Do you remember the War on Drugs?
December 8, 2004 10:07 AM   Subscribe

War on Drugs - Do you remember it? A call for support of this amorphous war has been trumpeted by every American President from Nixon through Clinton. The current guy, has associated himself (at least a little bit) with the Drug War in the previous campaign but current policy, not so much. What I’m curious about is the actual phrase, the concept of War on Drugs. It looks like we still dedicate large sums of money to the effort. It seems to me that we just don’t use the phrase much anymore. Did we win? Did we lose? Do we just want to forget about it? Or, did we repackage the endeavor under a new name? I tend to think we are not capable of waging more than one war against the nameless other at a given time. It would just be too scary. So, I think maybe we're bundling the War on Terror and the War on Drugs under a new brand name.
posted by Crackerbelly (31 comments total)
I think it's been pretty much lumped together with the War on Terror™ at this point.
posted by mstefan at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2004

Weed is affiliated with Al-qaeda? Who knew!
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:18 AM on December 8, 2004

CIA goodness from Afghanistan!
How the drug lords control all of Afghanistan except for Kabul and some nearby towns. (but don't tell, OK? CIA stooge Karzai thinks he's Fearless Leader there.)

Another success in Dubya's war on terra.
posted by nofundy at 10:18 AM on December 8, 2004

Why not? "Terrorism" can be the enemy we are fighting against in the War on Drugs, and that way the whole ordeal can maintain an easily understandable black and white color scheme. Moralists rejoice
posted by Malachi Constant at 10:18 AM on December 8, 2004

Tokin' for terra

One toke over the terra line

Bong hits for Bin Laden

Smokin' for Saddam
posted by nofundy at 10:20 AM on December 8, 2004

Didn't you know that every time you smoke some weed your buddy grew in his closet you're putting a down payment on some nukes for towel-headed brown people? Doesn't anyone watch the Super Bowl anymore?
posted by uncleozzy at 10:22 AM on December 8, 2004

There's no way Osama could be making mad cash from selling dope were it not illegal in the west. Just sayin'.
posted by sid at 10:22 AM on December 8, 2004

Why are you posting your Letter To The Editor to MeFi?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:25 AM on December 8, 2004

towel-headed brown people?

Let's not confuse our diaper headed brown people with the towel headed brown people with the tablecloth headed brown people, OK haji? :-)
posted by nofundy at 10:32 AM on December 8, 2004

I proclaim war on the $300 eight ball.
posted by orange clock at 10:35 AM on December 8, 2004

Yeah...we won.

Pass me the bong.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:36 AM on December 8, 2004

Hmm, actually this makes a lot of sense. You see it is a War on Terror, and when homophobic, gaydom is terrifying. Thank god they aren't epistemophobic or sophophobic... though with the current education system how it is... maybe they are.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:37 AM on December 8, 2004

here's the real war on drugs. or at least one that could actually turn into a "war."

afghanistan is the ghetto of the world. why wouldn't they stick with their most profitable export? it should be interesting, but probably not in a good way. Plan Colombia was so successful! let's try it again!

on preview, i kinda agree with DrJohn. this is kinda newsfilter without the news event or cool new link. but to each his own ... i did it last week.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:39 AM on December 8, 2004

The problem is that intoxication is human nature, or animal nature. There's always going to be a certain percentage of people who are going to get high.

I still don't know why everyone gets so out-of-whack thinking about someone smoking grass and driving, yet hardly even mentions drunk drivers. I see no difference in someone driving drunk or stoned - they're still impaired.
posted by jim-of-oz at 10:41 AM on December 8, 2004

thoughtful post crackerbelly. well constructed and useful links.

correct me if i'm wrong (and i'm sure someone will) but didn't all of this "war on _____" start with lyndon johnson's war on poverty beginning in 1964?

according to the uscensusbureau, since 1965 the poverty rate (% of americans living at or below the government's defined income level) seems to hover consistently around 15% of the population. (pdf file)

so i guess the trademark "war on ____" appropriately applies to any massive effort on a problem that is neither made better nor worse. which seems to apply to the war on drugs, and war on terror, etc.

anyway, the war on drugs would more accurately be called the war on illegal drugs. with more than 40 percent of americans taking at least one prescription drug and one-in-six taking three or more, the drug companies are clearly winning the war on drugs.

obviously they hate freedom as much as the terrorists.
posted by three blind mice at 10:54 AM on December 8, 2004

i still remember the war on poverty. anyone recall *that* one? war on terror, war on drugs, war on ... culture?
posted by virga at 11:20 AM on December 8, 2004

This post is especially timely because yesterday the New York State Legislature repealed some of the harshest provisions of the Rockefeller Drug Laws.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:30 AM on December 8, 2004

..which (she meant to add) are one of the best examples of the absurdities justified in the name of the "War on Drugs."
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:31 AM on December 8, 2004

the war on drugs provides a windfall for police agencies through the sale of confiscated property. what this means is, it is NEVER going away.
posted by quonsar at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2004

Forfeiture laws are only one side of the money equation. The other is payoffs.
posted by effwerd at 12:07 PM on December 8, 2004

The war on drugs is IMHO a continuation of the civil war .
posted by hortense at 12:31 PM on December 8, 2004

A much better Elvis Nixon link
posted by rfs at 1:42 PM on December 8, 2004

To paraphrase Bill Hicks, whenever the Government "steps up" the war on drugs, does that imply that they're currently losing said war to people who are on drugs? (And now I'll just go into a direct quote (thanks to my lovely new book of Hicks' transcripts!):
It's like, they fight the war on drugs like the colonials fought the Indians, right? They're walking in a straight line and red coats; drug users are up in the trees, going, "Are they fighting us? We're not even in that fucking field. I guess we're winning by default. Ha ha! No combat; we're ahead!"
posted by idontlikewords at 2:04 PM on December 8, 2004

the war on drugs provides a windfall for police agencies through the sale of confiscated property. what this means is, it is NEVER going away.

In a scenario where drugs were legalized, wouldn't the subsequent burden reduction on police agencies make up for any lost revenues? For example, in the case of Pima County, AZ drug forfeiture accounted for 39% of their drug enforcement budget. This leaves 61% of their drug enforcement budget to still be funded by taxes.

I guess the underlying message is that police departments would only want to grow, never shrink, regardless of whether or not growth or sustaining the police force's size is really necessary.
posted by aburd at 3:54 PM on December 8, 2004

that's true of bureacracy in general, aburd.
posted by quonsar at 6:44 PM on December 8, 2004

also, see Narco News (Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America)
posted by miragliuolo at 7:11 PM on December 8, 2004

I think the colonials won that one in the end. Not the best example.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:17 PM on December 8, 2004

Just Say No. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 9:23 PM on December 8, 2004

Just Say No. : )

I actually remember Nancy Reagan's original TV appearance to introduce that.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:26 PM on December 8, 2004

I can't remember where I was when this one came out:

RON: Nancy's joining me because the message this evening is not my message, but ours. Despite our best efforts, shortages of marijuana are now being reported. From the early days of our administration, Nancy has been abusing marijuana on a daily basis, and her personal observations and efforts have given her such dramatic insights that I wanted her to share them with you this evening.
NANCY: I yearn to find a way to help share the message that drugs open your eyes to life, to see it in the vivid colors that God gave as a precious gift to His children.
posted by mullingitover at 12:20 AM on December 9, 2004

In a sense the drug wars are about fighting terrorism and protecting the integrity of our economy. Many drug groups trade counterfeit currency for drugs.
The war on drugs goes way back - many governments and organizations use this mess to destabilize other governments and their overseas holdings.
Little surprise it's being done to us.
Of course, we don't have troops in some of those countries for some reason....
I think the worst result from the Regan & Nancy "just say no" b.s. is the war on things that are related to drugs. Like drug paraphernalia.
But yeah, like aburd said - they're making too much money on it for it to go away no matter how stupid and wastefull it is. Or how much it ignores the real problem.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:33 PM on December 9, 2004

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