Talk:War on drugs/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Gateway Infrastructure

The 'Gateway Infrastructure section at the bottom of this article is the most illogical thing I have ever seen. It either needs clarification or complete deletion. The logical jump goes from "Two markets exist" to "Both of those markets must supply the same drugs" to "Since both markets supply the same drugs people involved in those markets must be be more likely to engage in other illicit drugs." Arguments like these not only have no place in an encyclopedia, they weaken the entire argument for decriminalization and legalization.


This page was just a redirect to Talk:Prohibition (drugs). That was confusing. -GTBacchus(talk) 01:13, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Unsourced paragraph

This paragraph pretty much reads like original research; it uses material from sources like [1], but then draws independent conclusions. It's also fairly POV:

One important way of analyzing a policy of drug prohibition is to test whether the decrease in the social costs of drug abuse outweighs the cost of prohibition itself. US Government Agencies do not always make helpful contributions to this analysis. For example, the ONDCP estimated that the cost of drug abuse in 2000 was over $160 billion (1.6% of GDP); but they included losses in productivity due to incarceration, crime, drug-related illness, and other reasons accounting for over two-thirds of that amount. Were the drugs in question to be legalized and taxed, many of those costs would disappear, and a legal trade in these substances would develop, as happened at the end of the Prohibition era. Costs to society would depend largely on any change in the popularity of these drugs, the proportion of abusers, and whether there would be a change in the criminal behavior of drug users. The ONDCP analysis also failed to take into account the effect of the reduced revenue that would accrue to organized crime in a regulated, de-criminalized drug economy.

-GTBacchus(talk) 01:13, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

GTBacchus, I was one of the people who worked on that paragraph (though I didn't introduce it and User:Slashme changed it substantially). Having visited the page in the hope of finding a footnote reference for the cost of drug prohibition, I was struck by the fact that the ONDCP report merrily conflated the social costs of drug abuse and the social cost of the war on drug abuse. Drug policy isn't my area of expertise, so I don't know if this kind of disinformation is common, but if it is, the wikipedia article could do well to illustrate it. I realise that objective description of this subject is often going to look POV. Any suggestions? -- pde 09:28, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
This kind of disinformation is all too common from ONDCP, NIDA, etc. Much of the paragraph is sound, but Were the drugs in question to be legalized and taxed, many of those costs would disappear, and a legal trade in these substances would develop is conjectural OR, if also common sense. It would be easy to fix by making it an observation, The report did not consider whether, were the drugs in question to be legalized and taxed, many of those costs would disappear, and a legal trade in these substances would develop. -SM 08:17, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to chime in late, but it isn't OR to believe that the cost to incarcerate drug offenders would disappear if drugs were legal. No research is necessary for that. It might be restated that their "cost of drug use" figure was composed mostly of costs that were caused by the war on drugs, not the drug use itself. Robert Rapplean 17:40, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Misleading First Sentence?

The first sentence of this article reads: "The War on Drugs is an initiative undertaken in the United States to carry out an "all-out offensive" (as President Nixon described it) against the non-medical use of certain prohibited drugs." (emphasis added)

Question: Since the Federal government has pursued cases regarding *medical* uses of prohibited drugs, even when used by residents of a state that has expressly legalized said medical use (see Gonzalez v. Raich), should we not therefore strike out the "non-medical" qualifier in this opening paragraph? I hesitate to do so personally until someone is given the chance to explain why that distinction is made here. Perhaps it could be further clarified in some way. I am concerned that it may cause some readers to mistakenly believe that the Federal government does not pursue cases concerning the non-economic, non-recreational, consumption of drugs for purely medical purposes. This is the impression that I got from reading it, and it certainly is not true.

A more accurate and neutral description of this Federal policy, it seems to me, would be to eliminate this phrase. Again, I await a reply before editing it myself.

--SamAdams(talk) 3:35, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm, good point. Maybe it would be better phrased as "all out offensive" (as President Nixon described it) against the prohibited use of certain drugs.
That would cover medical marijuana, which is a prohibited drug (federally speaking), and also the non-medical use of perscription drugs like valium or ritalin. Otherwise, just removing the term "non-medical" would make it sound like they don't distinguish different types of use for any drug, which isn't true either. I guess it's the fed's contention that there is no legitimate medical use of marijuana, but that's certainly POV, and not for Wikipedia to imply.
By the way, you're certainly welcome to make edits like this without soliciting comment first; check out WP:BOLD. The worst thing that happens is someone reverts your change and then we end up having this very same conversation. In fact, I'm gonna be bold right now, and change that sentence. Thanks for noticing that error. -GTBacchus(talk) 04:07, 11 January 2006 (UTC)


Some interesting repots, on the U.S.'s war on drugs. All cannabis specific however.

Zath42 04:19, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Excellent. Now let's get some discussion of those numbers into the article :). -- pde 10:17, 7 March 2006 (UTC)


Page for Charles Bowden? I don't know how solid his work is, which is why I came here. There doesn't seem to be anything on it. I could not see how to place a sensible request via the front-end wikipedia mechanism, but feel free to move this request to another place. Abu Amaal 05:34, 6 March 2006 (UTC)


This article is in need of some serious work. There is little coherent orginization, it just seems there are random factoids dispersed throughout. It needs to be shortened, put into chronilogical order and generally made to be more cohesive. Harley peters 23:02, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I clarified a couple of sentences and added sources for the U.S. govt's complicity in the drug trade. I removed the first sentece of that paragraph because it mentioned "corruption" of American officials. Corruption implies an official's attmept to personally gain, which as far as I know was not the primary motive for the drug smuggling operation. Also, it was a wishy-washy sentence that had very little content aside from the misleading "corruption" charge. --NYCJosh 22:46, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

NPOV notice

This whole thing is little more than an argument against the War on Drugs. I came here to see how the pro-WOD position is justified, and there's not even a hint that anyone really tries to. --♥ «Charles A. L.» 18:06, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I think its difficult to find people who would be interested in editing a free encyclopaedia and pro-WOD. - FrancisTyers 18:30, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Still, we should be able to find the arguments somewhere and report on them. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:32, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
It's possible that these arguments don't feature in the article because they really don't stand up when looked at from a NPOV. That being said, the article should still mention them. The article should also be split into sub headings and have more sources provided. --Apyule 14:38, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm still waiting to see a single pro-WOD arguement that makes any kind of sense... so, if you can find it Charles, please don't hesitate to post it... --Boszko2 18:45, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm also still looking for support for the geocentric view of the universe on the Solar System article. The fact that both things are bullshit may explain their general absence.
My point exactly... --Boszko2 20:43, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Many of the arguments for the war on drugs are presented in Arguments for and against drug prohibition. They are actually pretty numerous, and it would probably help this article if they were presented and effectively disputed. For instance, the original reason for illegalizing marijuana was because it promoted violence, caused brain damage, and encouraged crime. Over time these reasons have been demostrated to be false. The first has been disproven via many, many studies. The second was created by a study which force-fed marijuana smoke into monkeys until they suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. The third was created by multiple court cases which an expert witness told the jury that he took two puffs on a joint and turned into a bat, creating a temporary insanity plea.

