High Times

By: Drew Cummings


In this series of High Times, evidence of the failing drug war will be presented. The shocking deterioration of our current anti-drug system is creating a domino effect in the lives of many Americans. Are the current prohibition laws hurting people instead of helping them. In 2012, more than half of U.S. inmates serving a sentence of more than one year were for drug offenses. How does a zero tolerance policy prevent the use of drugs? What other option do we have? Lawmakers have been baffled by the success Portugal has reached in the war on drugs. Portugal has created a system that exposes drugs for the poisons they are. The rehabilitation era has risen in Portugal. Are we going to fall behind or truly protect the people?

The intent of this article is to promote reform of drug policy. Its' purpose is not to suggest the use, sale, or benefit of drugs to anyone.

"The government's duty is to protect the people, not ruin lives."

-Ronald Reagan

"Life in the Fishbowl" By: Tegan Broadwater

Detective Broadwater is an undercover specialist known for his 41 busts after infiltrating the Crips gang in Fort Worth, Texas. "But for Tegan Broadwater... another number stood out. As a result of the sing and the convictions, 104 children were left without one or more of their parents." This number serves an excellent example of how our system works in the war on drugs. Individuals get involved in the underground drug trade either selling, using or both. When caught, criminals lose the privilege to raise their children. The drug trade is then more open to unguarded children making them more likely to get into the same trouble their parent or parents got in. Helpless children exposed to our world today have trouble setting the right priorities in life. We need to protect our children, because they are the future of our country.

How the Cycle works.

For Sale

  1. The drug is grown or synthesized.
  2. The drug is shipped to distributors.
  3. The distributors sell the drugs to dealers.
  4. The dealers sell to the users.
  5. The drugs are used, and the demand for supply remains constant.

Each one of the steps give too much room for a dirty business man to cut or lace the drugs. This makes the dealer more money by infusing another unregulated substance in the drugs to make more money. This is a major problem among many designer drugs today. It is estimated that more than ninety percent of MDMA, or ecstasy sold today is synthetic. This makes consumption much more dangerous for the user, because it could be a different substance every time it is used. This faulty regulation has caused many deaths, and serious health complications.

When Caught

  1. Large amounts are questioned with an intent to distribute.
  2. The law breaker is taken to jail.
  3. A bail is set, and the charges are filed.
  4. Bail is returned upon court trial.
  5. Sentence is given based on law and Jury.
  6. Families are broken, and new drug dealers arise while while the convict is imprisoned.

Alternative Tactics

The best example of success in the war on drugs is Portugal's alternative drug policy. Portugal is the first country to decriminalize the use of drugs. Joao Goulao was the primary contributor in the proposition of the legalization bill that was ratified in 2001. He realized the only way to fight against drugs was to give up on the ideology of a drug free world. Before 1974, Portugal was run by 50 years of dictatorship. After gaining independence, people started using drugs as a psychological symbol of freedom. This coincides with the commonplace that saying no will result in a stronger lust for a yes. Human nature makes people want what they can not have. The brilliant law made state-run drug clinics and rehabilitation centers. Based on the quantity possessed when caught with drugs, people are either prosecuted as dealers or sent to a commission on drug addiction. They have also created mandatory classes on the prevention of drugs in Portugal. Portugal realized fighting fire with fire only creates a bigger fire. They are far ahead of the world in their open-minded government action. The results of the law unquestionably prove Portugal is winning the war on drugs.
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Drugs and Death

In the graph above, the death rate for drug related deaths are significantly reduced after the decriminalization law was ratified. People began to see drugs are not what they seem. They make people sick. The rate of people who die from drugs was reduced, because there was so much campaigning against drugs when they were decriminalized. It went from unlawful to immoral.
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Drugs to Medicine

Figure 2 shows the fight on the war on drugs increasing since the 1990's. Since 1996, there have been areas that have allowed the use of medicinal marijuana. Marijuana has been legal for recreational use in Colorado since 2012. At almost 900,000 arrests for cannabis in 2007, prohibition has proved itself to be ineffective in halting the underground drug trade. There has been a constant increase in the strictness of prohibition laws, and has proved this deterrent is a failure.


If the prohibition laws continue to hurt Americans, how can we take comfort in thinking the best deterrent is a black and white ideology? If drug users are going to continue to use, why not regulate and tax them to make the production safer? There is a steady increase in awareness our laws are failing among the people. Congress is more focused on public opinion for reelection rather than open minded action for the best interest for the people. Insanity is repeating failure and expecting different results, and the current laws have proven to fail for too long.


"Undercover Cop Uses Book to Help Children Left behind | News | Star-Telegram.com." Fort Worth Star-Telegram. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.