Feature

Why we’ve lost the drug war

“The war on drugs is over. Drugs won.”

Stephen MarcheEsquire.com

“The war on drugs is over. Drugs won,” said Stephen Marche. That’s the inescapable conclusion of the largest study of the drug trade ever conducted, just published in a medical journal. Canadian researchers found that despite $1 trillion in spending to stop drug trafficking and sales, drugs are just as available as ever, and far purer and cheaper. In fact, marijuana’s purity has increased 161 percent since 1990, and it’s 86 percent cheaper. Cocaine is 80 percent cheaper than in 1990. In other words, “now is the greatest time in history to get high.” Clearly, attacking the drug supply doesn’t work; the problem is that Americans’ demand for drugs appears to be nearly “limitless,” especially if you consider that 48 percent of the population also uses legal prescription drugs of some kind, including antidepressants. The fundamental problem is that our bodies and minds were not made for a “hypermodern reality” where food is overabundant, social connections are weak, and people are switched on 24/7. In a culture riddled with stress and despair, people self-medicate. As long as our culture’s mantra is “just take something,” drug suppliers will be there to meet the demand.

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