Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The ones that got away -- the "war on drugs"

The ones that got away -- the "war on drugs"

Would either Obama or Romney dare end the wasteful "war on drugs"? I have no idea. Do you?

One of the least discussed issues in the presidential campaign is the war on drugs. That's unfortunate, because that crusade has been an expensive catastrophe both domestically and internationally. During the decades since Richard Nixon declared a "war" on illegal drugs in 1971, the United States has spent nearly one trillion dollars trying to eradicate the drug trade, filled America's prisons with nonviolent drug offenders, ruined millions of lives and undermined the Bill of Rights -- especially the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Beyond America's borders, the results have been even worse. The greatest tragedy has occurred in Mexico. When President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006, he launched (with Washington's encouragement and financial support) a military-led offensive against his country's powerful drug cartels. The result was an explosion of violence that has now claimed more than 50,000 lives. Yet the cartels are more powerful than ever and challenge the Mexican government's control in several parts of the country, especially along the border with the United States.

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