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Americans seem to be A-OK with the huge amount of money they waste each and every year to fight this so-called "war on drugs". It's wasted because the war on drugs doesn't really accomplish ANYTHING, other than creating an entitlement program for persons with sufficient intellectual limitation to believe marijuana is more dangerous than pretty much anything else in existence.We give them a gun and a badge and turn them loose.

While pretty much EVERYBODY knows the "War on Drugs" is more than 80% focused on marijuana, the drug warriors will try to play that down. They'll talk about that goddamned stupid gateway theory and how by arresting 850000 Americans each year for essentially NOTHING helps prevent children from ending up heroin addicts.

Well, then: have a huge cup of FAIL: Heroin’s coming back in a big way –in affluent suburbs, small cities and rural towns

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, heroin use in the United States rose 66 percent between 2007 and 2011. The US Drug Enforcement Administration says seizures of heroin have doubled since 2008, and arrests have risen by a third. Most heroin comes from Asia, but more and more is arriving from South America and Mexico.

Although heroin use has been expanding for a decade or more, many communities are just beginning to understand the extent of their own heroin problem. The Dane County Narcotics and Gangs Task Force, which includes personnel in Madison, Wis., reported last year that drug overdoses had risen from 31 in 2007 to 175 in 2011, most due to heroin. In Will County, Ill., just outside Chicago, heroin-related deaths rose from five in 2000 to 53 last year. In Missouri, heroin deaths increased from 69 in 2007 to 244 in 2011 – more than half of them in the age group 15 to 35.

The article focuses on a physician who lost her 16 year-old son to a heroin overdose. She has gone on to create a group mdoing outreach to try and prevent this from spreading and getting worse.

Heroin use is still relatively modest. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 8.7 percent of Americans had recently taken illicit drugs, mostly marijuana and cocaine. Only a quarter of 1 percent over the age of 12 said they had used heroin. But heroin raises additional concerns because, like other opiates, it is considered powerfully addictive and difficult to give up.
It is a good read and I encourage you to review the entire article.

So the FACT is that heroin, which has been a root issue in the historical war on drugs, is still here and spreading. That is drugwar FAIL.

Why, exactly is that, though?

If the war on drugs is so goddamned effective, why are we seeing MORE heroin than less?

Quite simply, it is because of the tactics of the war on drugs. Trhe INCESSANT and RELENTLESS focus on lying about marijuana.

it works just like this: chilren are besieged by anti-marijuana propaganda and D.A.R.E bullshit. DARE has been shown to INCREASE children's interest in drugs.

The demonization of marijana has made it 'glamorous' and attractive, particularly to teens as there is this whole subculture value of skirting the law, being about have 'connection's and so on and so forth.

The problem begins when kids smoke pot and find out, firsthand, for themseves, that marijuana is not the demon weed they have been lied to about all their lives.

Then they generalize, more or less appropriately enough: if the US Federal Government lied to me about pot, they probably lied to me about all those other drugs.

Lo and behold, other drugs - or what I call "real drugs" - ARE addictive, are dangerous, do kill people, and will have you prostituting yourself or robbing people to pay for your brand new disease.

So, in the end - this isn't really all that over-simplifed - the US federal government ensures that children/teens distrust their message and end up trying other drugs so that some get hooked and support the illegal trafficking that makes HUGE money for whomever can get it from point of production (Afghanistan, Myanmar) to the streets.

This is a massive failure of the war on drugs. Worse than a failure, really: it has ACTIVELY helped create more heroin addiction while selling you this bullshit that it will reduce it.

In the Netherlands, even though marijuana is not technically 'legal', the police there turn a blind eye to it allowing the semblance of a common sense approach to occur. The GOAL, as stated by the US War on Drugs, would be to reduce the number of people getting hooked on heroin. They have accomplished this: Holland has the lowest rate of new heroin addicts and an aging addict population which mjeans fewer young people are being sucked into the process.

The process is protected and nurtured by the US approach to drugs: By keeping marijuana so ridiculously illegal anybody that wants some is FORCED to deal with criminal elements. Deal with criminal elements and god-only knows what you will be offered: crack, heroin, illegal guns, prostitutes. Everything we want kids being offers, all of them infinitely worse then weed.