The current reason for it is to "protect the children", although an analysis of the supply and demand math behind it readily demonstrates that the drug war is actually making drugs more available to children, not less. Math, however, is difficult to understand, whereas fear is readily graspable by anyone.

The issue is that fear may be irrational and nonsensibile, but you can't deny that it's real. An encyclopedia exists to describe the real, and these fears fall into that category. They should be explained as irrational and effectively debunked, but they should still be described, otherwise those with those fears are going to assume that you're just ignoring the other side. Robert Rapplean 17:54, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm certainly not a fan of the WoD. But one should probably consider that it is something that every country, that I know of, is participating in. Even in the most politically mild liberal democracies it is only the case that users with small amounts of street drugs don't face serious punnishments. And even that is illegal. Marijuana never was legalized in the Netherlands, for example. And in say Sweden or France users are not tolerated, as in the US. And in authoritarian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia 500g of marijuana caries a manditory execution. So it appears that many of the would be arguments in favor of the Wod are in the majority world opinion. So I agree with the above comments that this article is currently overly slanted to the "con" position.

Pretty much every country in the world also participates in some form of freedom of speech violations. This is a logical fallacy called argumentum ad populum or, as your mother put it, "if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you, too?" Reasons for persuing drug illegalization vary. For most people it's a belief in prohibitionism, which is the philosophy that people will stop doing something enjoyable if you make it illegal. It's a very attractive idea which has failed consistently throughout history. It has its roots in every major religion, and has been pushed by every significant government since the creation of government. Maybe one day we can grow as a society past the need for such things, but I don't see it happening any time soon. In the mean time we need to call attention to the specific failings that result from it. The War on Drugs is probably the biggest one going on right now. Robert Rapplean 18:53, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Severe NPOV violation. I'm adding NPOV tags. 1.618033989 05:20, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I believe that the absence of neutrality stems from the fact that the term "War on Drugs" (wherever it originated) has become a pejorative term for America's drug policy in general. As an example, if Wikipedia for whatever reason had an article on "pro-life" views, I couldn't possibly hope to find so-called "anti-life" rebuttal because no one is actually anti-life. Similarly, I'm strongly against incorporating drugs into our society (including alcohol), but I'm also against a "War on Drugs", if such a thing even exists. In this day and age, there is a strong stigma surrounding wars of any kind, so if you walk up to an average person on the street, I think you'd find they say they are against a War on Drugs, even if they are against drugs in general. On those grounds, I would be so bold as to suggest deleting this article altogether in favor of an article with a title such as "American Recreational Drug Policy" that would be much more encyclopedic.-- 08:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I disagree with changing the name. Because "War on Drugs" is not a pejorative term used just by opponent. Instead, it was the President who resigned for Watergate that originally used this term to promote prohibition of drugs. Also many pro-WOD people use this term, such as Ronnie's wife. Wooyi 20:42, 17 February 2007(UTC)
  • Probably the article should just cover important instances where various politicians used the term instead of being a documentary/commentary on U.S. drug policy. Also if I understand the way wikipedia works correctly, major arguments for and against issues are posted based on their cultural prevalence, not whether or not they "make sense", which is an inherently POV concept. This is NOT the place to simply bash policies you don't like, no matter how rock solid the arguments against them might be. 20:07, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
If you're going to post pro-con arguments on a basis of cultural prevalence, don't you have to have some kind of data that shows what is and is not culturally prevalent? You can't just go with your gut and say, "Well, I've never heard anyone say that argument, therefore it's not culturally prevelant." Finding data that shows what idea or concept is and is not culturally prevalent would be problematic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

External links

There are way too many external links. I took a shot at trimming them, but it needs more. Wikipedia is not a link farm. Links should only be added if they have valuable information that does not belong in the article itself and if they are not trying to sell something. If the information in the link does belong it the article, it should be re-written (to avoid copyright issues) and added to the article. In general, articles should have very few links, because very few links fit these criteria. The idea is that we want our articles to be the best possible source of information on a topic, not a short article followed by a long list of links to other articles-- one might as well just google the subject and read the first dozen sites if we are going to assemble long external link lists.

I'll try to get back to this at some point but it would be nice... -- Mwanner | Talk 23:39, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

how much does it cost?

The war on drugs cost to the tax payer is significant, and the article does not adress this gradual increase in cost. --Procrastinating@talk2me 09:31, 4 June 2006 (UTC) covers the cost...

Stop Wasting Your Money

This so called War on drugs is more like a political stunt to get money thrown their way. It's like the government said "Hey, Look what we can do!" and then they smile and demand Money! This War on Drugs is a very serious waste of money! Maybe better said, it's an arduously non-optimum prescription for the enhancement of the well fare of the U.S. I want to look at the big picture here, Earth. So, we have this real war going on with us involved right now, in Iraq and the middle east etc. I personally hate the idea of terrorism 1000 times more than I hate the idea of druggies. Yes, I see it very very simply. Stop with all your statistic bull that conflicts with these other statistics etc. Get real! First of all, Marijuana, this so called drug is so harmless it's boring. Look at the objective picture, marijuana has never been a direct cause of death. Also, just because some extreme criminals choose to smoke out before their crime does Not mean it's the marijuana!! Trust me, criminals are going to do what they do no matter what they're on. You gotta understand that they don't understand, understand? Stop wasting money on penalizing people for any kind of marijuana use. Legalize it! And then we'll have more money for something more serious, like Home Land Security. There's something called a global threat right now, wake up, sober up, something's happening (and do not give me you conspiracy bull that sounds really cool and dramatic and dark especially when you all high with your friends, "i'm telling you man, George Bush is the anti christ! he bombed the twin towers" You guys are Bored!!! Wake up!!! Marijuana makes you boring!! Put it out son. I'll tell you who isn't bored, because they believe they have a mission from their God, it's those little punk bitches who think than anyone who is Not islamic, should Die Right Now!!! I've heard it, I’ve seen them say it. And the Koran backs that up (i think the koran says that somewhere, i could be wrong but that's not important) The islamic extreme is the most massively threatening thing I've ever heard of. This, I would have to say, surpasses Hitler. Hitler was just one really really persuasive Fool. The islamic extremists are a consciousness/religion/lifestyle/evil planetary force!!! It's almost like a bad cartoon! This is how incredibly stupid these people are! They’ve obviously never heard of chillaxen "Hey man, not everybody's going to think like you. Get over it. Don't waste your time."Dre.velation2012 04:16, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Um, thank you for sharing?Minidoxigirli 15:07, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Sadly, just about everything you've said about the War on Drugs being a waste of money, also applies to the War on Terror, at least as we've so-far prosecuted it. We wasted a third of a trillion $ on Iraq, for example, that had nothing to do with 9/11. A country which in fact (as Bush Sr. well knew) was helping to stabalize a region which otherwise would be taken over by weak Shi'ia governments, which is where the Islamic terrorists breed. Just as they are now breeding in Iraq now, for the first time (thanks to us and our intervention, wups).

