Going to ‘war’ on drugs has been a failure

Our borrowed war on drugs has not worked. It’s been decades since our American neighbours came up with the idea

Our borrowed war on drugs has not worked.

It’s been decades since our American neighbours came up with the idea in 1971 and we’re no closer to winning than we were when we started.

In fact, there always seems to be a new drug, and new victims.

Fentanyl is the latest scourge, rapidly taking down users, since it is so easy to overdose on a minuscule amount of the substance.

Some don’t even know they’re taking it. As with many drugs, dealers and cookers mix a little bit of this with a little bit of that and a little bit of the other thing and feed it steadily to those so desperate for a high they’ll try anything, and those who are just stupid enough not to be wary.

We’re finally on the cusp of legalizing marijuana, as should have been done long ago. The only thing that’s been accomplished with maintaining its illegality has been the lining of the pockets of organized crime.

It certainly hasn’t stopped its availability.

Which is not to say that we believe that all drugs should be available for everyone, adults and otherwise, to buy at will.

Marijuana is relatively benign — things like heroin, crack and cocaine, to name but a few of the more common street drugs, are not.

But it hasn’t worked to criminalize and force addicts of these substances into dark corners.

The goal is to get people to not even start doing these drugs, but reality dictates that we must also get people who are hooked to stop.

These folks need a health care plan, not a jail sentence.

It will collectively cost us money. But not as much as the fundamentally failing system we are currently following.

Our system is not as bad by a longshot as what’s happening in the Philippines where president Rodrigo Duterte openly says he’d be happy to kill off not just the drug dealers in country, but all the drug users as well — to the tune of three million people.

In light of this, it comes as little surprise that he compared himself last week to Hitler — implying that such a comparison was a favourable thing.

Apparently, according to Reuters, since he took office in June more than 3,100 people have been killed in police operations and by vigilantes, and most of those dead have been the aforementioned in the drug underground.

It’s both brutal and insane. We’re nowhere near to that level of crazy, but our system is also broken. We’ve been doing the same thing for decades and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. It’s time to try a different, more compassionate approach.

Just Posted

Chris Wilkinson column: Belonging critical as we age

It’s the third level, Love and Belonging, that I wonder about most these days.

Meet the graduates of Lake Cowichan School for 2018

The graduating class of Lake Cowichan School.… Continue reading

Business notes: Bong Shop moves to new location

Duncan’s Community Farm Store is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Mary Lowther column: Flocculation and other dirty chemical reactions

Regardless of soil type your compost will benefit enormously with the addition of clay.

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Trudeau in nothern B.C. to announce pledge to protect oceans

Prime minister announces conservation agreement with 14 First Nations

FIFA World Cup weekly roundup

Host nation Russia remains unbeaten in Group A, tied with Uruguay

Trudeau says he can’t imagine Trump damaging U.S. by imposing auto tariffs

New tariffs on Canadian autos entering the U.S. would amount to a self-inflicted wound on the U.S. economy

B.C. inmate gets 2 years in prison for assault on guard

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

Temperature records broken across B.C., again

The first heat wave of the season went out with a bang across the province

Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa

The introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion

Police chief calls for mass casualty plan in Saskatchewan after Broncos crash

Former Saskatoon police chief Clive Weighill said the office was tasked with creating such a plan 13 years ago but none exists

U.S. schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct acted as a team physician at other universities

Most Read