The War on Drugs is the problem when it comes to humanity’s struggle to control drugs. Politicians and police forces for decades have stubbornly clung to the idea that if you punish people hard enough they will stop doing undesirable things which ignores the existence of a criminal class who will always commit crimes if they are profitable enough. Prohibition of alcohol in the ’30s was a good example of prohibition failing and the same strategies are in place today against many drugs.
Making something illegal typically just raises the price for it when a demand is still there and with addictive drugs, users are left with no choice but to commit crimes when they get the urge for that drug in many cases. With hard-core narcotics especially users usually come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect having been left all alone to fend for themselves with no support. Instead of society giving a hand and helping reform people we simply criminalize them irregardless of the long-term consequences.
What we end up with is a growing wealthy class of organized gangsters supplying all product, an underfunded police force trying and failing to counter them, and a growing prison population. All the statistics support this. It’s been repeated time and time again in city after city with the same results. Ultimately the taxpayer gets screwed as always when you throw money at a failed strategy, in much the same manner as the Iraq war.
Decriminalization needs to be considered a viable option for all drugs and government needs to be directly competing with gangsters on the supply side to ever have a hope of winning any kind of battle against drugs. Military might alone will not win when you deal with real human issues.