    Say... how's this for a cool idea? Here it is: except for going after people we know very well have attacked us (Bin Laden, for example), how about we simply follow a policy of having the U.S. Mind It's Own Business? That way we wouldn't be spending your tax dollars paying to have helicopters flying around to protect little old ladies in De Moine from living next to marijuanna growers, or being hijacked by Al Quida. Or spending HUNDREDS of billions to bomb civilians in the sand with GPS bombs from invisible airplanes half a world away, for nothing.

    And with the difference in $, you would actually have enough to pay for a single payor health system which insures all. Which might actually save your life. Given that you're WAY more likely to die of some medical problem, like cancer or heart disease, or a screwup on the freeway, than some Arab bomb in a hijacked jet. You know? A third of a trillion was just about what they said "socialized medicine" would cost in 1992, which was why Hilary was then said to be crazy for even thinking about it, or proposing it, on behalf of the Demos. Well, the Republicans spent the money, and you now owe it, as national debt. Happy with the results?

    BTW, you got to build a lot of prisons for drug users with it, too. Feel safer? And BTW, how IS your health? Do you like your health plan? SBHarris 19:09, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I dont know about that rant after you said legalize it, but I believe that could be profitable. If the government legalized marijuana they could legalize it enough to control its production and dristribution. So the government grows marijuana on a large scale very cheaply, they roll it like cigarettes. 20 joints to a pack, they could tax that and still people would pay up to $15.00 per pack, reasonably. Then all the profit is coming in for our government. Also, since the price for marijuana is so cheap, the whole underground would fall out. No one would risk growing it illegally and no one would be able to sell it. That whole area of crime is completely gone. --Anonymous 2 October, 2006

  • Honestly, I have not used any drug except this one right here. But its not about drugs, it's our freedom. No one should regulate what we do to our body. Here's some quotes you might find valuable:
Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body. --- Frederick Douglass
I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. --- James Madison
In the rush to cure all the ills to which humans are heir, liberty is too often an innocent bystander -- and an accidental casualty. --- Barry Goldwater
Wooyi 21:02, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
All wars are a waist of money. (Ron Paul for 2008) √

When Nixon's War on Drugs Began

Nixon's war on drugs began in 1969 with Operation Intercept -

(Unsigned remarks)

Is the above intended to say that there was no effort to stop drug smuggling or drug use prior to "Operation Intercept"? Or is it intended to say that this is when the term "War on Drugs" came into use? (Actually, I scanned the above two links and did not find term in either one of them.) —Wookipedian 19:13, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Positive Effects?

For as badly run as this "war" has been, there must be at least a couple positive effects of it. Maybe those should be included, as it reads very POV currently.Minidoxigirli 15:09, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi, Minidoxigirli. You would think that it's actually helping SOMETHING, wouldn't you? Here's a quick description of how it's supposed to work. The main philosophy of the drug war is one of interdiction. You block the flow of traffic, and the supply should drop, making the price rise. If the price raises enough, people will stop buying it. If fewer people in general use it, then fewer kids will be using it. Theoretically, people who don't use drugs make better citizens, therefore interdiction = better world.
Here's the way it REALLY works. Interdiction definitely caused an increase in price. Marijuana is now about 20 times as expensive to purchase as tobacco. What they haven't done is decrease the demand. The number of users of marijuana has stayed steady over the past 40 years, and has risen from a small problem with Mexican immigrants and jazz singers from when it was illegalized. Since 1970, cocaine use has tripled. Amphetamine and ecstasy use have had similar gains. This effect was also seen during alcohol prohibition. In 1918 there were about 800 bars in New York City, but in 1933 there were roughly 20,000 speakeasies. Drug prohibition doesn't discourage people from using drugs, it popularizes them and romanticizes them.
The effect on our children is even worse due to uneven enforcement of laws. The laws of supply and demand insist that the flow of drugs from producer to consumer WILL travel by some path. We enforce interdiction by threatening jail time and property seizure, and induce fear by convincing you that everyone around you might tell on you. Our children don't own property worth mentioning. They have the juvenile court system and natural belief in immortality to protect them from incarceration. You can't convince them that the fourteen year old they've known since they were eight is actually a narcotics agent. This means that the forces we use to resist the flow of drugs are weakest in those under age 18. As a result, the majority of our drugs are distributed by minors. Last I checked 89% of our children graduate high school having tried some illegal drug or another.
So we can definitely rule out the idea of the drug war being effective at its stated goals. There are some good effects. It's increased employment in the drug enforcement field. It's provided jobs for construction workers who build jails and the people who guard the prisoners. Since these things are all paid for by the taxpayers, though, one main's gain is another one's loss, and the price we pay is horrible by comparison.
Robert Rapplean 18:44, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
THe figures given in this article tend to be slanted towards the anti-WOD view point. While increases in drug use throughout periods or prohibition may say something about reaction to US policy, we also have to admit that availability of drugs plays an important factor in the increase of use. After all, it was not until the 1930's that the drug trade became lucritive in the United States and wide-scale cocaine distribution didn't begin until the 1970's, which means it was not able to be purchased by the majority of people until this point in history. While arguments can be made that the WOD created the marketplace for these drugs, one can't use the increase of cocaine use in the second half of the 20th century as proof that corrective policy does not work. But the major problem this article faces is that it makes the argument that the WOD is worse than the alternative...which tends to be posed as only anti-WOD. We can never get the figures for how many people would have died due to drug overdose if the WOD had not been implimented, so all we really know are the negative effects of the policy as the positive are less easily measured. Perhaps we can find a way to rerepresent figures and cross-examine them against practical alternatives to show the true effects of the policy. This is not my area of study, but I think we owe it to the general public to give them more information about the issue and not a one-sided assult on the policy. Mrathel 05:28, 6 May 2007 (UTC)mrathel
The positive effects are that the WOD creates jobs for boring people like John Walters, and improves the profit of tobacco industry and Pharmaceutical companies, as well as protecting the big business from being criticized by hippies, nothing else, IMO. WooyiTalk, Editor review 05:42, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality Dispute

I dispute neutrality and would like to add a NPOV tag. This article is clearly propagandistic.

For the sake of neutrality and minimal "encyclopedicity" I propose the addition of the following elemental description of the title, at the very beginning of the article:

War on Drugs is a propaganda or rhetorical term used by some American military or paramilitary (such as police) respresentatives and politicians to refer to several military or paramilitary operations justified by the current Prohibition. As Noam Chomsky pointed out, the term takes the rhetoric figure called synecdoche, properly refering to a "war" on certain drugs, and more properly to several armed aggressions to suspected producers, traders and/or users of those. Drcaldev 18:12, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Noam Chomsky should be referenced on every Wikipedia page.

In what way is it propaganistic? How can this be corrected? 03:54, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The term "War on Drugs" is a metaphor and does not relate to a tangible or "real" product. I would despute, however, that the term is mostly used by military or paramilitary types. Its use is used primarily by drug reform (legalization) advocates who benefit from meanings attached to the term as "police state." In reality, there as with the "War on Terror" there is no "end" per se. There will always be efforts against terrorism as long as anyone is willing to committ acts of terror. The same goes with efforts to reduce the threat of drugs.

  • It's not that legalization refer it as a "police state", it is a police state practice. It obliterate states' rights and attempt to regulate people's private actions. Washington, Jefferson or Madison would never have fought a war on drugs because they would feel that war on drugs is inimical to the idea of limited republican government. Wooyi 17:17, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the WoD is both an actual occurrence, and a rhetorical term. This page needs to talk about both aspects, though maybe the actual policy should be described on a more neutrally named "US drug policy" page?

I agree with Wooyi that the term seems to have been largely discarded by the pro-WoD rhetoricians (though they coined it), and is now mostly seen in a negative term. In the mainstream media it is usually cited (cf Google News) in critical articles. -- Subsolar 05:45, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Added information on relation with American classism

Drcaldev 18:33, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Can you cite the opposition figures, please? bikeable (talk) 06:07, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Can you? I´m looking for some and haven´t found them yet! I´ve seen the classist bias, and even a racist bias I hadn´t considered, are undisputed in American statistics. If you are black you have like tenfold more possibilities than a white to go to jail for drugs. Just as if you were poor! So being black and poor makes an American an easy target for military aggressions and torture of confinement!! Look up for example Search and Destroy: African-American Males in the Criminal Justice System by Jerome G. Miller.

I´ve found in Venezuela, the sociologist Rosa del Olmo (Prohibition or Domestication? Drug policies in Latin America) denounces and demonstrates statistically a sexist bias against women, in prosecution against drugs!!! Drcaldev 22:00, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Why has there been no mention of the LA/ C.I.A corruption scandal that includes opertation AMADAEUS and the like. This was a huge scandal that was virtually passed over in this article. You all may find sources on line, through the FOIA websites and a brief introduction to this issue from an investigative news report from

Resources on the class and race aspects can be found at the following pair of sites. and The first is a breakdown of racial and sex statistics, the second explores how the prison/jail system is used to shift prisoner census statistics and move people from poor areas they'll be released to and where their families live to prison towns they have no vote or say in. Poor and troubled neighborhoods are stripped of representation while prison/jail towns are artificially inflated in electoral power.

An effort towards more neutral language

I have no doubt that everything that the bulk of information in this article is accurate. Unfortunate, the language in which its presented is somewhat inflamatory, and as such is difficult for anyone without all the facts to want to read. If they don't read it, then they will never have the facts. With this in mind, I'm going to propose a few changes in wording, starting with the beginning sentence.

The War on Drugs is an initiative undertaken by the United States to carry out an "all-out offensive" (as President Nixon described it) against the use of certain legally controlled drugs.

I'd like to suggest this be adjusted to:

The War on Drugs is an initiative undertaken by the United States and other participating countries in an attempt to limit the availability of a selection biologically active substances to the general public. This initiative is responsible for a set of laws and policies that are intended to discourage the creation, transporation, and distribution of these substances.

I'm going to change the opening paragraph to this one, and would like to hear discussion on it.

I would also like to start a discussion on terminology. I noticed that you use "legally controlled drugs", "illicit substances", "illicit mind-altering substances", and probably a few more. "Illicit" and "legally controlled" are inaccurate terms to use because they play into the mindset of "it's illegal, therefore it must be wrong", which is what's causing this problem in the first place. Obviously, though, we can't go in with the "chemicals without major corporate sponsorship" approach, so I'd like to hear a few ideas of how we can solidly refer to them. Robert Rapplean 22:37, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the effects section

There have been a lot of good edits to this article in the past week, and I think that we have a decent chance of turning it into something extremely professional. I've been trying to better differentiate the pieces that need to be extremely factual from those that need to provide lots of citations in order to be acceptable. In that vein, I've separated the "history" from the "effects". In the first section, we can put the list of milestones that got us where we are today. In the second section we can analyze the justifications for it and provide strong statistical evidence about how well it did or didn't meet those justifications. Does this work for you? Robert Rapplean 22:56, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


reverted due to vandalism 01:45, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Hello, It isn't necessary to log every reversion due to vandalism in the discussion page. The history keeps excellent track of these kinds of things for us. Also, they're incredibly common, and this kind of reversion would quickly overwhelm the regular commentary if we noted it every time. Also, would you be kind enough to log in when you do this? Cheers, Robert Rapplean 19:30, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Suggest requesting partial protection

This page seems to be subject to a lot of drive-by vandalism, requiring considerably more reverts than actual contributions. Partial protection prevents people who aren't logged in, and accounts less than five days old from editing it. Would anybody be opposed to requesting it for this page? I'll let this query soak for responses for a few days. Robert Rapplean 19:07, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Efficacy vs Effeciency

I have reverted edits by User:OniShikio. My reasoning is thus: Efficacy applies to medicine, social policy, etc., and is "power or capacity to produce a desired effect". Whereas Effeciency is a term from phyics, and is "the ratio of the energy delivered by a machine to the energy supplied for its operation". While both can denote "how well a system is working", I believe "efficacy" is more correct here. --Bhuston 21:03, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

They both have the same meaning. Differences in disciplinary preference aside, in formal writing, efficacy is the preferred form. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:46, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Regarding point and counterpoint

I've noticed that we've crept into "critizism, counter-criticism, and criticism of the counter-criticism". There already exists a page for Arguments for and against drug prohibition. We don't need to import that entire argument into this page. Instead it should be summarized here.

