Ending Long Standing Internal Conflict

The much heralded and long awaited deal with Iran over its nuclear bomb making capability is another coup for the current administration and the American people in their desire for peace and stability.

It seems the current President is bent on ending all of our long standing disputes with other nations as the overall goal of our Foreign Policy.  From the deal currently being worked out to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program, to ending our Cold War holdover beef with Cuba, our outstanding and outdated conflicts are being resolved or mitigated not only to our advantage, but to the advantage of the nations we were in conflict with.

Of all our disagreements with other countries around the world in the last half of the 20th century and into the 21st, none has done more damage to the country and its citizens than the war we are waging with ourselves over drugs, drug use and personal freedom.  As a society we turned this problem over to the police to handle, the branch of society least suited for dealing with what is really a medical problem.  Even with the experience of the failure of alcohol prohibition, four years after its end, somehow all the harms associated with alcohol use were being applied to marijuana use and we got the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act which was declared unconstitutional in 1969.  President Nixon doubled down on prohibition with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 while ignoring the recommendations of his own appointed committee, the Shafer Commission which concluded that drug use and abuse was a medical problem and that marijuana should be decriminalized.

Now, hopefully, we may be finally coming to our senses.  The current administration has shown an interest in abandoning the ideology of prohibition which has cost billions and incarcerated more of our citizens than any other country in the modern world, and embracing a policy of reform based on science and good medical practice.   Turns out it is less harmful to allow people to do these drugs and to fit them with proverbial seatbelts, turn signals and other safety devices than it is to incarcerate them, destroy their families and communities and put them through a revolving door of prison and poverty.

This shift to harm reduction has worked in other modern countries and it will certainly work here.  We must finally admit that our War on Some Drugs and not on others that are equally as dangerous has been an abject failure.  Alcohol for example is every bit as addictive as heroin but alcohol is far more damaging to the body than heroin yet heroin is illegal, supposedly has no medical value and is dangerous, and alcohol is not. It is curious that drugs like heroin are illegal where drugs that are synthetic heroin like methadone, are ok. No logic or science to this difference but it keeps our police agencies funded, the prisons full and our Drug Warriors in a job.

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