Little or no progress has been made on the war on drugs since its launch around 1970. Despite annual spending of about $51 billion, here are discouraging statistics from the government’s drugabuse.org website:
Illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing. In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002.
“We are paying $51 billion per year to employ thousands upon thousands of government functionaries specifically to keep the buying and usage of these substances under control, and instead the buying and usage of some of the very most dangerous drugs has surged on their watch,” writes Francis Menton in the Manhattan Contrarian. “They have had an epic, total and undeniable failure — a disaster.”
And of course you know the response of the government Blob to this epic disaster. This is the most fabulous opportunity in a generation for us to hit the suckers up for more money to grow our staffs and our budgets! We can just say that we need lots more money to address this epidemic! And with thousands of families grieving over the loss of their promising teenagers and twenty-somethings to this epidemic, who will be uncouth enough to point out that we already were blowing $51 billion per year without even being able to see this epidemic coming?
President Obama in July signed into law the brand-new Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016. Some of the programs?
- A new “task force on pain management”
- New “awareness campaigns”
- New “community-based enhancement grants”
- New “information materials”
- New “FDA opioid action plan”
- New “NIH opioid research”
Before throwing another $700 million per year at a program that is a total failure, did anyone even ask if there were not parts of the $51 billion program that could be cut as useless wastes?
Mr. Menton writes, “… if the prior spending had not been effective to prevent this problem from arising, what part of that prior spending (all of it?) should be eliminated as wasteful? … Accountability for prior failure is just not part of the dynamic here. Failure is how you grow your budget! Everybody knows that!”