Drugs are Here to Stay

Our relationship with drugs is confounding and confusing to say the least. An AP article picked up by Yahoo News made the rounds yesterday and explained the failure of our Drug War - on which we have spent over $1 trillion over the years. That's a whole lot of money that could certainly be put to better use, especially considering the utter failure of the uses on which it has been spent. Even the U.S. drug czar admits as much:
"In the grand scheme, it has not been successful," Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. "Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified."
Despite this recognition from those in the position to perhaps change or affect policy, the Obama administration has decided to travel the same old long and tired road:
"His administration has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels both in dollars and in percentage terms; this year, they account for $10 billion of his $15.5 billion drug-control budget"
This all says nothing about the legal drugs that the U.S. consumes in greater and greater numbers. According to a visual produced by Good.is Transparency, the pharmaceutical industry spent $4.5 billion on advertising in 2009 alone. This figure does not include the many millions spent by the industry on lobbying in Washington. In contrast, this spending seems to be working - in 2009, there were more pill prescriptions written than there are people in the U.S. So we have the government spending billions in efforts to control "illegal" drug use, and corporate America spending billions trying to get us to take "legal" drugs (many of which are taken illegally). This is a confusing message for the general population to try and decipher. Are drugs good or bad? The message seems to say both, and it looks like billions of dollars are being spent to confuse the people, keep them in an unknowing limbo, and allowing at least a certain cut of the profits to stay in the "proper" coffers - those of the corporate elite.
Here's the image on pharmaceutical drug use referenced above, and be sure to visit the Good.is website for an interactive (and larger version) here>>>
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