streets of America.  The prices really aren't changing much.  Oh, you can't buy cocaine for the same price you did in 1978.....but relatively speaking you can put drugs on the same line as groceries and gasoline....and it's pretty much lined up.

This money that we give Columbia, Peru, Mexico and various other countries to fight drugs?  Totally wasted.  The millions we give various states and their law enforcement agencies?  Wasted.  The millions we give to the DEA?  Wasted.

I sat and watched a couple of news forums last night cover the topic briefly.  Few ever touch on the economic side of pricing....which I find curious.  Most simply covered the amount of funding given to foreign governments, and how it disappeared into a money pit....to be used as they see fit (you could envision all these GM SUV's being bought and driven by VIP law enforcement folks).

The White House came out and tried to defend the program....but frankly....it's hard to show success other than talking about arrests and confiscation.  If you brought up the pricing scheme staying on track....they would have been dazed by the comment and probably just grinned as they admitted that might be true.

Bottom line here?  Don't worry....we rarely give up a war....and I'm pretty sure the war on drugs will just continue on.