Dallas DEA Agents discovered a field of marijuana growing only a few hundred yards behind their regional headquarters last week. Is this someone's idea of poetic justice, or a blinding spotlight on the ineffectiveness of our government in fighting the 'war on drugs' - or both? Regardless, I think the take-away here should be that despite the billions of taxpayer dollars spent annually on this crusade, marijuana and other illegal drugs have not been defeated, wiped out, decreased, reduced and apparently are not under control enough to prevent some entrepreneurial pot-dealer with a sense of humor from operating right in the backyard of his greatest foe. If this is indeed a war, then the DEA just got a major bomb dropped on them.
The real question is - where is this fight getting us? Sure we don't want our children strung out, our society crippled by addiction - but is our current strategy really helping to prevent, or even slow, that tide? Or, looked at another way, could the billions of dollars we would save be better used - in addition to the billions of dollars we could generate in taxes on them - if we legalized certain of these drugs? Would this perhaps provide more of an effect, and greater benefit, to society?
Could we as a people finally just accept that certain of our fellow citizens like to and will use drugs no matter what we do or think, if they are legal or not? It seems almost childish to stamp our foot and squeeze our eyes shut and say "No!" If we want to help our fellow citizens that struggle with the disease of addiction, perhaps spending that money on better, and more, rehabilitation programs, or a clean needle program like they have in Amsterdam in addition with other controls would more effective than stuffing these people into jails already bursting at the seams.
Sadly, it seems we as Americans, though once pioneers of revolutionary thought and society, have fallen behind many of our global neighbors in our attitudes and approaches toward drugs, drug use in our society and the reality of human nature.