Now, I think another huge component of the problem is shitty drug education.

There is no reason under the sun for heroin to be a problem - as it is - in the 21st goddammned century.

How can people NOT KNOW how addictive heroin is? How do you miss this information?

I think there is no reason and therefore no excuse for people to still be fucking around with heroin. Failures of US policies aside, if you are even thinking about using, trying, experienting with heroin, you;re a dumb son of a bitch. Straight up plain and simple.

You do not have one leg to stand on in rationalizing fucking around with something that is guaran-damn-teed to give you an illness you might not - probably won't - beat.

You're a dumbass.

It doesn't take $5 billion dollars a year in ONDCP lies to give a straight message to people about heroin.

The problem is the $5 billion is spent LYING about marijuana and ENCOURAGING children to not trust real drug warnings and then helping those kids find criminal networks whioch will offer them things you or I don't want them to be offered.

The War on Drugs provides economic and price supports for traffickers and cartels. The more we 'fight the war on drugs' the better the profits for those who can move product.

Efforts to re-legalize marijuana and end the massive propaganda and lying about marijuana are some of the front-line efforts that WILL spur a decrease in new incidents of young people - stupidly - thinking heroin might be ok to mess around with.

There is no good excuse for heroin to still be a problem.

This is your war on drugs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is a shame how the U.S. has become complicit (8+ / 0-)

    with drug cartels, whether that was their intention or not, can be left for all of the "investigative journalists" that are too busy working on their novels to expose the corruption.
    IMHO

    Good post

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

    by Farkletoo on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:47:02 AM PST

  •  and none of this is to mention (14+ / 0-)

    what ending the drug war would do for our (gun) violence problem.  but really, how the economics of it don't convince everyone of its folly is beyond me.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:02:16 AM PST

  •  150 people killed each year in massacres... (14+ / 0-)

    in the US. Thousands killed each years from the "war on drugs". Guess which cause of death gets immediate outrage and legislation? Nice bit of misdirection on the part of the media and politicians. Keep the $$ flowing to the cops, the penal system, the politicians, and the S.W.A.T. equipment providers.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:21:16 AM PST

  •  Great news for the Drug Cartels (10+ / 0-)

    "Black Tar" heroin is heroin among junkies here. I don't even know if the Asian stuff is on the market.

    Hecho en Mexico.

    Of course 60% or the terrorist cartels' funds come from smuggling weed.

    Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:24:53 AM PST

  •  Short answer (15+ / 0-)
    If the war on drugs is so goddamned effective, why are we seeing MORE heroin than less?
    We're seeing more heroin because we're cracking down on script narcotics- Between reformulations to make them less abuseable, the incredible street level price inflation of the last couple years, and the end of the FLA pill mills that were supplying most of the nation, people can't afford their pill narcotic habits anymore.

    So we're seeing more heroin BECAUSE another aspect of the Drug war HAS been somewhat successful. Oddly, it turned out that all the junkies didn't just vanish.

    Who could have predicted? (/snark)

    •  My belief, and I don't do science on this stuff, (0+ / 0-)

      is that increasing body count for a drug always correlates with decreasing price. Something pretty major shifts when folks really start accidentally offing themselves. It has to be both cheap and easy before potency raises to the point where the O.D.s come hot and heavy. Otherwise, people, even addicts, tend to get into more of a routine. I think that people learn to get high, but start to die when something overwhelming happens in the marketplace.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:53:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The war on drugs has always been a failure, if (11+ / 0-)

    prohibition taught us one thing is that when you outlaw something and there is demand, all you do is empower the criminal elements to become the suppliers.  I have always advocated legalizing drugs (especially pot, that one is a no-brainer), but that doesn't mean we just make it a free for all, we can regulate/tax drugs to address any societal costs/issues.

    The worst part of the war on drugs is all the crime it engenders.  If these were legally available at your local CVS (perhaps with a prescription) then there would be very few gang (or other type of drug) wars.  Interestingly, the drug wars have resulted in a very strong demand for ever increasing powerful firearms, making the NRA and gun manufacturers much richer - I doubt the NRA would ever support stopping the war in drugs since it would reduce the demand for their products dramatically (this is why I call for sensible firearm regulations, never for banning or outlawing them as there would probably be many negative consequences; imagine how much worse the gun wars would be than the drug wears!).

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:32:20 AM PST

  •  Check out the current leading story (4+ / 0-)

    on HuffPo's front page.

    If it moves, here's the direct linkhere's the direct link.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:34:39 AM PST

    •  Yes, this is an excellent article which I was (6+ / 0-)

      starting to write up.  The Obama administration seems to be on the verge of making a terrible blunder by cracking down on state-legal dispensaries.

      The degree and type of enforcement of marijuana laws is one area President Obama could do much good with his executive branch authority to reschedule Marijuana from a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which preposterously suggests there is no valid medical use to a more appropriate schedule requires no legislative confirmation.

      He should also instruct the DOJ and DEA to respect state experimentation with decriminalization and legalization of medicinal use pending reform of national laws in the Congress.

      In addition to being the right thing to do, it would be one small gesture of appreciation to the many of us in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who pulled all the stop to get him elected twice despite conspicuous shortfalls on numerous other progressive issues such as FISA, torture, the wars, etc.

      Now that we've failed to achieve filibuster reform, our President should be looking for every possible way to achieve as much good as he can during the remainder of his term.  I hope Senator Harken's sarcastic comment that the President can now take a four year vacation is premature and excessively cynical. But, the changing this gloomy assessment  may depend largely on the extent of our Presidents wisdom and willingness to confront and stand up to the many neocon holdovers from the Bush administration he perpetuates in the DEA, DOJ, and DOD.

      Changing his backward and deleterious current strategy towards excess enforcement and wasted resources and lives in this unfortunate war on American drug users would be an encouraging first step.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 11:02:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, KenBee, oldpotsmuggler
        Obama could do much good with his executive branch authority to reschedule Marijuana from a Schedule 1 controlled substance,
        ... that he really has this authority. UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs requires signatories to maintain cannabis in the " most regulated" class of drugs- The way I read it, rescheduling would be a treaty violation. Obama absolutely can't, legally, alter treaty law by EO.

        Complicated situation.

  •  My stepnephew died of heroin a year ago; (6+ / 0-)

    a slow-motion suicide, he took his leave of a bleak life with no prospects, a world where he had no place.

    Like those doing the same with meth.

  •  Case in point: I live in a quiet rural Irish (10+ / 0-)

    village on the west coast. There is no marijuana to be had, but plenty of heroin & crack. The police here seem to be busting people growing weed in their homes on a weekly basis but fail miserably to prosecute hard drugs dealers. I wonder why.

    •  I saw the same thing in Greenville, NC (5+ / 0-)

      when I lived there in the '90s. Heroin and coke available all the time and it was like pulling teeth to get weed.

      “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

      by spacecadet1 on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:22:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But... but... but... if weed is legalized, what (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, Woody, KenBee, Skaje

    will SWAT teams do with all their weapons? They'll have nobody to point them at.

  •  Yes, this is an excellent article which I was just (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, KenBee, kurt

    starting to write up.  The Obama administration seems to be on the verge of making a terrible blunder by cracking down on state-legal dispensaries.

    The degree and type of enforcement of marijuana laws is one area President Obama could do much good with his executive branch authority to reschedule Marijuana from a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which preposterously suggests there is no valid medical use to a more appropriate schedule requires no legislative confirmation.

    He should also instruct the DOJ and DEA to respect state experimentation with decriminalization and legalization of medicinal use pending reform of national laws in the Congress.

    In addition to being the right thing to do, it would be one small gesture of appreciation to the many of us in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who pulled all the stop to get him elected twice despite conspicuous shortfalls on numerous other progressive issues such as FISA, torture, the wars, etc.

    Now that we've failed to achieve filibuster reform, our President should be looking for every possible way to achieve as much good as he can during the remainder of his term.  I hope Senator Harken's sarcastic comment that the President can now take a four year vacation is premature and excessively cynical. But, the changing this gloomy assessment  may depend largely on the extent of our Presidents wisdom and willingness to confront and stand up to the many neocon holdovers from the Bush administration he perpetuates in the DEA, DOJ, and DOD.

