Senator Wentworth’s April 19 Viewpoint goes into some detail on the damage that drug cartels are doing to Texas. He fails to mention the even greater damage the overall “war on drugs” is doing to our society and that of our neighbors in Mexico where there were over 3,000 murders in Juarez alone in 2010.
At last weeks Summit of the Americas in Cartegena, Latin American leaders discussed reform and regulation to replace prohibition, even Canadian Prime Minister Harper conceded at a press conference that the drug war is “not working”.
A wider variety of more powerful drugs is more widely available at lower prices to younger people than they were prior to the “war on drugs”. Any criminologist will tell you that the point of outlawing something is to make it so expensive and so difficult to obtain that people just don’t do it. Based on that criteria; the “war on drugs” is a failure.
The United States has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's incarcerated population while nearly one third of them are there over drug offenses. The cost to arrest, prosecute, incarcerate and probate these “crimes” is staggering.
It is time we recognized that the “war on drugs” is the same kind of counter-productive failure as Prohibition was in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Televangelist Pat Robertson and Congressman Ron Paul both believe that this big government boondoggle should end and so should anyone who believes their tax dollars should be wisely spent.