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ONDCP: We are Winning the War on Drugs

  1. Motorhead
    [SIZE=+2]US PA: Column: We Are Winning the War on Drugs[/SIZE]
    by Jonathan V. Last, (05 Feb 2006) Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania
    There's a wonderful scene in the movie Traffic in which a captured drug kingpin, played by Miguel Ferrer, is being interrogated by two federal agents. Ferrer says to them disdainfully: "You people are like those Japanese soldiers left behind on deserted islands who think that World War II is still going on. Let me be the first to tell you, your government surrendered this war a long time ago."

    It's a brilliant bit of filmmaking; it's also bunk. Over the last five years, while no one was paying attention, America has been winning its war on drugs.

    The cosmopolitan view has long been that the fight against drugs is a losing battle; that the supply of drugs pouring into America is never-ending; that drug lords are unrelenting zombie-supermen - kill one, and five more spring up.

    The American drug problem grew to epidemic proportions throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1979, agencies of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health performed a national household survey of illicit drug use; substances included marijuana, cocaine, heroin, banned hallucinogens and inhalants, and unauthorized use of sedatives, stimulants and analgesics. As of 1979, the numbers were horrifying: 31.8 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 had used drugs; 16.3 percent of them had used in the last month. Among those ages 18 to 25 it was worse: 69 percent had used at some point; 38 percent in the last month.

    But throughout the '80s, those numbers shrank. Sophisticates derided "Just Say No," but by 1993, only 16.4 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds had used, and only 5.7 percent had used in the last month. In the 18-to-25 age bracket, 50.2 percent had tried drugs, but only 15 percent had used in the last 30 days. It was a remarkable success.

    From 1993 to 2001, the numbers become less rosy: Among ages 12 to 17, the percentage of youths who had tried drugs increased almost twofold. In the 18-to-25 crowd, the increase was less marked, but still noticeable.

    There's a reason we pay so much attention to these two age groups. As Tom Riley, the director of public affairs at the Office of National Drug Control Policy ( ONDCP ), explains: "If people don't start using drugs as teenagers - the mechanism of addiction clicks much more quickly in the developing brain - then they are unlikely to ever go on to serious drug abuse. If we can reduce the number of teens who use drugs, we change the shape of the problem for generations to come."

    After 2001, the tide turned again. Since then, teen drug use is off nearly 19 percent. Which means that 700,000 fewer teens are using drugs today than just a few years ago.

    What happened? For one thing: funding. Since 1998, the ONDCP's real budget has increased, from $8.2 billion to $12.4 billion. That extra money has mostly gone to law enforcement and drug treatment, attacking both the supply and the demand sides of the problem. Measures for demand are fuzzy, but the supply side of the equation - the "war" part of the war on drugs - has solid metrics.

    Each substance is its own front and has its own dynamics. Drug supply is shockingly local. Take coca, the substance from which cocaine and crack are derived. From 1998 to 2001, world coca production increased from 586,100 metric tons to 655,800 metric tons, with the lion's share grown in Columbia. Since then, the ONDCP orchestrated a campaign to spray 140,000 hectares of Colombian coca fields with glyphosate ( you know it as Roundup ). The result: world coca production is down 20 percent.

    With other substances, the news is even better. On Nov. 6, 2000, the Drug Enforcement Agency raided an abandoned missile silo in Wamego, Kan., which housed the world's leading LSD operation. By 2004, LSD availability in America was down 95 percent. The market still hasn't recovered.

    The supply of all the major drugs is down, but at the same time, drug interdiction is up. In 1989, 533,533 kilograms of the four major drugs were seized by U.S. authorities. By 2005, the total had risen to 1.3 million kilograms.

    Next week, the ONDCP will release a report outlining their order of battle for 2006. Director John Walters is not the type to go running for the nearest TV camera. Yet the quiet success he has overseen is a powerful reminder that the bad guys are not 10 feet tall; that failure is not inevitable; that the war on drugs is a war worth fighting; and that we're fighting it well.

Comments

  1. Alfa
    What a load of bull.
  2. Motorhead
    LOL, yeah i was gonna put this in funny shit. Stats, stats, and more stats. No 'war' will ever quash the human species innate desire for intoxication. They might as well have a war on sex.
  3. allyourbase
    they THINK theyre winning because reagan era children are now the parents and are teaching their kids that programs like DARE are nothing but a glorified way of having ones own children narc on you. when the government gives a survey regarding drugs how many people do you think answer honestly, particularly under the fascist right wing nazis in power today??? black tar heroin use is fucking rampant. methamphetamine ODs are at an all time high. THERE IS NOT NOR WILL THERE EVER BE A WAR ON DRUGS, this is a war on thought, a war on people, a war payed for and waged by and against the american populous. if there were gas stations wouldnt sell crack pipes(glass roses) next to the lighters. this is just another example of the fascists trying to pretend that there isnt a problem when its eating away our society from within spurned on by their lack of information or in some cases straight up DISINFORMATION.
  4. sands of time
    You mean to tell me that you expect kids to answer those suvey questions honestly?! Hell no!!! In high school, everyone knew that you just said no... On those surveys anyways. You never know how the cops are gonna decide to conduct the next big raid, maybe they'll show up at the doors of all the kids who admitted to using... Maybe they will take them in for interrogation, just to shake them up.

    Guess what, they had narcs in my high school!!! Thats right, kids who were being paid to point the finger in the direction of the druggies. I'm glad I made it out of high school, nothing good ever happens there.
  5. Solidly-here
    Yeah, the War on Drugs is really winning now.

    It used to be that people used 26 tons of Heroin a year, now it's down to 25.7 tons.

    Cocaine use has plummeted from 112 tons a year . . . to 110.7 tons a year.

    And Pot use has dropped drasticly too: It was 50,000 tons a year, but thanks to the DEA, and the Law Enforcement officers from all of the 50 states, fighting and fighting The War on Drugs, Pot use is finally down to 49,000 tons a year.

    You are looking GOOD DEA, real good.

    Yeah, statistics are amazing. Like the one which says: 70% percent of Americans approve of legalizing Medical Marijuana.
  6. Beeker
    The sleepwalkers of the world don't use H or Coke sense meth woke them up for there death.
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