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The Orwellian Consequences of the War on Drugs
Posted on Mar 13, 2013
Without much notice, the drug war has expanded government search and seizure powers, turned children into their parents’ monitors and urged many Americans toward blind obedience to authority, Kevin Carson writes in CounterPunch.
The levels of drug use and drug-related violence in the United States are either the same or lower than in countries with liberal drug laws, such as the Netherlands, notes Carson, a senior fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society. But that hasn’t stopped private and official groups from promoting an aggressive, punitive and costly societywide war on people who use drugs.
So what’s the point? An especially illustrative insight into the drug war’s insidious social functions pertains to how the school-based D.A.R.E. program has shaped the minds and habits of children.
“As a result of the way DARE interacts with other things like Zero Tolerance policies and warrantless inspections by drug-sniffing dogs,” Carson writes, “the Drug War has conditioned children to believe ‘the policeman is their friend,’ and to view snitching as admirable behavior, and to instinctively look for an authority figure to report to the second they see anything the least bit eccentric or anomalous.”
“The Drug War would indeed be a failure if its real function was to reduce drug consumption or drug-related violence,” Carson concludes. “But the success or failure of state policies is rightly judged by the extent to which they promote the interests served by the state. The Drug War is a failure only if the state exists to serve you.”
Read a few more of its triumphs below before turning to Carson’s full list.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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