Nation losing war on drugs

Published 10:05 am Thursday, October 29, 2009

We must face the facts: The traditional “War on Drugs” is essentially over.

Sadly, America lost.

But that doesn’t mean we should ever stop fighting for our communities.

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Why did we lose this decades-long battle? Is it because millions of Americans want to do drugs and will find a way no matter what? Nope. That may be a key factor but the biggest problem remains an unresolved, yet simple issue.

We were fighting on the wrong front.

Our government was looking at our borders and our foreign neighbors.

The frontlines were right here in the bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms of small-town America.

We were looking at foreign cartels and kingpins carrying guns. We shouldn’t have taken our eyes off of the pharmaceutical CEOs wielding political power.

Prescription medicines are destroying America. And right now we aren’t doing anything to stop it.

While this is a difficult war, it can be won if we use the correct strategy.

First, we must strengthen and equalize our laws. Pill mills that care about earnings over healing must be shut down. Period. These pills shouldn’t be as easy to obtain as stopping by a 7/11.

Second, education and rehabilitation must be key components. We have to teach our youth the dangers and we must help addicts who want to change actually make it happen.

Third, we must use prison sentences in facilities that aren’t country clubs to act as legitimate deterrents. Those who harm others and break society’s rules must face serious consequences, despite the financial burden it places on taxpayers. You cannot put a price on saving a potential victim’s life.

And all of these would only be the tip of the iceberg.

But it would be better than waving the white flag in a war that could destroy the fabric of our communities.