Any honest person will tell you that the war against illicit drugs is far from being won. It actually seems as if no headway is being made in the fight against drugs. The people who are involved in the drug trade are prospering. Meanwhile, millions of lives around the world are being destroyed. And the question we end up with is one as to what exactly it will take, for the war against drugs to be won.
In my view, there are three critical things that need to be there, if the war against drugs is to be a success.
Firstly, for the war against drugs to be a success, political goodwill needs to be there. The politicians will, of course, always pretend to be committed to this war. But that is rhetoric. Their actions say otherwise. Many of the actors in the political scene seem to be keen not to upset the (powerful) forces that control the drug trade. Yet we all know that if there was real political goodwill, this war would be won in just a few years.
Secondly, for the war against drugs to be won, we need to have genuinely committed soldiers. Often, what we seem to have are folks who are put in place by the forces that control the drug trade, to pretend that they are waging the war against drugs – while in reality they are doing nothing of the sort. But if we ever get people who are truly committed to the cause, the war will be won in no time. To see what commitment to a cause can do, you just need to look at e-government. You will recall that when the concept of e-government was first introduced, there was a lot of resistance. But because the people who were pushing the e-government agenda were truly committed to the cause, they succeeded. And today, we have sites like Sunbiz where one can register a company online. Today, you can undertake operations such as Sunbiz fictitious name filing online, through the said Sunbiz website, which is easily accessible via www.sunbiz.org. If the people who were pushing the e-government agenda weren’t genuinely committed, all this wouldn’t be possible.
Thirdly, for the war against drugs to be won, adequate resources need to be available. Today, the war is largely being fought using bootstrap budgets. You sometimes have people relying on the modest sums of money won through the monetary components of drug awards to fight this war. Yet the war requires vast resources, if at all it is to be won.