It most certainly is, depending on how you look at it. The term “war on drugs” was popularized by the media early in the 1970’s by the Nixon presidency and the following decades saw an increase in the fight against the worldwide cultivation, distribution, and use of drugs. Although Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy number one”, in hindsight it seems the campaign has been a bigger enemy to humanity.
Looking into the past, only in the early 1900’s did the real battle begin against drugs with the passing of many laws, regulations and international treaties, signed by many countries around the world. Probably the final arrival of artillery for the battle was the signing of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. Although not self- executing this international treaty has been signed by 185 member states around the world and provided a legal framework for the banning of narcotic drugs and a platform for signatories to implement domestic laws.
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco) and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans.
Recently the Drug Policy Alliance has estimated that 51 Billion Dollars is spent by the US government annually to fight this so-called “war” each year, and it’s growing. Many nonprofits and advocacy groups have highlighted the failures of this war. It is crystal clear a new approach is needed fast, due to the counter-productive outcome of this war started over half a century ago.
The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.
- Global Commission on Drug
Countries like Netherlands and Portugal who have taken a softer stance on drugs for a number of decades have proven against all doubt that implementing a better policy towards drug addiction, distribution and cultivation will not have worse effects on society in general. They are now leading the way at fine tuning laws to be more in favor of citizens and against drug syndicates and international cartels. Innocently named “coffee shops” in Netherlands, USA decided on “marijuana dispensaries” and has boosted financial economies in many States through regulating these marijuana dispensaries to dispense medical and recreational marijuana.
We wouldn’t have much need for a war if people stopped using drugs. It’s like taking up a fight against the use of headache remedies; it will never work until the condition causing people’s headache pain is healed.
- Chris Prentiss
WW2 on Drugs
Although public support and pressure on governments for relaxing drug laws are growing, a new war is brewing. Unfortunately, with the monetary value of this industry, big business and governments are pushing their best interests forward and not the benefits of patients, families, and communities. Many drugs covered by international treaties and domestic laws are considered
medicine by millions of people. These drugs could be cultivated and used at home, but instead, are being scooped up by the pharmaceutical companies with large profits put on top of them and stiffer penalties for people that break the new laws. Marijuana dispensaries are also fighting for pole position in this booming cannabis industry. Watch this space!