I'm going to take a shot at the philosophy for drug prohibition, but it will likely look rather NPOV, since there is no factual information to support it. Robert Rapplean 19:44, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Mythobeast edits

I just reverted this:

===Negative effectiveness===
The net results of the war on drugs is an increase in drug use, plus social costs that far exceed the damage that the drugs themselves could do. The blockade on proper dosage information and quality guarantees results in an increase in the number of people who misuse, overuse, abuse, and overdose on drugs. The damage to life quality caused by legal action exceeds the damage to life quality caused by drug abuse. The cost of enforcement and imprisonment exceeds the medical costs of our drug problems. Imprisonment results in a higher incidence of continued use over treatment.

While I happen to feel this is probably correct, this is in encyclopedia, not a blog, thus assertions like this need to be sourced (and become much stronger in the process). Also another "effectiveness" section is unnecessary. Please make additions to the "efficacy" section. -- Bill Huston (talk) 23:25, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

WombatOnslaught's 2 cents

I added a "Costs" section because money is the one area that everyone has feeling in, the pocketbook. I also added the fact that "The War on Drugs" is only a name, and represents drug control. My wording may not be precise and the point may be further illucidated upon but this is an important point to make from the begining, I did not add it because I do not know how to and remain NPOV but this "war" in not on drugs, but on the users of such drugs. It is widely accepted as a disease, yet we imprison people for having it. Also the use of drugs in the psychedelic ,or entheogen, family is religious in many culters and this makes the war on drugs a war on a religious level contrary to the Bill of Rights. I am very much subjective when it comes to this issue and so I do not feel I can be POV at when it comes to this point and so will leave it for someone else, though I sugest researching Yopo, Ayahuasca, Peyote, Marijuana & Rastafarianism, and the experiments of Timothy Leary at a church in with most of the subjects reported having a religious experience while "high" on LSD which were confirmed by a group which confirms such things. This may be a point made in the "Arguments For & Against "The War on Drugs", but is most definitely belongs in the "War on Drugs" article, under effects, as "The War on Drugs" and made illegal many tribal religions, Rastafarianism, and psychedelic sentiments of a religious nature talked about by people such as Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Terrence McKenna, Herman Hesse, Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley, and many others. If such is not done by a less subjective person I will attempt a NPOV piece under the "Effects" section.

Hi, Wombat. You can't specifically target religion, but it is possible to identify the WoD as an outcropping of the culture war. In order to establish one culture as "superior" to another culture, it is common to attempt to outlaw the practices and ideas performed by the other culture. Religion is just the institution most commonly associated with this kind of abuse. In the middle ages, laws existed that allowed jailing and killing of women who set a broom outside their door, because this was a way of advertising for women who practiced herbal medicine, which was in opposition to the beliefs of the church. People readily fall for such things, as is evidenced by our current mythology about witches. Some groups in the US are currently working hard to make the teaching of evolution and actions associated with homosexuality illegal for the same reasons. This is, however, quite PoV and wouldn't last more than a week on this page. Robert Rapplean 23:42, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


If you ever watched COPS you know the reason drugs are illegal--to circumvent people's civil rights. As soon as they smell a little pot or think you look high they can search you and do pretty much whatever they want. If drugs were legal they'd never bust half of the people driving around with guns and stolen cars. 19:09, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure driving around with guns isn't illegal... Brandonm2 20:55, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

12.41, I'm not sure if you're saying this is a good thing or not. If Americans have changed their mind and think police should be able to search cars/houses at will then just amend the constitution and let them do it, without the pretext of pot smoke. If they have reason to think you have an unregistered firearm or stolen car presumably they can search you right now.... -- Subsolar 05:39, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

You are right, but the way the united states is supposed to be set up is that you can still drive around with your illegal gun and the police have no right to arbitrarily search you for it just because "they have a hunch" or "he looked scary" or "he smelled like marijuana." The problem is, they can search you for one of those reasons. DerwinUMD 02:23, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

The cop usually asks the suspect for permission, and he/she almost always grants it. I suppose being stopped by the cops can be intimidating, but it would be nice to see people asserting their rights more often.

The cops ask permission because they cannot search without either permission or probable cause. If you refuse to give permission but the cop smells something he thinks is pot, he will hold you there until a canine unit arrives. If the dog signals the presence of drugs, the cop then has probable cause to search. People will sometimes allow cops to search, hoping that the cop will miss something or that if the drugs are found they can us the "Why would I allow the cop to search if I knew it was there, therefore I'm innocent" defence. CWPappas 05:02, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Reference misinterpreted

Article states under "United States domestic policy," that, "In 1994, it was reported that the War on Drugs incarcerates 20 million Americans a year." That's not true (obviously)...actually about 1 million are arrested, but the 20 million number refers to the estimated number of Americans who use drugs, and are thus made into criminals by the drug laws.

How best to correct this?

Chuao 12:32, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Chuao. You are correct, as the next sentence in the statement supports. I've went ahead and made this edit. Robert Rapplean 23:34, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

United States initiative?

War on Drugs isn't just in United States, it is a global enterprise, and this article should discuss about its global aspects. Unfortunately, this global enterprise isn't successful as it consumes tons of money and unnecessarily ruined lives. Wooyi 22:30, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

The "War on Drugs" is just a United States enterprise, because other countries don't use that expression for their drug policies. Cambrasa (talk) 20:39, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
This is doubly wrong. The War on Drugs still happens even if the label gets translated. Also the term is used in other languages, too. Look at de:War on Drugs for example. --mms (talk) 22:25, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
The "War on Drugs" doesn't happen elsewhere, even if the label gets translated. What happens elsewhere is Drug policy. "War on Drugs" is a propaganda term invented by the US government, and it isn't really a "war" at all. Wikipedia should not use the term "War on Drugs" as a synonym for "Drug Prohibition" especially in countries outside the US, because it's POV. Cambrasa
While Drug Politics are universal (whether there is prohibition or not), the War on Drugs is a special drug policy. It gets applied quite throughout the world. Prohibition is also a term with a wider meaning than War on Drugs. --mms (talk) 15:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
The article de:War on Drugs only talks about the US "War on Drugs" and not anything that happens in Germany. "Krieg gegen Drogen" is not an expression used for German drug policy. "war on drugs" is an Americanism. Cambrasa (talk) 14:01, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
No, de:War on Drugs has a worldwide POV. It has a subsection on the situation in Germany with quotes from three ministers of the interior since the 1970s stating what is more important: the War on Drugs or the War on Terrorism. In the German-speaking Wikipedia there are the (here missing) articles about de:Drogenpolitik and de:Niederländische Drogenpolitik. The first is about Drug Politics in general but with a German POV, yet. It should have a worldwide POV—like the article about Dutch Drug Politics. --mms (talk) 15:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

This is an article about a US-specific topic. No country outside the US uses the term "War on Drugs" for their own drug program apart from countries taking part in the US's "War on Drugs". This article does not need a worldwide view because there isn't one. I will remove the box. Cambrasa (talk) 11:00, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

