LETTER: War on drugs not successful
To the Editor:
There are many growing sicknesses in our society. Wages are stagnating; inequality is increasing. Despair leads to alcoholism, opioid overdose, deteriorating mental health, increased criminal actions and suicide. Yet, Republican leaders and voters find ways to justify living with these injustices and ignore or encourage policies that worsen the situation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently ordered federal prosecutors to seek the maximum punishment for drug offenses. The war on drugs has not only failed, it has created remarkable amounts of collateral damage.
It has trashed civil liberties. It has squandered the resources of the criminal justice system. It has helped terrorists. It has enriched criminals. It has ruined lives. It has cost billions. It has worked against American foreign policy. It has benefited the 'prison-industrial complex'. And, yes, it has also created a demand for drugs that are far more dangerous than those available in the legal market.
To order a surge in that same drug war is an insult to justice, an insult to common sense, and an insult to taxpayers. It will also, I suspect, represent an assertion of federal power over that of the states.
Dave L. Wegner