It’s Time to Abolish the DEA and America’s “War on Drugs” Gulag

It’s difficult to pick the most destructive of America’s many senseless, futile and tragically needless wars, but the “War on Drugs” is near the top of the list.Prohibition of mind-altering substances has not just failed–it has failed spectacularly, and generated extremely destructive and counterproductive consequences.

What was the result of the Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s? Prohibition instantly criminalized 40+% of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.

What was the result of the “War on Drugs”? This modern-day Prohibition instantly criminalized large swaths of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.

If you want to increase drug use, criminalize innocent citizens and spawn gargantuan criminal organizations, then by all means declare “war” via Prohibition. The results of Prohibition/War on Drugs are so visibly perverse and so destructive that the entire enterprise is sickeningly Orwellian.

The well-paid apologists for Prohibition/War on Drugs claim that imprisoning millions of people “helps” them avoid drugs. If you think being tossed in prison for a few years “helps” people, then step right up and accept a fiver (5-year sentence) in an American prison, which is essentially a factory that produces one product: people damaged by imprisonment, deprived of their full citizenship, hobbled by a felony conviction–ex-con beneficiaries of years of tutorials by hardened criminals.

This is as Orwellian as the Vietnam War’s famous “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

If you think throwing millions of people in prison “helps” them or society, you are either insane or you’re making a living in the gulag or our sick system of “justice”. If you don’t think America has a “War on Drugs” Gulag, please glance at this chart of Americans in jail and prison–many for drug-related offenses:

The US population has increased about 40% since the War on Drugs started in earnest in 1980, while the prison/Gulag population has increased over 400% since 1980.

(Modest correction: The US population is 323 million, global population is 7.4 billion, so the US population is a mere 4.3% of the world population.)

Let’s recall that fully legal alcohol kills tens of thousands of people annually and cripples tens of thousands more via drunk-driving accidents, domestic violence and alcohol-related diseases.

If you know any emergency room physicians and nurses, ask them how many tragic medical situations arise from alcohol abuse and how many arise from marijuana abuse. You’ll hear endless tales of the terrible consequences of alcoholism and drunkenness, and essentially zero accounts of death and mayhem resulting from marijuana use/abuse.

Marijuana, a Schedule 1 drug equivalent to heroin and cocaine according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), has never been conclusively identified as the sole cause of a single traffic fatality. I researched this a few years ago; feel free to duplicate my research.

And let’s not forget the tens of thousands of annual deaths attributed to that other fully legal addictive substance, tobacco. “Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States.”

The “War on Drugs” policies defining what is “dangerous” and criminalized and what is terribly dangerous yet legal are visibly nonsensical. After decades of tremendous expenditures of taxpayer funds and counterproductive manufacturing of gulags and criminal enterprises, average Americans are finally waking up to the reality that the “War on Drugs” never made sense.

The DEA actually stands for the Destruction Enforcement Agency. The DEA recently denied that marijuana has any potential health benefits, and it remains a Schedule 1 drug equivalent to heroin and cocaine in the DEA’s view.

Denying the potential health benefits of cannabis is like denying gravity–yet we let the DEA deny gravity because, well, the all-powerful and all-pervasive American government loves criminalizing stuff and politicos love pushing harsh penalties for all the stuff the power-hungry state has criminalized.

Mesmerized Americans have watched countless film/TV police and court dramas, and so criminalizing the counterculture, poverty and youth in an unlimited War on Americans (oops, I mean on drugs) seems as natural as, well, throwing millions of nonviolent people in prison on trumped up charges–you know, like those other regimes concerned with “helping” people via harsh prison sentences, the Nazis and the USSR.

Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag(book)

“Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.” Arcesilaus (315-241 BC)

“The more laws and restrictions there are, the poorer people become.” Lao Tzu

It’s time to stop the madness and abolish the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and America’s “War on Drugs” Gulag. It’s time to expunge the criminal records of everyone who was convicted of nonviolent drug-related crimes (using drugs, dealing nickel bags, growing marijuana, etc.) and restore their full citizenship.

Addiction and drug use are medical/mental health issues, not criminalization/imprisonment issues.What we need is a national system of community clinics devoted to helping people drawn to using addictive substances with the underlying issues that are driving them to self-medicate with self-destructive, addictive substances.

(People with positive goals, purpose, meaning and relationships have no interest in getting addicted to anything. Burdening themselves with an addiction is the last thing they want for themselves and those they care about.)

