I try not to base my political arguments and beliefs on emotion alone. Leftists seek to change human nature by all means, including force. However, sometimes on some social issues, we on the right try to do the same. No amount of laws will ever end our drug problem. Substance abuse has been present in all societies throughout human history.
The truth is, the War on Drugs has been a huge failure. Anyone anywhere in America, can get drugs anytime they want. Even in prisons, inmates can get drugs. We have turned our justice system upside down prosecuting the War on Drugs. A stupid college kid can get serious prison time for possession, while a sex offender gets a slap on the wrist. In what universe does that make sense?
We have also added unneeded costly bureaucracies and significantly increased the power of the federal government to try and fight this political war. Worst of all, we have shredded the 4th amendment in an attempt to fight this war. The unreasonable searches that occur in the War on Drugs, is every bit as bad as the domestic spying that is occurring in the War on Terror. Funny how both those wars are never ending, without a clear enemy.
Many libertarians want drugs completely legalized. I think this is a bad idea. The drug that does society the most harm is alcohol. Abuse of alcohol is the most common factor in violent crime. It leads to countless vehicle deaths, and untold amounts of broken homes. I fear that a complete legalization of all drugs would have an even more disastrous effect on society. Some point to Amsterdam is as an example of how it can work. This is America, not a small European city. We are a very different society, if you think European style government will work here, then you need to be willing to trade your guns for pot.
Some favor having the government issue controlled substances, in an attempt to cut back the illegal drug traffic. This sounds like a good idea, but when you study history and realize the potential misuse of this power, you will understand that it is the worst thing we can do. Study Meso-American history. Many of those governments used substances to control the people in terrifying ways. Knowing the tendency our government has to abuse power; do you really think that having thousands and maybe millions of people addicted to substances that only the government can provide is a good idea?
What is the Solution?
There is no perfect solution to this problem. However, it is clear that our current course of action has been a dramatic failure. I would like to see an end to all forms of federal drug enforcement. Get rid of the ATF and DEA. Let the states decide how they wish to deal with this issue. The one size fits all approach does not work. What is good for New York may not be good for California. No doubt some states will fail in drug enforcement, but other will succeed; right now, we are all failing. Go back to my post about the states being laboratories. That is the most reasonable solution to the War on Drugs.