Don't Give Up On The Drug War

Don't Give Up On The Drug War
Posted by FoM on December 05, 1999 at 21:29:57 PT
Source: New York Post
The revelation of grave sites in Mexico near El Paso, Texas, casts a new and bloody light on the drug war. So far, the FBI and Mexican investigators have found six bodies, but expect to find more of what they suspect are victims of drug lords. 
These must be added to the "war's" many other casualties -- Drug Enforcement Agency agents, Colombian and Mexican military -- as well as the lives ruined in this country. With such a high toll and the sad fact that drugs are still around, it has become quite fashionable to say that the "war on drugs" has been lost or that it is unwinnable. That may be the party line. It's also very wrong. In fact, recent studies indicate that -- though continued vigilance is essential -- substantial success has been achieved in the war on drugs. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, monthly use of illegal drugs has dropped by nearly 10 million users in the last 15 years; that represents a 50 percent drop in the percentage of the population using drugs --12 percent to 6. During that same period, 4 million fewer people used cocaine monthly. Most significantly, drug use among elementary and high-school kids -- which was on the upswing in the early '90s -- now shows evidence of declining. The Partnership for A Drug-free America observes that attitudes are changing toward the most prevalent "gateway" drug, marijuana: Teenagers report that marijuana is less prevalent in schools; users are no longer seen as being "cool"; the belief that "most people will try marijuana sometime" has dropped from 40 percent in 1998 to 35 percent this year. And to what does the Partnership ascribe this turnaround? First, it points out that the "just say no" message of the '80s began to fade in the early '90s, as news of the Gulf War saturated the airwaves and the presidential campaigns began. (We would also note that a certain leading presidential candidate gave conflicting signals by admitting to smoking pot -- but not to inhaling.) Today, however, the signals are becoming more uniform. Parents put peer pressure and drug use as the Nos. 1 and 2 problems facing teenagers. In turn, teens cite the same -- except in reverse order. So, surprisingly, parents and teens are on the same page. But teenagers also note that the popular culture is beginning to reinforce some of the "correct" behavior for a change: The view of drug use as a positive activity in movies and popular music is fading (except, ironically enough, in "period" pictures, where the stoners are often objects of derision). This doesn't mean that the popular culture has suddenly gone stone-cold sober. You can still go to rock or rap concert and smell plenty of pot. The numbers demonstrate, however, that a balance does seem to be developing. So where does that leave society? Clearly, bodies lying in graves just on the other side of our southern border show that the war on drugs is as deadly as ever. But the greatest challenge in the drug war has always been on the demand side -- and, in that respect, the latest numbers are most encouraging. The nation has come a long way since the early '80s. Yes, it still has a long way yet to go; but the current track is a positive one. Parents, the media and the entertainment industry should be encouraged to continue conveying -- and reporting -- the true facts. Published: December 5, 1999New York PostŪRelated Articles:Mex. Massacres Reflect Failure of US War On Drugs-12/03/99 Is No Barrier On Rio Grande - 12/03/99 Strategy is Needed To Fight Drug War - 12/03/99 
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Comment #5 posted by Frustrated on December 06, 1999 at 16:31:03 PT
Just a Question...
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on December 06, 1999 at 16:04:31 PT
Obviously not doing the math...
A few days ago, there was an interesting article concerning the DEA's realization (gasp!) that they may have been underreporting the actual amount of hard drugs entering the US by a factor of at least three. In other words, they think (do they really think? or do they just react?) that al the very least, three times as many tons of the 'powders white and deadly' have been reaching US 'consumers'.And yet, this dunderhead of a reporter continues to take the ONDCP's rhetoric to heart and spout *their* 'party line', without the realization that he is doing it. Or that the 'collateral damage' that he tacitly accepts without mentioning may very well happen to him or one of his loved ones. 
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Comment #3 posted by Pat on December 06, 1999 at 12:17:51 PT
Wash. Post Art. Says the Gov't's WoDs Causes 37%+ 
... Of All The Murders In New York City, (during the year studied.)Prepost: FoM, thanks for all your fine, tireless efforts, on behalf of all humanity and for the cause of true righteousness.Hi Folks,please keep spreading the terrible Truth about the deadly, grisly effects of the US' "War on Drugs." Prohibition raised the murder rate in the US as a whole almost 1000%. The year after Alcohol Prohibition was ended, the murder rate in the state of Michigan dropped 70%.Our punishment-based "WoDs" is responsible for a very large percentage of all the violent crime and murders in our society.It also increased the availability of (illegal) street drugs for all our kids and young people who may be interested in them. Thus, it accomplishes exactly the opposite effect which folks who are "for" our "War on Drugs" want; in other words, our "War on Drugs" increases the availability of some drugs (the illegal ones, that is) to children in the USA.- -- -Here is a link to the Washington Post article, which tells about a study which found that our "WoDs" caused 74% of over Half of all the murders in NYC, in 1988.________________________________________________________US: OPED: War Won't Solve the Drug Problem _________________________________________________________Folks, please keep doing all that you can to help spread the sad truth about the terrible destructiveness of our "War on Drugs."Thanks, Pat.
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Comment #2 posted by Myopinion on December 06, 1999 at 08:28:51 PT
New York Post
I'm sure the New York Post is being most objective in their editorial. Why, pick up any issue and you will find pages and pages of ads for stores that sell those really safe and good for society (not to mention large ad revenues)drugs known as alcohol and tobacco!! It never ceases to amaze that an adult can go into a liquor storeand buy enough liquor to drink himself to death in one evening but cannot buy any marijuana , a substance withoutany realistic lethal dose.I'm sure the billions of dollars spent in this countryalone on advertising alcohol and tobacco have nothing to do with any of this. Y'think?
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Comment #1 posted by rainbow on December 06, 1999 at 06:44:04 PT
I guess death is okay
Well now we have heard from the prohibitionists that killing is ok if it supports our cause.I wonder if the collateral damage (yes a military term) agree, Mana Paz etc.So our morals be da... lying killing gasing putting people in misery including jail is just one of those things we need to do in this war. Ho Hum I will just sit in my office and not worry about others Ho Hum another editorial. America seems to always need a war to battle. If it is not the evil empire of the USSR then it is the people of the USA. I wonder when the WOD or WoSD or the WOP will strike the columnist and s/he will see the light.But then it did not work for Grams so it probably will not work for the NYTimes.A Flash in my mind;Hey maybe they are just fanning the flames, you know without a good war there is not much to report.CheersTom 
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