Ending the War on Drugs - A Solution for America

Dirk Chase Eldredge

Published by Blackstone Audio, 2013
ISBN 10: 1470892855 / ISBN 13: 9781470892852
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Synopsis: In this outstanding examination of the country's most troubling problem, a conservative Republican shows how and why America is losing the war on drugs and makes an important contribution to the debate on alternative policies. Author Dirk Eldredge demonstrates how the drug war has led only to overcrowded courts and prisons, rising crime, official corruption, eroded civil rights and race relations, and new public health crises. He makes the case for an alternative strategy: tightly controlled legalization accompanied by expanded drug education, prevention, research, and treatment programs.

From the Author: From the Preface: America's war on drugs is reminiscent of the Russian princess who sat weeping profusely at the death of the hero in a performance at the opera while, at the curb, her waiting carriage driver froze to death in a Moscow ice storm. America's policy makers are deeply preoccupied with waging the war on drugs. As they pursue that effort, the destructive, albeit unintended, consequences continue to pile up like the icy snows of Moscow.

Prohibition is the linchpin of our nation's drug policy. Prohibition has spawned, as it always does, a robust black market, which inevitably spins off many social pathologies and is a policy that can only fail because its objective--a drug-free America--is unrealistic and unattainable. When balanced on the societal scale, the dubious premise of somewhat fewer drug users under our present prohibitionist policies is far outweighed by the societal damage these policies cause.

The United States has 5 percent of the world's population but consumes 60 percent of its illicit drugs. The money generated to satisfy U.S. demand, at economically unsupportable black-market prices, is the root cause of drug-related corruption of public servants both at home and throughout our hemisphere. Our hard-won progress in race relations is threatened by the perception of many African Americans that the drug war is a racist plot. Our police, courts and prisons are inundated by a flood of drug cases. Our civil liberties are being eroded. The AIDS epidemic is worsened as our drug-war zeal causes us to continue, in most places, to forbid the availability of clean needles to injection-drug users. Grossly inflated black-market prices for drugs result in easy recruitment into the drug subculture of uninformed adolescents. Crime and violence accompany the illegal drug trade to the detriment of the guilty and the innocent alike. Like the Russian princess, the United States is so preoccupied with the present show that it is oblivious to what is going on in the real world.

This book will focus on the crime, corruption, and other unintended consequences of our quixotic war on drugs. It will show the folly of our present approach and the need for a new direction: legal, controlled distribution of drugs, which will replace prohibition with harm reduction not only for the user but for the nation at large.

I should state right up front that I am not an aging hippie or a liberal academic. I am a white, conservative Republican who has passed the Medicare milestone after a quarter century as a successful independent businessman. I have been married to the same woman for over forty years and have six grandchildren. My father was an alcoholic whose life was a disaster for himself and his family, because he was a true addict, one of many beset with personal problems with which they cannot successfully cope, a man who unsuccessfully tried to assuage his demons with the mood-changing drug alcohol. My father lived through Prohibition, and it did no more to prevent his self-destructive behavior than drug prohibition has done for today's seekers of excessive mind and mood alteration.

Because of my firsthand acquaintance with addiction, nothing in this book should be construed as being supportive of drug use. Excessive drug use, like excessive drinking and smoking, is dangerous to the health of the user and the citizenry at large. True addicts like my father have a problem that requires treatment by medical and/or mental health professionals. However, the drug war makes criminals of millions of otherwise solid, productive citizens who choose to use illegal drugs in the same way some use alcohol. These people are not like my father; they live productive lives and harm no one. The "try and die" concept promoted by the drug warriors does not square with the facts. Our perception of all drug users as addicts has been created by our propensity to focus on the sensational, often macabre aspects of these unfortunates, while tarring all drug users with the same brush.

My solution for America offers help to all: first, the creation of a state government-sponsored and-enforced policy of distribution and sale of drugs; thus re-directing the profits from the pockets of the cartels into state governments where, by law, they would be used to combat drug use and abuse. The crime and violence currently accompanying illegal drug use and sales would cease. With more funds for professional treatment of the addicted, and most of all, a unified American effort to expand drug education and research, our country could concentrate on prevention instead of prohibition. I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to point out the counterproductiveness of America's present drug policies, but the truth and logic of my position encourage me that my proposal will eventually prevail.

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Title: Ending the War on Drugs - A Solution for ...
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2013
Book Condition: BRAND NEW

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