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2 Comments

  1. Compernolle says:

    Suggestion for topic:
    The war on drugs not only is a total failure, it makes the problem much worse.
    It creates much more and much bigger problems than it is trying to resolve, because it starts form a totally wrong premise: for purely ideological reasons, it totally irrationally defines a difficult medical problem as a criminal one.

    The irrationality is evident when it declares some addictive substances illegal, while treating even more addictive ones as legal. But that is minor compared to the other consequences.
    It costs thousands of lives every year (eg Mexico), more lives than drug addiction by itself. It costs huge amounts of money. It ruins the economy in some countries where growing the raw materials for drugs crowded out all other agrarian production. It makes political problems in Afghanistan and South America worse if not irresolvable. It created and supports huge Mafioso organizations and makes them so rich that they can corrupt entire governments. It fills the US prisons with people who often are not really delinquents, but who become real delinquents in these institutions etc… etc…

    We should start treating drug abuse for what it really is: a difficult medical problem.
    For a very small fraction of the money spent on the war, we could treat all addicts.
    Even providing the drugs in a controlled way in cases were treatment fails (cfr very successful experiments in the Netherlands and Switzerland) would cost society a tiny fraction of what the war on drugs costs now.
    But even more important for our societies is that it would eliminate much of the petty crime committed by addicts who need their dose every day not to feel totally miserable.
    Moreover, it would eliminate the reason of existence and the economic foundations of many huge and rich delinquent organizations, it would stop the flow of maffia-money that corrupts many governments and that finances the war-lords in Afghanistan.
    It would get thousands of addicts out of prison, freeing capacity and resources for real delinquents and their proper rehabilitation.

    • Catherine says:

      Great suggestion. As someone who has lived in Colombia and South-East London I recognise a lot of what you say. Let’s make this our next topic

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