American Morning

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March 27th, 2009
11:08 AM ET

War on drugs is "absolute failure"

We've been along the border all week long bringing you a story that affects all of us: the battle to keep drugs out of this country and the undying addictions that keep ruthless drug cartels in business. Mexican authorities say they found a U.S. Marshal murdered, execution style, in the virtually lawless border town of Juarez. John Gibler, author of "Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt," joined us live.

What do you think? Can the U.S. win the war on drugs?


Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Mexico
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Scarlett

    The war on drugs is a failure.

    November 30, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  2. Miss Malinda

    The War on Drugs effect millions of families in this country and even the world.

    First I would like to say, my heart goes out to those that are struggling with a drug problem, as well as the families that are coping with this problem as well. I feel drugs play a major part in crime today. Basically, I feel that the majority of all crime is connected to drugs in one way or another at some point. I believe the best way to stop this major drug problem is to address the addicts directly. My theory to this problem is : Without the addicts, the drug dealers would be out of business. As long as we have untreated, hopeless addicts roaming the streets, this is enabling the drug dealers to sell the drugs. The way that society is currently addressing this drug problem by, raiding drug houses, bringing down drug lords ect. , is merely scraping the surface. It is time for us to approach the source of the problem (the addicts). I feel that we as a society needs to take a different approach to fighting this drug problem.

    I feel that a law should be passed stripping all drug addicts from thier rights to receiving any money for thier personal use. Also, not allowing them to refuse drug treatment. This is the idea that I have come up with! In this ideal law : If one or more of the addicts family members agree in writing that the indivisual is in fact a drug addict, along with other forms of proff ( consistant positive drug tests, personal history, criminal record, ect.) If these documents of proff are admited into a court of law, this will authorized the designated family member full rights to the addicts financial assets. Also, allowing this family member the rights to admit the addict into a drug treatment facility, regardless of the addicts wishes. The addict has no ability to withdraw themselves from the facility without the consent and knowledge of the designated family member present. This is just a suggestion. I feel that the system needs a drastic change in order to see a change in this nationwide drug problem. We have addicts willingly withdrawing themselves from drug treatment facilities, using government assisted checks in order to purchase drugs. This needs to stop now! Basically, if you look at it from this perspective, the government is indirectly funding the drug dealers. So, it only makes sence that the government takes the necessary precautions in the attempt to end this shameful cycle. And finally put an end to this nationwide drug problem.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  3. john

    oh yea and decriminalize weed,start controlling drugs like heroin and cocaine wayy better,these drugs have to be imported or smuggled in the whitehouse and other governemnts could devise a plan to help these people grow valueable food crops,and then the drugs wouldnt even be around,let alone travle borders.

    July 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  4. john

    the war on drugs is just a smart business plan for the white house,do they realy want to give up the billions of dollers to be made off brining drugs into their own country,and even making it such a global market,flooding the world with heroin from afghanistan

    July 30, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  5. Harold Archibald

    Any drug death is a tragedy, but only education can solve the problem.
    It is important to remember that alcohol is also a drug.
    Nobody is out there lobbying for a return to alcohol prohibition, but a teenage alcohol death is just as tragic as a teenage heroin death but our society glorifies alcohol use. There are thousands of deaths each year attributable in one way or another to alcohol use, and thousands more by tobacco, but as a drug, alcohol alcohol and tobacco are taken for granted in our country.
    Keeping drugs illegal feeds money to criminals.
    For me the question is, "if other drugs were legalized, would they cause as much harm or more than current alcohol and tobacco problems, and would the harm that they cause be greater than the harm caused by keeping them illegal?

    April 13, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  6. Gary Ransome

    The "War on Drugs" seems untenable, not really a high priority. At the beginning it seemed like a good idea to score some political points with the voting public that elected officials were actually going to combat this menace. It definitely qualifies as a serious threat to National Security, and therefore should have been treated as a clear and present danger
    to the American people. But there is money to be made, this is an capitalistic society where new industries were forming to treat as well
    punish those who were caught-up in using and distributing illegal drugs.
    America's huge appetite for illegal and legal drugs fuel countries all around the world to make sure that America does not "hungry".
    What should have been done, hasn't and probably won't be anytime soon. It's kind of like a "catch-22"; moral and decent people want a drug-free America, however, politicians and businesses like the huge influx of "extra money" coming to their coffers. If you really want change, then change your elected officials, and you can begin in your own municipalities, then onto the state, then the government.

    March 30, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  7. Sean John

    The War on Drugs is carried out to feed the Prison Industrial Complex. Organizations like the FBI literally let certian drug and narco-trafficers carry out their business and keep them as informants in the black market. It's a game with no incentive to 'win' or 'lose', only to keep on playing, because as long as the game gets played everyone who matters gets paid.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  8. Fred Evil

    If we haven't made ANY headway in the past 40 years, why is throwing more money at it going to change the results?

    The American people (at least a significant minority of them) have rejected the 'War on Drugs' outright, and without everyone's buy-in, it CAN NOT BE WON.

    Either way, the 'War on Drugs' has Americans on the losing side. Either the citizenry loses, feeling their rights to make choices about themselves and what they ingest are under assault, (indeed their rights have been curtailed already), or Law Enforcement loses, with the Police dying and having their families threatened.

    Prohibition failed with alcohol, and it's failing with drugs today. I am not for legalizing everything across the board, but we SHOULD start with marijuana, which is 60% of the cartels business! Legalize that, and 500,000 fewer AMERICANS are arrested every year, processed through the courts, or held in jails (how much does all THAT cost us?!), no more gangs shooting it out over street corners, or selling to kids (the black market doesn't check your ID before it sells to you), and significantly fewer illegal border crossings take place!

    It's a win-win-win, except for the uber-moralistic, who still cling to the erroneous concept of marijuana as a 'gateway drug.' The only way it's a gateway, is when people realize it's nowhere near as bad for you as the DEA and ONDCP tell us, and they suspect other far harsher substances aren't so bad either.

    No, marijuana is not harmless, but it is a HECK of lot less harmful than the other drugs it's lumped in with (Meth, PCP, LSD, Crack), and is even LESS harmful than two of our most prolific LEGAL drugs, alcohol and nicotine!

    The LAWS are what make marijuana so socially inappropriate! No stoners get violent, they don't shoot people or start fights when intoxicated. That's alcohol, and it's already LEGAL.

    The worst crime ever commited by a stoner, was stealing another stoner's bag of Chips A'hoy!!

    But the cartels who run the drugs? They don't care who they have to shoot, kill or kidnap. They have a TAX-FREE revenue stream, and THAT"S what they're fighting for. They kill for the money, NOT for the drugs.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm |