Pubdate: Sun, 01 Dec 2002
Source: Juneau Empire (AK)
Contact:  2002 Southeastern Newspaper Corp
Author:    MD Christianson


Originally declared by Richard Nixon on June 17, 1971, the War on Drugs has 
been an astonishing success. It pumps $600 per second into the economy from 
the federal government, creating jobs for DEA agents, informants and 
lawyers. It results in the construction of new prisons, and contributes to 
the development of new surveillance technologies. Three people per minute 
are arrested on drug charges in the United States, and over half of federal 
inmates are drug offenders, so in a way the war on drugs is the 
government's response to dealing with homelessness.

Of course, as in any war, there is going to be some "collateral damage;" 
broken homes, lost productivity, wasted lives and such. And one wonders 
what would happen if a fraction of the resources earmarked for enforcement 
were directed to rehabilitation, but that might break the cycle and kill 
the golden goose.

The real benefit of the War on Drugs is that, managed properly, it will 
never end. By adamantly denying root causes and focusing instead on, in 
Abraham Lincoln's words, "control(ing) a man's appetite by legislation," we 
are guaranteed this beneficial, productive and, if not victorious, at least 
unabating war for as long as we can afford it.

I am certain that the War on Terror is going to be every bit as 
astonishingly successful.

M.D. Christenson

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