The war on Drugs is fought mainly outside the USA. Wikipedia always aims to have a worldwide view in every language edition. --mms (talk) 13:17, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
It is irrelevant whether it is "fought" outside the USA. What is relevant is that it is "fought" by the USA and nobody else. You wouldn't put a Worldwide view box in the Foreign policy in the United States article either. Besides, this article already has a large foreign policy section, therefore it already representing a world wide view in the context of this expression. Cambrasa (talk) 13:51, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
As I said before. Every article should have a worldwide POV. We are not writing here for U.S. citizens only. The whole article is written in an USA-POV. See the costs for example. Because of this discussion the "Worldwide view box" is usefull. --mms (talk) 15:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
If you want this article to cover drug policies worldwide, that's fine, but then it should be renamed to something more NPOV such as "Drug Policy" Cambrasa (talk) 14:14, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
This article should cover the rug policies worldwide which fall under the War on Drugs. This is of course a term invented in the USA. --mms (talk) 15:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

The "New Left"

I have heard it argued that a resaonable portion of Nixon's rational for the anti-drug legislation was to disable to "new left" which was the strong anti-war (along with other usually liberal ideas) movement of the 60s and 70s. The History Channel claimed that since these anti-war protests were usually rife with drug use, having drugs made illegal would (paraphrased) be an excelent excuse to go in and arrest the protestors. I cannot find a reliable source stating this quote, or any documentation supporting this claim. I do know it has been on the history channel and has been discussed off hand on talk shows. I figured I would throw this idea out there and see if any reliable documentation existed for such a claim, and if so, I think we ought to consider adding this to the page. DerwinUMD 17:07, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

This might be useful to you. CSDP did a pretty good article (PDF) on the release of the Nixon tapes and how it related to drug policy and the Shafer Commission. Might be more out there, but this I know of and can point you to.

The term "Drug War"

Here's an instance of the term "Drug War", used in the movie "Reefer Madness" (circa 1936) 22:24, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Prevalence of Drug Use Graph, top of page

Chart comparing Number of Pirates versus Global Warming; an example of the fact that correlation does not equal causation. The axis' labels are deliberately misleading.

This graph is meaningless as it does not define what it is graphing. It is slightly more obvious than the graph I have provided at right, but only marginally so. It should be updated to reflect what is actually going on (essentially, define "drug use") or removed pending a more accurate representation being offered. Lumbergh 20:19, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Concerning Criticism

In the Criticism section, I think there needs to be a couple of paragraphs on the oppression felt by religious groups concerning the use of entheogens. I'm not that great of a wiki writer and I don't know how to cite the sources. I'm just getting into editing wikipedia, and i've been an avid reader for more than a year. Just a mere suggestion to include this topic under the war on drugs. Also, this article could use a section concerning political standpoints from different political parties, since this article is about the drug war in the U.S. Just a couple suggestions, trying to make wiki a better place --Deadlytab 21:25, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

George Jung

I removed the following paragraph from the article:

George Jung, more commonly known as Boston George, was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Weymouth. He started out as a marijuana smuggler in the 1960s with his friend Moe Petracco, importing hundreds of pounds from Columbia, stealing airplanes, and flying from Puerto Vallarta to California. After quite a while his business grew to the point where he was making over $100,000 a month and had started using professional pilots; he was eventually arrested in Chicago with 660 pounds of marijuana at the Playboy Club. His "buyer" had been busted and set him up.

This paragraph has nothing at all to do with U.S. foreign policy, the section in which it appeared. If someone wants to work it in, please find an appropriate place for it and do something to indicate its relevance to this article.

-Fenevad 01:34, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

incarceration vs arrests

The page currently has

....incarcerates 1 million Americans a year. Of the 1 million drug arrests

It seems to me that many more people would be arrested than incarcerated, so one of the numbers is incorrect... -- Subsolar 05:36, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Essay of response to criticsm

Here is the text that was removed as it is an essay and does not meet WP standards for an encyclopedic article. It does not maintain a neutral viewpoint by establishing a "straw-man" opponent to refute. Feel free to use it as a model but please avoid duplicating the unencyclopedic tone and its hypothetical refutation style - responses to "criticism" would be better done within the paragraph in the article where a criticism is raised instead of rambling at the end:

A common argument heard in support of the War on Drugs is that it is not something that can be "won" or "lost." Proponents of this argument believe the War on Drugs is similar to medical efforts to end human disease--both have technically "failed." Others point out that it would be absurd to end funding for medical research because it hasn't eradicated all illnesses. This argument implies that while there are negative effects from the War on Drugs, the alternate, decriminalization, would lead to an even worse state in society. '

The weakness of this metaphor is that modern medicine has and continues to make great progress in the treatment of illness, whereas the War of Drugs has been, according to many, unsuccessful. This weakness is exacerbated by the logical problems in likening all drugs to fatal diseases. In fact, some drugs, like methamphetamines, are more harmful than others. Others, for example cannabis, are not as harmful.

Although some believe decriminalization of drugs may reduce criminal activity simply by redefinition, advocates of prohibition claim that increasing the availability of drugs will increase usage, and that the social costs of increased drug addiction would be worse than the costs of prohibition.[1]However, this claim overlooks the fact that various drugs can be legal but their availability can be regulated to various degrees based on their public health risk. For example, morphine and alcoholic beverages are all legal but regulated differently which greatly influences their availability to the general public. Opponents argue that the War on Drugs surrenders control over certain drugs to an illegal drug market dominated by violent gangs and drug dealers, which makes it virtually impossible to regulate them. This absence of regulation creates new public health and safety problems when certain widely-used drugs that pose relatively little harm to individual user or society, such as cannabis, are exploited by drug dealers who desire only to increase their profit by exposing more of the public to hard drugs, such as methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin.

Prohibitionists also point out that the cheapest, most popular legal drug, namely alcohol, is responsible for a larger proportion of crime than all illicit drugs combined, indicating that decriminalization of other drugs would indeed lead to an increase in crime.[2] However, this argument results from the false presumption that all drugs exert the same effects. While alcohol may promote violence and crime, there is little evidence suggesting that other drugs, psychedelics or opioids for instance, directly induce violent behavior. Criminalization of theft and other crimes has not led to their eradication, but few would suggest that crimes of person and property be decriminalized. Analogously, prohibitionists argue that the failure of the war on drugs to reduce drug use should not be taken as a reason to decriminalize it. Although advocates of decriminalization would argue that this is a false analogy, and that that drug use only disadvantages the user, prohibitionists point to the effects of drug use upon others.[1] In response to that point, advocates of decriminalization would point out that tobacco and alcohol have the same effects as other illegal drugs (intoxication) and can lead to the same end (addiction, disease, social problems, death) and are still legal, so therefore the government is contradicting itself by making certain substances criminal when the legal ones have the same or even worse effects. Thanks! Icactus 22:17, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Social Conservatism and Drug Policy

I associate much of the rhetoric of the war on drugs with Reagan's presidency. Some published (and peer reviewed) material suggests that it was an attempt by the conservative movement to regain social control from progressives who had success with community mental health initiatives. Perhaps part of this effort relates to a long standing debate over whether or not mental illness actually exists. Many vestiges of Reagan era drug policy remain in force, even though much has since been learned about the brain, and the epidemiology of mental illness. It would be interesting to know if social conservative movements do still exist that argue against addiction as a mental health problem. This is a fascinating area. I'm sure that the social taboo of fighting alongside drug liberalization advocates has done a lot to cement Reagan's policies over the long term.

