Trump Signals New Global Push to Escalate the Failed War On Drugs
By Isaac Davis
President Trump is making headlines for his recent appearance at the United Nations general assembly. The media wants you to know that other members of the assembly laughed at him over his comments on the U.S. economy.
Beyond the triviality of this news item, however, is the fact that Trump also signaled U.S. intent for another international escalation in the failed war on drugs (WOD).
This conflict has been going on for nearly 50 years now, and one would think that we’ve reached a point where we’re ready to try something different. Imprisoning millions of people, killing hundreds of thousands more, spending trillions of dollars, and destroying millions of acres of forest and land has done nothing to stem the world’s craving for drugs. To the contrary, it has only made life worse for many millions of people, while providing an ongoing government boondoggle for squandering and laundering public resources.
At the UN, Trump held a special meeting on, ‘The World Drug Problem,’ inviting nations who agree to sign an administration document entitled, “The Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem.” The document reaffirms the signatory’s national commitment to previous international drug policies, for fighting the rise of new synthetic drugs, and issues a strategic four-pronged plan to stop the scourge of drugs and the many evils of the drug trade.
We further pledge to develop national action plans based on a four-pronged strategy:
(1) reduce demand for illicit drugs through education, awareness, and prevention of abuse;
(2) expand treatment efforts to save lives and promote recovery;
(3) strengthen international cooperation across judicial, law enforcement, and health sectors; and
(4) cut off the supply of illicit drugs by stopping their production, whether through cultivation or manufacture, and flow across borders.
The last item on this list is the most vague and also the most harmful, as it euphemistically calls for more of the same interventionist tactics of using the police and military as tools to capture and destroy all of the drugs the government doesn’t want you to take. This of course excludes dangerous pharmaceuticals which are killing tens of thousands a year in the U.S. alone. And of course fails to acknowledge the deep ties of the drug world to political black budgets and clandestine government operations.
An escalation in the war on drugs means more of a hardline approach to solving this social issue. It does not include harm reduction, and as things get worse, the hardline solutions become more and more evil. Take the Philippines for example, where an all-powerful president addresses the problem by murdering anyone caught with drugs. Dead. Gone. Because, drugs.
In a time when we are seeing the global spread of cannabis legalization, we are learning that regulating drugs has many positive outcomes, and is a far better solution than Draconian terror.
Here’s a short list of facts about the WOD, as complied by DrugPolicy.org:
- Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: $50+ billion
Number of arrests in 2016 in the U.S. for drug law violations: 1,572,579
- Number of these arrests that were for possession only: 1,249,025 (84 percent)
Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2016: 653,249
- Number of those charged with marijuana law violations who were arrested for possession only: 574,641 (89 percent)
Number of Americans incarcerated in 2016 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,157,000, the highest incarceration rate in the world
Proportion of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison who are Black or Latino, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites: 57 percent
Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 30 + District of Columbia
Number of states that have approved legally taxing and regulating marijuana: 9 (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington)
Number of states that have decriminalized or removed the threat of jail time for simple possession of small amounts of marijuana: 22
Number of people killed in Mexico’s drug war since 2006: 100,000+
Number of people killed in the Philippines in drug war since 2016: 10,000+
Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction:200,000+
Number of people in the U.S. who died from a drug overdose in 2016: 64,070
Tax revenue that drug legalization would yield annually, if currently-illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco: $46.7 billion
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that syringe access programs lower HIV incidence among people who inject drugs by: 80 percent
Read more articles from Isaac Davis.
Isaac Davis is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an outspoken advocate of liberty and of a voluntary society. He is an avid reader of history and passionate about becoming self-sufficient to break free of the control matrix. Follow him on Facebook, here.
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