‘War on Drugs’ is war on people
Is the “War on Drugs” truly a “war on drugs”? If someone is caught in possession of an illicit drug, then is it the drug that goes to jail? Or is it the individual? Does the drug war seek to eradicate drugs from society in an attempt to protect drug users from its potentially harmful effects? Or does it seek to eradicate the drug users themselves? Moreover, how do you carry out war on inanimate objects, drugs, which are so vague in description?
The Chinese philosopher, Confucius, stated “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” So as we begin to wise up about the War on Drugs, we find that it is not a war on drugs; it is a war on people. A specific type of people who choose to possess or consume drugs not deemed acceptable by others. As a consequence, these types of people are having their lives torn apart through government extortion, and imprisonment. Do these people deserve to be treated in such a monstrous manner? Are the efforts of the War on People justified and righteous?
As we are all aware, we have exclusive control over our mind, body, and actions. From this simple reality, it can be clearly stated that each individual owns their own body, and that no individual has a legitimate claim over another’s body. This basic principle is known as self-ownership. If we all own our bodies, then it logically follows that we all have the right to choose what goes into our bodies, including drugs. Since no one can justly own another person’s body, they also cannot contain the right to forcibly stop another person from consuming something. This use of force is unjust and must be correctly defined as violence. Attempting to forcibly or coercively stop an individual from consuming anything they justly own is an unjustified act of violence. Simply put, it is wrong.
Does our neighbor have the right to forcibly stop us from consuming our favorite food? How about if they deemed our favorite food to be detrimental and dangerous to our overall health? Would the force then be justified? Of course not, any attempt by our neighbor to carry out such actions would clearly be an attempt to violently impose their personal preferences upon us. Thus, is the so called “War on Drugs” not just personal preferences and opinions being forcibly imposed?
There are some typical responses to the above conclusions, which are worthy of response. The most common response is: “Drug laws exist to prevent drug users from harming others while under the influence of drugs; and these laws are thus justified in the name of self-defense” The first thing to realize is that consumption and harming others are two completely different actions, neither implies the other. Is the action of harming others a form of aggression upon another individual, thus violating their self-ownership? If the answer is yes, then is it the act of drug consumption or the act of harming others that is the wrong doing? Is the mere act of drug consumption a form of aggression upon another? If the answer is no, then who is the real aggressor in the application of drug laws? Attempting to “defend” from a non-threating action of drug consumption is aggression: not defense.
With the moral argument aside, does the “War on Drugs” even practically achieve its desired goals to make society a safer and healthier place? The outlaw of drugs causes the rise of black markets to supply prohibited drugs, which produces gang violence that kills innocents. In addition, the limited supply inherent in black markets drastically elevates drug prices. These high prices incentivize drug addicts to resort to commit true crime in order to fund their addictions. Moreover, the war on drugs has failed to prevent drug abuse, stop drug trafficking violence, and help drug addicts get treatment. As a direct result, hundreds of thousands of non-violent human beings have been imprisoned for victimless drug related “crimes.” All this while the total financial cost since Nixon has long since exceeded $1 trillion. Not to mention these costs are funded via a violent means known as taxation.
The saddest perverse outcome is in regard to the drug using “criminals” themselves. Drug addicts are some of the most mentally broken among us and are often attempting to self-medicate themselves to happiness. The current war on drugs solution is to persecute and violently imprison them, only furthering their traumatic mental state. This is not a solution. These people need compassion not violent condemnation.
The “War on Drugs” is immoral, impractical and destructive to humanity. Show your support for all of those harmed by withdrawing your advocation of this gruesome War on People. Jonathan Bean, Valley Lee