When you come out against the so-called War on Drugs, a lot of folks automatically assume you just want to be able to spend your days smoking weed and your nights watching Cheech & Chong and Bill Maher while chomping down on Cool Ranch Doritos.
Even though I'm completely against America's 40-plus-year futile war, that stereotype couldn't be further from the truth -- I prefer the regular Doritos, thank you.
Not only do I not do illicit drugs, but my wife can attest to the fact that she can't even get me to take over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol or Pepto Bismol. And because I find Big Pharm's obscene pricing even more disgusting than the War on Drugs, I always beg my doctor for cheaper alternative to the medicines she prescribes.
"Well, there's always death," she says.
"Nah, can't afford that, either. Maybe I can just rub some Vaseline on it or something."
"On your high blood pressure?"
So, drugs aren't really my thing -- unless you include tequila, which I do not because (1) it is not illegal and (2) it cures everything, at least in the sense that you forget you had anything wrong to begin with, such as high blood pressure or severe hypochondria.
Yet, the War on Drugs is a big deal to me because it has ruined so many lives by imprisoning millions for nonviolent drug offenses while creating an entire industry of
drug fighting. And all that's fine if it works, but the War on Drugs hasn't even put a dent in the problem.
I know that's hard to believe because this is America and there's no such thing as a bad war, but every time a bunch of law enforcement officers stand in front of some $10 million stash of cocaine they confiscated and tout it as another success, what they're really saying is, "Here is clear evidence that despite all the lives and money spent in this fight, it's all been wasted.
This will all be replaced by tomorrow."
We recently took some steps to thaw our relations with Cuba after five decades of an economic blockade that successfully ousted Castro's communist regime and wait, what's that? Oh, we lifted it because it wasn't working? Well, I'll be danged.
If we were still spinning wheels in Vietnam after 50 years, do you think we might be thinking it's time to call it a draw and get out? If you were in line at the DDS for 40 years waiting for your name, wouldn't you try a different tactic or at least get somebody to hold your spot in line so you could go pee for the first time since the 1980s?
Then why do we insist on continuing this fruitless, pointless, ineffective War on Drugs? I understand why we are perpetually at war in the Middle East because even if we had troops there for 100 years, it would all dissolve into chaos the day we came home.
The War on Terror can't be won or stopped. But there are no negatives to stopping the War on Drugs.
Don't get me wrong. I don't think folks should do drugs. I'm a child of the 1980s and Nancy Reagan taught me that if you do drugs, your brain could turn into a delicious fried egg. But you've got to treat the drug problem as a problem, not as a war that can't be won. It's illogical to keep spinning our wheels decade after decade expecting better results.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to looking for the pencil I dropped in 1984. I'm sure I'll find it if I just keep looking. Any day now. Yep, any day now.
Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting.