This year 2021 the War on Drugs turned 50 years old. On June 18, 1971 President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in response to the rise in drug use in the 1960s. The War on Drugs we were told was going to be “the end all be all” solution to this drug problem in the United States. After half a century how has it worked out?
In short it has clearly not worked. Let me start things off by saying the only true solution to the narcotics problem is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only one who can free the drug addict free. Christian based drug programs such as Teen Challenge, The Dream Center, and others have clearly been much more effective than any Government Response. American Society needs Jesus Christ and need to be saved. Now we can get into the history of this War on Drugs from 1971 to present.
Drug use in the United States reached an all time high in the 1960s as part of the counter culture. LCD, Acid, Marijuana, Heroin, etc. The Richard Nixon Administration decided to respond with a War on Drugs to counter this in 1971. In 1973 the DEA was created to be the main agency for this. The criminal penalties for drug possession increased.
From the 1970s onwards the incarceration rates in the United States increased. The USA has more people locked up in jail than any other country in the “Free World”.
There is some debate that the Nixon Administration had other motives for the war on drugs, to use it as another means to arrest and jail Vietnam War protestors. Since many Vietnam War protestors were doing drugs it would be a convenient way to jail them. The Nixon Administration hated Vietnam War protestors and that is no secret. Many drug using anti-war protestors were jailed during the 1971-1974.
In the 1970s cocaine started also becoming a popular drug and heroin continued on the rise. There is also much to say about allegations that the US Government participated in some heroin trafficking during the Vietnam War.
In the 1980s a new drug crisis came to the United States. The crack-cocaine crisis.
The Crack Epidemic was the worst from 1984-1992. Many Americans got hooked on this cheaper and more addictive drug and died. Many street gangs and drug dealers turned neighborhoods into war zones killing each other. The War on Drugs became bigger. The War on Drugs was a very bipartisan issue during the 1980s and 1990s with both Republicans and Democrats wanting to prove who was more tough on drugs.
It has been argued that the drug busts since the 1980s were more directed at poor people in inner cities while more rich affluent drug users were less likely to get arrested. Criminal sentencing for crack cocaine which is cheaper than powder cocaine was much tougher. One such law that did this was the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and another in 1988. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Drug_Abuse_Act_of_1986 New mandatory minimum sentences were introduced in 1986 including marijuana. There was also the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 which expanded the use of Forfeiture by Law Enforcement. Forfeiture at times includes the use of seizing property involved in a drug bust, which also includes homes and cars. I will provide another link to read about a more detailed look of the impact of the Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1986 https://foundationsoflawandsociety.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/the-anti-drug-abuse-act-of-1986-the-impact-of-mandatory-minimum-sentencing/
The practice of jailing non-violent drug offenders has not helped reduce crime in the United States. Many non-violent drug offenders were locked up in prison with violent felons and after being released from prison came out worse criminals. This has clearly not worked! The Prisons of the United States are overcrowded and it is usually just the small people going to jail. The top drug people are able to evade capture for years.
The war on drugs has also seen much corruption. Many DEA Agents over the decades have become corrupt and began working with drug traffickers and taking bribes. Here is one such story https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/disgraced-dea-agent-sentenced-13-years-corruption-case-79421161
Also 60 Minutes in 1993 did a story about the CIA participating in Cocaine Trafficking which I provide a link to. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da3witRQw_M
The US has also tried going after the source of the drugs in countries in South America. One of the earliest missions was Operation Blast Furnace in 1986 in Bolivia 🇧🇴 The US has conducted many missions to destroy drug labs in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia since the 1980s. Many drug traffickers from Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, etc have been extradited to the US for trial. And yet the drugs keep coming. Drugs labs are quickly replaced after being destroyed. New drug leaders take the place of the arrested ones. In many cases the governments the US says it is working with the combat the drug trade are taking part in the drug trade themselves. Mexico 🇲🇽 is an obvious example. So much of the Mexican Government is extremely corrupt and working with the drug cartels. Honduras 🇭🇳 is another example. So much of the Honduras Government are working in the drug trade and take bribes from cocaine traffickers. Including the President of Honduras himself Juan Orlando Hernandez and his younger brother Tony Hernandez. His younger brother Tony was a congressman in Honduras from 2014-2018 until he was arrested in Miami Florida in 2018 by the DEA bringing in kilos of cocaine into Florida. He is now serving a life sentence in US Prison.
How ironic since the US has had a military presence in Honduras since 1983 including an airbase that is supposedly for the purpose of combatting drug trafficking. The US military says it is training the security forces of Honduras to fight drug trafficking and yet many of the police in Honduras continue working with cocaine traffickers as well as members of the Honduras Government. What difference has the US Military had in stopping drugs in Honduras? Zero difference.
Let’s not forget Panama 🇵🇦 when Military Dictator Manuel Noriega who was once a US Ally later turned enemy had turned Panama into a Narco State in the 1980s.
The US had military bases in Panama from 1914 to 1999. Yet drugs from Colombia were pouring through Panama during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. How could so much drugs come through Panama to the streets of the United States, when the US Military were supposed to be checking every ship going through the Panama Canal and had radar to detect drug planes? It would take another article to write all about that.
The United States after these decades is still the largest consumer of illegal narcotics. Including the ongoing opioid crisis. 50 years later. More and more people, including Republicans are admitting by now the war on drugs has not worked.
There is no solution to stop the production of illegal drugs. It makes too much money, so people will continue to make it as long is their is a demand. This will go on, as well as all other kinds of evil, until the Lord Jesus returns! When He returns to judge the world all evil will be judged on this planet. For the drug addiction problem, as I wrote at the beginning Christianity is the solution to breaking free from drugs.