To the Editor:
Let us say we want to stop the sale of a foreign-made product in the United States. Historically, we would do what we could do to stop people from buying the product. We would talk about the terrible conditions and the abuse of the workers making the product. If that didn’t work, then we would pass laws to prevent the product from being bought and used. This has always worked with one exception – “illegal” drugs.
For years, we have been doing a halfway effort to stop the drug use in our country. As I watch “Clear and Present Danger,” which was based on Tom Clancy’s book, it shows we have been fighting this war the wrong way. We have spent billions and billions in the Latin American countries fighting the growers, processors, transporters, importers, wholesalers and retailers. We have killed and locked up tens of thousands here and abroad, and yet each year more drugs enter our country.
Long ago, we arrested the drug users but that became politically unfeasible when the “good” people started using heroin. It became fashionable when the drug of choice was cocaine and used by the rich and influential, thus penalizing the users was out.
If you want to stop the use of illegal drugs, quit going after the replaceable people involved in the drug trade and stop the use. Arrest the hard users and the recreational users. Put them to work cleaning toilets in bad weather, picking up trash along highways and rivers, etc. for an increasing amount of time each time they are caught. If that doesn’t work, lock them up in a special jail or camp.
If Trump wants to get serious, then he must give the local and state governments directions to arrest the poor, middle-class, rich, his political base and even his friends. That’s the only way to end the problem.