Saturday, December 6, 2014

Illicit Drugs: Half of America Belongs in Prison

First Published in DelawareLiberal on 12/6/2014 by ProgressivePopulist

According to research by The Drug Policy Alliance, half of Americans have been in possession of illegal drugs at least once in their lifetime.

Of those approximately 150 million, l percent, or 1.6% are sent to prison, state or federal, for drug offenses.  Five million of our fellow citizens, or nearly 4% , are under criminal justice supervision for drug convictions.

Half of these are for marijuana possession, according to the ACLU. America, over 45% of of us are just damned lucky not to have been caught.  Yes, our government declared war on the majority of us in the 80's.  Thanks Ronald Reagan.  Oh, and he was supported by many cringing liberals who didn't want to speak out intelligently about America's huge drug problem.  Licit and illicit.
Yes, this is a cultural problem.  And it is a corporate problem too.  The majority of our medical treatments entail prescribing drugs, starting when we are little kids.  Most of these drugs mask the medical problem or relieve pain from it, not cure the disorder.

Our psychotropic medications are largely based on science that doesn't understand how or why they work; they just do, so they get prescribed.  That's millions of us with mental health disorders.
The pharmaceutical industry is huge and is allowed to heavily promote their drugs to consumers who can't directly order them.  But they can and do plead with the doctor for their use.  We can thank the broadcast, print media and internet providers as well as the advertising industry for their  complicity in our cultural drug problem.

We all see drugs as a way to blunt pain or discomfort, whether they are for medical or recreational use,  legal or illegal.  Why do our legislators, medical, law enforcement professionals not see the obvious?  Looks to me like the pharma lobby and industry that pays them (lobbyists and legislators alike) can bear most of the responsibility.

Our drug culture even drives our foreign policy, at least as it relates to Afghanistan where we've invested 13 years of homeland treasure and lives and limbs.   Our nation building appears to have turned them into a narco state producing 90 % of  the world's heroin supply.  Way to go.  Create the drugs, then launch a war against them. Business calls this vertical integration.

But we Americans do not rise up, do not demand a more intelligent solution to get to the root of both drug dependency and medical research to cure and repair.  Masking is just easier and for many, completely comfortable.  And when we are comfortable, we don't act.

Sure, I'd rather be comfortable than in pain, psychic or physical.  But Isn't it time, after over 30 years of defeat in our War On Drugs that we stop, question and fix the huge damage it has done to our society ?