It’s time to abolish the DEA, the drug-related criminal justice system and the thriving War on Drugs gulag. Yes, thousands of well-paid bureaucrats, apparatchiks and functionaries will have to seek gainful employment, but perhaps they can find employment in positions that actually help people overcome the medical/mental health issues behind their addictive drives and drug use rather than destroy their lives by throwing them in prisons with violent offenders.

Of related interest:

A Brief History of the Drug War

My new book is #5 on Kindle short reads -> politics and social science: Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition)For more, please visit the book’s website.

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • August 18, 2015 Why Big Pharma hates legalized marijuana; painkillers, chemotherapy and psych drugs could be made obsolete

    When certain politicians and so-called health experts bellyache over the legalization of cannabis, it’s not because they’re worried about the children. It’s because cannabis is arguably the safest and most widely effective natural medicinal herb in existence, and its widespread acceptance would immediately render obsolete the gamut of pharmaceuticals that make the establishment drug barons (and their bought-and-paid-for lackeys in Congress) filthy rich.

  • Jul 19, 2012 What Happened When Portugal Decriminalized *ALL* Drugs?

    “The government in Portugal has no plans to back down. Although the Netherlands is the European country most associated with liberal drug laws, it has already been ten years since Portugal became the first European nation to take the brave step of decriminalizing possession of all drugs within its borders—from marijuana to heroin, and everything in between.

    Jul. 17, 2012 Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs Eleven Years Ago And The Results Are Staggering

    7/05/2011 Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal

  • May 13, 2014 JUST SAY NO…to the War on Drugs

    Every day, more Americans agree the War on Drugs has failed and must change. The Smarter Sentencing Act will save billions of dollars and ease dangerous overcrowding in prisons by reducing sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

  • MARCH 23, 2016 Former Nixon Aide Admits War On Drugs Was A Big Lie; Was Never About Drugs

    To clarify, it was not Nixon’s police state that was a lie. That was very real. It was the justification used for the war, the fearmongering, and the panic-inducing hype produced by the White House that was a monumental obfuscation. Ehrlichman doesn’t mince words when he discusses the War On Drugs and it is not inference suggesting that the justification given for the War on Drugs was a lie. In fact, Ehrlichman even states that the policy was in order to attack political rivals and alleged “threats” to the Nixon administration like “blacks and hippies.”

  • awb22

    Not only the War on Drugs, but Wars on Poverty and Terrorism. The nanny state uses these made up wars as excuses for spending unfathomable sums of money, which they control.

    • kimyo

      also the wars on carbon and cholesterol. even if you believe co2 is the problem, you have to admit that cop21 or any other initiative is primarily part of a looting operation.

      • awb22

        I believe recovery begins when we repudiate the National Debt. It’s absurd that we owe interest on money generated out of ether. Truly an alchemists dream.

  • America tops China who has a population of over a Billion people. America home of the Corpoate caged!

    Highest to Lowest – Prison Population Total Globally

    Please use drop down menu 1 to choose the category of data you wish to view, and then wait for the page to reload. Once the page has reloaded please choose the continent/region from drop down menu 2 and then press apply.

    Ranking- Title – Prison Population Total

    1 – United States of America 2 228 424

    2 – China 1 701 344

    3 – Russian Federation 672 100

    4 – Brazil 581 507

    • jo6pac

      Well were #1 sadly.

      • This is why this old man thinks outside of the box with a drive to answer questions I believe are not being asked intentionally. Sadly so jo6pac, and be sure and to file anything you could, and would share with others.

    • diogenes

      Let’s do the math. It appears that America imprisons roughly 600% as many of us, per capita, as China imprisons Chinese.

      Had enough enough of Wall Street Nazi rule yet, America?

      • I could not have stated better myself diogenes!

    • Defected

      well to be fair China kills more of their criminals. Death vans roam the streets ready to execute.

  • Westcoastliberal

    How ’bout we ban “war”, period.

  • diogenes

    “The American Gulag” — Harold Pinter’s phrase (which is why, 20 years ago, he stopped being mentioned as an important playwright by the New York City Nazi Presstitutes — is exactly right.

    But I dissent from the title of this essay. “It’s” not “Time” — it was time 20 years ago — back when Clinton presided over the trippling of the American prison population by passing the laws that did it.

    So now, let’s elect Hillary and finish the job!

  • Here is a good sign I just found. August 18th, 2016 Justice Department says it’s ending the use of private prisons

    The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”