Tax Stamp in History Section

I don't know if I am correct about this... in the 4th paragraph of the history section it states that marijuana tax stamps were never produced but if you follow the link to the Marijuana Tax Act page, there is an image of a Marihuana tax stamp. Isn't this contradictory or am I mixing up two different tax stamps? Oh, by the way, there seem to be a variety of US state issued marijuana tax stamp available on e-bay, too. CWPappas 05:17, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Seems a valid observation to me. An edit from never produced to never fully implemented seems suitable. The Wiki page on the tax stamps is short on details as well but I'm sure some doctors used them for a time at least, it was just burdensome and cumbersome and expensive enough that it faded out quickly and was never used much. Cheaper and easier just to get it off the streets, so people did.

they issued tax stamps during WW II as they been cut off by the Japanese from hemp fibers grown in the pacific. do to this they came to the conclusion that they had to produce hemp in the states again in order to get the fibers for ropes and more. Hemp fibers been a quiet common material back then as the last, are strong and at the same time soft as cotton. they changed that practice after the war of cause. from that time there is also a propaganda movie from the dep. of agriculture on farming hemp and how important it is for the war effort and so one - you can find it at youtube quiet easy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

NPOV much?

So, uh, this is a great article about why the war on drugs is bad and must be stopped, but maybe we could write an encyclopedia entry on the war on drugs now? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:38, 23 July 2007.

So, uh, Go for it!. You seem to be the only non-stoner here, so your point of view is crucially important. --Slashme 10:23, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Without getting into the POV of the whole article, I'm not sure of the references to the Iran-Contra Affair in the "Effects" section. It currently refers to the Reagan administration's "illegal foreign policy agenda" and states as a matter of fact that various illegal activities occurred. Isn't it the case that many of these activities were never officially confirmed? -Kris Schnee 04:23, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Has anything been written in defence of the war on drugs or are there any studies that show it is working or at least that it is not contributing to the problem? I have looked but cannot find anything supporting the war. The article should include the reasons for the continuing war on drugs if any exist. ---- The Four Deuces (talk) 21:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Here is a stab at the pro side; it could be put in a section titled Positive Effects of the War on Drugs:

Chief among the benefits of the war on drugs has been the containment of hundreds of drug users to select wiki pages (ref link: War_on_Drugs), greatly reducing the proliferation of stoner impact upon other wiki pages. Such impact is characterized by a marked inability to restrain from latching onto and dwelling upon some single personal experience or obscure, marginalized reference that the stoner has encountered. This containment provides a safe and benign environment where stoners can share a bountiful wealth of true yet inconsequential information with no discernable distraction to the popular majority that does not give a darn.

--Brent 13:54, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh man, you should look into a career in comedy. Seriously, that was really witty and hilarious. Seriously. Split my sides. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm, no thanks?

by American-Me

If you had thought before you spoke on the issue, you would realize that is quite an asinine assumption. It actually costs this country a significant portion of its annual GDP per capita in taxes! While simultaneously LOWERING IT!!!

The joke isn't quite as funny when you put into a nice little summary. The situation goes like this:

You admit to becoming aware that the "war on[ CERTAIN] drugs[' USERS]" borders on treason, is a primary cause of retardation of the entire nations economy, causes unnecessary crime deaths in ALL MAJOR AMERICAN CITIES, and the people dying are guilty of nothing more than enjoying a drug with less negative impact on the user or society than currently legal drugs.

Read on if you don't believe me...

This unconstitutional war on liberty costs the ENTIRE country, all 300 million American or so, dozens of billions of dollars each year.

Consider the current administrations past attempts to pass massive tax-cuts. The numbers with which they argued were smaller than the GROSS costs of "war on[ CERTAIN] drugs[' USERS]". And said tax-cuts were considered to be of enough significance as to able to stimulate our economy out of a recession. So if a depression is of so little importance to our country Why all the complaining about inflation and high gas prices? Oh yeah, money ***IS*** important to Americans. Silly me...

You probably make the baseless assumption that it is also of negligible impact(or "discernible distraction" as you ATTEMPTED to put it) to the mostly-minority urban/suburban communities where this "amendment-free prohibition" is being concentrated with no valid justification. It Dictates that anyone involved in it have their educational and economic opportunities limited in such. All of which in turn creates an enormous, permanent underclass of people who dramatically lower our GDP, increase our high-school drop-out and illiteracy rates.

These same citizens become hardened criminals after being forced to live years of their life in state prisons with violent prisoners guilty of anything from robbery, assault, and rape, to attempted or even committed murder. And the justification is that they are guilty of partying. This means that for doing the exact same thing others can do(WITH ALCOHOL and TOBACCO), these men have their families lives permanently negatively impacted. This goes especially for those who are arrested and have one or more children. When these men are arrested they leave behind a family, a SINGLE-MOTHER FAMILY. So now more money is spent on welfare, to support the family left behind.

Aside from not being able to SUPPORT his family, or help RAISE his own children, the citizen is COSTING the state THOUSANDS of DOLLARS ANNUALLY!


Go ahead and add all that up in your head.

And bear in mind the fact that since your opportunities aren't limited, and you're more likely to live a successful life and maintain employment. Which in turn means that you're picking up the tab, not them! Your money, not theirs!

I cant even imagine the outcry we would hear if the same rules were applied to alcohol and/or tobacco. Of course if that were done, the drag on our economy would become so great, we would cease to be a world power.

But since you can get away with violating the rights of a permanent underclass with far less opportunity than others, you do. But not only do you get away with it, you laugh and have the audacity to joke about it.

Here's a good joke for you:

If we didn't have the Prohibition, we would probably have made so much more economic progress as a country that we would have one of the highest GDP per capita, literacy rate, AND employment rate!

Oh wait, How is it funny to joke about putting a drag on the US?

Maybe I don't get it because I'm an American patriot, unlike you.

