The old, old, old war on drugs

Last night I was able to swing by the Wosk Centre for Dialogue to see Prof. Bruce Alexander receive the Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in support of Controversy (A prize established at Simon Fraser University to honor work which challenges complacency and that provokes controversy).

Prof. Alexander spoke of his personal history and research into addiction, but during the speech one factoid really stuck out.

He pointed out that the war on drugs has been going on much longer than I suspected. Indeed, in 1922 the government of the day apparently introduced whipping and deportation as a punishment for addiction and drug use. This is a level of shaming and deterrence the current government could only dream of implementing.

Did it have any impact on drug use? Of course not.

If whipping didn’t work, how is a “just say no” combined with stiffer criminal penalties going to have an impact? The creation of mandatory minimum sentences in the 1970s’ had no impact on drug use… how will this differ?

So why does the current government believe it’s new “tough on drugs” approach will yield better results? Because the new conservative drug policy isn’t about achieving results, it is about looking tough. Sadly, as it drives drug users and addicts further underground it will likely push them further out of reach of health and social workers, making the problem worse, not better.

Sigh…

6 thoughts on “The old, old, old war on drugs

  1. jim bender

    The war on drugs is stunned and befitting of an old fashioned regressive government…just like the one in power.
    The anally retentive ideal of these reigning idiots has forced me to conclude that the only viable solution is to smoke more pot, and to stop watching bad news,quit reading the silly for profit press and to think about moving to another country…like Holland.

    Reply
  2. jim bender

    The war on drugs is stunned and befitting of an old fashioned regressive government…just like the one in power. The anally retentive ideal of these reigning idiots has forced me to conclude that the only viable solution is to smoke more pot, and to stop watching bad news,quit reading the silly for profit press and to think about moving to another country…like Holland.

    Reply
  3. Ada

    The old war on drugs will never end. Even if someday drugs will be legalized, people will always abuse them, and the government will feel responsible for the big number of those who end up in a drug rehab clinics. If it won’t be legalized, they will have to fight with all the drug dealers that will never disappear. If one is caught, takes its place.http://www.articleoutpost.com/Article/Are-You-F

    Reply
  4. Ada

    The old war on drugs will never end. Even if someday drugs will be legalized, people will always abuse them, and the government will feel responsible for the big number of those who end up in a drug rehab clinics. If it won’t be legalized, they will have to fight with all the drug dealers that will never disappear. If one is caught, takes its place.http://www.articleoutpost.com/Article/Are-You-F

    Reply
  5. DrugLord

    The war on drugs from my opinion is a war which is never going to stop,there always will be people who will sell drugs and people who will buy drugs because this is the nature of humans, and if the drugs will be legalized I think doing that it will be worst then fighting against drug dealers and consumers trying to teach them life is better without substances.If the drugs will ever be legal then I think Human kind will die slowly because drugs are not anything but slow assasins pretending to be your friends.____________________________Alcohol Rehab Center

    Reply
  6. DrugLord

    The war on drugs from my opinion is a war which is never going to stop,there always will be people who will sell drugs and people who will buy drugs because this is the nature of humans, and if the drugs will be legalized I think doing that it will be worst then fighting against drug dealers and consumers trying to teach them life is better without substances.If the drugs will ever be legal then I think Human kind will die slowly because drugs are not anything but slow assasins pretending to be your friends.____________________________Alcohol Rehab Center

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s