October 20, 2017

Why the War Against Illegal Drugs is Pretty Much Unwinnable

Last week, while reading a newspaper article on the war against illegal drugs, I suddenly realized that it is an unwinnable war.

The war against illegal drugs is pretty much unwinnable because the people who are involved in the trafficking and distribution of illegal drugs (the top kingpins) are very powerful and, apparently, very well connected. Here, I am not talking about the foot-soldiers at the bottom end of the illegal drug trafficking and distribution chain. I am not talking about the mules who carry illegal drugs in false bottoms of suitcases and the boys who sell drugs in street corners. Those are neither powerful nor well connected. As a matter of fact, such are routinely arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to stiff jail terms. For instance, in the website where Medford mugshots are posted, you will also tend to find a brief outline of the offenses for which the offenders are in jail: because the mugshots in question are simply the photos of the current Jackson County jail inmates. Now going through those brief outlines, you soon discover that a significant number of those people are in jail on drug-related charges. But those, in my estimation, are mostly the foot-soldiers in the drug trade: the mules and the boys who sell drugs on street corners. The kingpins are not so easily nailed. They are, apparently, powerful and well-connected. And this makes the war against drugs to be pretty much unwinnable.

The war against illegal drugs is pretty much unwinnable because the trade in illegal drugs is very lucrative. A lot of money is made in the trade. This is money that can be used to buy influence. It is money that can be used to buy protection from high places. And pretty much everybody has a price tag, or so we are told.

At yet another level, the war against illegal drugs is pretty much unwinnable because it is self-perpetuating. It is perhaps out of appreciation for this fact that some nations are opting to legalize certain drugs: in order to disrupt the international cartels that are responsible for the self-perpetuating nature of the illegal drugs trade.