    Changing his backward and deleterious current strategy towards excess enforcement and wasted resources and lives in this unfortunate war on American drug users would be an encouraging first step.

     

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:54:48 AM PST

  •  A MUST SEE film on the Drug War: (6+ / 0-)

    "The House I Live In" from Eugene Jarecki. Not just an excellent tour of our drug war currently, but a great education as to where and how our drug laws came from, and what our drug laws are actually doing.

    The dirty little secret is that the US drug laws ARE working - it's just that the definition of "working" is different from what the public is told "working" means.

    It is currently playing in select theaters, On Demand via cable, YouTube and ITunes on a pay-per-view basis, and will be shown on PBS in April.

    It is a MUST SEE.

    "Because only three percent of you read books - and only fifteen percent of you read newspapers - but right now there is a whole and entire generation that didn't know anything that didn't come out of this tube." - Howard Beale

    by Audible Nectar on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 11:12:50 AM PST

  •  Excellent diary. Agreed about users.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    .... it is evolution in action. If you are dumb enough to take heroin, you have proven beyond question that you are...

    ... TOO STUPID TO LIVE.

    And probably won't in the long run.

  •  very very good...most people would never try (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, Woody

    heroin (due to the injection issue), but for those who do, as a character in Trainspotting said 'Imagine the best orgasm you ever had and multiply it by a million'.  I'm not willing to go there even once, but some people do.  However, heroin in itself is not that particularly harmful (as in, if people got it for free, and didn't have to steal and prostitute themselves) it probably does much less social damage than cocaine and methamphetamines which make people violent and paranoid.  The problem with any addiction is that it leads to people not eating, not taking care of themselves, like the rats who would happily starve to death triggering the pleasure circuits in their brains with electric jolts.

    •  Most folks start by sniffing powder or (3+ / 0-)

      smoking tar- the injection issue doesn't really come up until you're trying to max out the effect of what you can get/afford.

      I agree, it's mostly the cop>shoot>cop lifestyle that kills, not the drug itself. I'd go as far as saying that that goes for coke and meth as well, though both are considerably more toxic than heroin, all other things being equal.

  •  Outstanding diary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, oldpotsmuggler

     There is so much (1930's-era) misinformation generated by, and perpetrated in the law enforcement community here in Cali regarding "The dangers of marijuana". So, you can imagine some of the cops that have grown up in mostly white, republican, suburban "quiet" neighborhoods, that go into law enforcement have some amazingly ignorant preconceptions of the green stuff. And then off they go into communities where they have never been, in a demographic they are not familiar with, to enforce the law. It is really sad seeing them come in with one plant and a felony arrest of one good productive citizen whose life they just ruined for cultivation. Meanwhile, a tweaker is busy terrorizing the neighborhood with armed robberies and burglaries, and they don't have the heuvos, or the patience, to make that moron their project.                       Schwarzenegger did the right thing to sign the decrim act here, but there is so much work to do. They would be wise, DEA included, to focus their efforts on meth production and Mexican dope of all kinds. During my career, (all in the street), I have never seen a stoned person: steal a car, commit murder, rob someone at gunpoint, molest a child, rape someone, burglarize a home, or fight police, et al...It just saddens me that, as a country, and those charged with it's safety and security, have not evolved into a 21st Century thought process. Like I am fond of  saying: "It's a fuckin' plant, just like a carrot, man".  SSK, your child of the sixties...  

    "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards

    by Santa Susanna Kid on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 04:30:01 PM PST

  •  another aspect: drug squads and many police units (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hammerhand

    and DA's offices are understaffed because of 'the economy'.

    How convenient that now a substantial portion of their income comes from cash asset seizures on pot arrests.

    Eg: two 20 yr old gangsters just arrested in norcal with 100 lbs of pot and $133,000 which they will not get back.

    Pot arrests are low key, low cost arrest, just not the well defended big gang growers back in the hills.

    Key point: cops/DAs chasing easy money aren't arresting banksters and mortgage fraudsters.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:31:25 PM PST

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