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April 06, 2014

Unwitting Suicide by Policy ?

Based on even a rudimentary analysis of its 43 year history, America’s "war on drugs," which skated on non-existent intellectual and scientific ice from its very beginning has compiled an amazing record of failure: our steadily expanding prison population and the enormous cost of the "drug crime" it creates, not to mention the human and social damage it does to designated "addicts" and their families. Our drug policy is long overdue for unbiased critical analysis.

However, honest scrutiny of the drug war will be impossible until the lobbying power of the many US and foreign government agencies that have come to depend on it has been neutralized sufficiently to permit the necessary unbiased analysis.

Dwight Eisenhower's warning about the growing power of the "Military Industrial Complex" was too late to prevent a "Cold War," but was justified because the mutual hostility between Communism and ourselves was real, as indicated by the Soviet deployment of missiles in Cuba. Kennedy's impromptu negotiations with Krushchev clearly avoided a nuclear exchange in 1962. That the danger is still there is implicit in Putin's posturing in the Crimea and the Ukraine. Thankfully, the planet has been spared a third hostile nuclear detonation.

On the other hand, the fear of "addiction" hyped by the Nixon Administration in the late Sixties to justify the legislation that became a "war on drugs" was imaginary. Its cynical continuation in support of a destructive policy is more indicative of our human gullibility and the willingness of our political leaders to exploit fear to their advantage no matter what human or environmental damage may result are tendencies exemplified by Hitler and his modern imitators from Stalin to Saddam but are also confirmed throughout human history. One way or another, slavery has been justified ever since since Aristotle.

In fact, if one were trying to create an almost foolproof method for inducing the unwitting suicide of Homo sapiens as a species, America's drug war would be an excellent model.

Needless to say, this analysis isn't likely to become popular overnight. However, the slowly increasing popularity of marijuana in the US and elsewhere is reason to hope that our slide into the insanity of drug prohibition may be reversible in time to preserve our planet for a more "natural" disaster– another Yellowstone eruption, for example.

The point is that although we are highly evolved as a species and have achieved a steadily increasing degree of understanding of our universe from Science, our inability to get along is an achilles heel that becomes ever more dangerous to our survival as a species.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at April 6, 2014 06:09 PM