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June 03, 2014

The Drug War's Cardinal Errors

America's War on Drugs is a humanitarian catastrophe that evolved from three erroneous beliefs about "addiction," an entity that was not understood in 1914 and has yet to be precisely defined– thanks in large measure to American hubris. In essence, the erroneous beliefs embraced by the Harrison Act of 1914 have not only been retained, they have been amplified and multiplied, thus turning a potentially remedial policy mistake into a global disaster in conjunction with America's greatly enhanced wealth, and concomitant economic and military importance.

The three cardinal errors embodied in Harrison were 1) that the federal government understands "addiction." 2) that it has an obligation to treat it; and 3) that the criminal justice system is the treatment bureaucracy of choice (actually the Treasury Department had initially been charged with that responsibility, but the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, by creating the DEA, clearly assigned the burden of explaining and prosecuting the phenomena of "addiction" and 'drug abuse" to the Department of Justice.

In that respect, our drug policy can also be seen as a prime example of both the "mission creep" and "blowback" attributed to its most obvious counterpart, the CIA, an agency also born out of the exploitation of fear that supports blatantly anti-democratic policies in nations that consider themsleves "Democracies."

To an amazing degree, the CIA and our drug enforcement bureaucracy can both be seen to be insidious, slow-motion counterparts of the fervid Nazi response to the threats presented by Communism to the Weimar Republic in 1932.

We all know how that ended.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 3, 2014 06:25 PM