Teamster 657 ATX (talk) 05:23, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

The method of illegalising marajuana

The stamp method that they used to illegalis marajuana, in which you had to have a stamp to grow or sell marajuana [however they did not issue any stamps], was not mentioned.

Anti-Drug Abuse Act

I've been looking to read more about the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 which enacted the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. There seems to be no mention of it on Wikipedia, which really really confuses me. This is not some little act, this is a big deal and its not here. I'm putting this on my todo list, but I'm really confused about why it isn't already here. Anyone know what the heck is up with that? Lizz612 (talk) 18:29, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Lizz612, One of the most thorough examinations of U.S. mandatory min sentences was done a few years ago by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. See [2]
It is very carefully worded so as not to offend Congress, the originator of all federal mandatory sentencing statutes. Their effect is to end-run the federal Sentencing Guidelines, written with huge effort by the U.S. SC, who had been established by the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act.
Much lately from the Supreme Court about how the "Guidelines" are to be used. You probably know.
I've been studying this stuff since I am a volunteer advisor to [] But I don't intend to edit its WIKI stuff because I am too busy lately
Johnchase (talk) 04:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

can we remove the "weasel words" thing?

I have seen almost identical statements in "marijuana books"... the "weasel words" thing is completely unnecessary... BriEnBest (talk) 07:37, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree - the statement there is attributed to a particular person. There is no cite, but there probably could be if someone familiar with Chomsky's writing on this looked it up. However, the section "Propaganda cover for paramilitary operations" is odd, and does not match the text. I'll try to improve it. Subsolar (talk) 07:00, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Non-relevant image removed

Large cost mark-ups associated with illegality of drugs, UK Govt report

This image below isn't relevant, it doesn't fit with the start of the article... Philipwhiuk (talk) 22:08, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, don't delete from wikipedia, improve! The image is relevant if you realize that the War on Drugs is what drives very large profits to be made from illegal drug trafficking (you certainly can't make profits like this on prescription morphine and cocaine), and in turn these profits drive the creation of new businesses whose very existance the War on Drugs was created to stop. I had thought this would be obvious from reading the article, but perhaps not. So I'm restoring the image with an explanation. SBHarris 23:20, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Wisdom follows, pay attention!

This article is clearly the worst one on the entire wikipedia, which is honestly quite an achievement! Full of anarchist-libertine propaganda, without the slightest trace of balance.

Let's face it: ever since Ulysses forcibly took away his oarmen from the Island of Lotus Eaters in Homer's Odysseia, greco-roman-european based culture has always and consistently opposed, banned and punished substance abuse. The whole white civilization is based on this basic fact.

Also it is proof of what is just and right, that all substance abusing civilizations have long fallen. The peace-pipe blowing redskins, the opium-enamoured imperial China, the magic mushroom eating zulu warriors: white race has trampled all of them flat out. This is because whites did not consume drugs to create pleasing hallucinations, thus they had to work hard with sane mind to make their lives better, therefore inventing machines, which co-incidentally afforded them with efficient war-fighting ability.

God has tasked man to toil endlessly upon expelling him from Paradise but substance abuse makes people just lay around hallucinating, thus disobeying the heavenly command. [citation needed] (talk) 23:23, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The problem with this argument is that no drug was illegal in the US until 1907. I think the white man had managed to make quite a lot of progress up to then. And he had a lot better drugs available than the "peace pipe" smoking Indian, who certainly wasn't blowing anything stronger than tobacco in the thing. SBHarris 01:17, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Another issue is why are certain drugs prohibited while others are tacitly endorsed (caffeine, alcohol, etc.)? Alcohol can cause hallucinations (not to mention that it is a factor in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls[3]). (talk) 18:28, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Not only is this argument racist, it's incredibly stupid. White people have been boozing it up for centuries, smoking tobacco and generally being the leaders in illegal drug use.

Substance abuse makes people 'just lie around hallucinating'? Wow, I'm smoking the wrong brand of cigarettes. (talk) 18:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but Wikipedia doesn't consider "God" (whoever that is) a reliable source. If you want to be able to modify an article based on what "God" has published, you will need to find another wikiproject, I'm afraid. Have you considered using Conservapedia? Cambrasa 03:03, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

In antiquity

Added Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters to history section as first ever written account of violent drug-supression activity. (talk) 23:40, 8 February 2008 (UTC}[citation needed]

Source of this statement that it is the first? Any particular edition, or merely one supplied by the Gods? Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 23:46, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Ridiculously biased

Seriously, the most biased piece of Wiki material I've seen. It is very anti-war on drugs as anybody who reads "The modern War on Drugs can be more accurately described as an effort to punish people who elect to use illegal drugs, and the choice of words can probably be described as propaganda." from the introduction. I'd do more to change it if I didn't agree 1000% that the war on drugs is a disaster. All the information can be used, just in way where it is "some say it..." instead of "it is...". TostitosAreGross (talk) 03:31, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Go for it. See the article on capital punishment for an example of a fairly neutral (but still somewhat wrenching) description of the law-in-action, which keeps the major viewpoints off till the end, where they are summarized. The problem with this article is that it hasn't had anyone willing to stand up for the prohibition case. You know, there is actually some evidence that alcohol use and abuse and secondary problems dropped during the 1920's. The question is whether it was worth it, in terms of creation of gangs, skofflaws, and the jailing of people who were basically (usually) nonviolent. The country eventually decided it was not. And that's the identical problem we have here, of course. SBHarris 04:20, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Well I don't think a neutral point of view is two groups of editors disagreeing, as we all know that can be disastrous. All that needs to be done is establish that there are some arguments from the other side. TostitosAreGross (talk) 11:19, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
The most biased piece of Wiki material I've seen is the Holocaust. It is written in a very anti-Holocaust manner. The problem with this article is that it hasn't had anyone willing to stand up for the annihilation case. Seriously, if there are more convincing arguments against governmental action than supporting ones, there is no reason Wikipedia should censor itself. Wikipedia is not a national product and is not a vehicle for propaganda. There are awful things happening in the world and Wikipedia should name them accordingly. I can't see any serous problems with WP:NPOV in this article. Of course it could be improved but the article as a whole is not bad. The quoted sentence can be backed up by War on Drugs#"War" as a propaganda term. If you think statements should be sourced, use {{Fact|{{subst:DATE}}}} right in the text. --mms (talk) 01:31, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Eh, the difference is that we're not right in the middle of the Nazi holocaust, with the laws all still in place. And your neighbors are not all Nazis. However, if you ask your neighbors about drugs, you'll find that most of them are for continuted prohibition. This article doesn't even come close to representing the consensus of most of the societies of English-speaking peoples, which is what you'd expect from a Wiki on a topic in the English wikipedia. So it's not really a good analogy. If there really aren't any decent arguments for keeping most of the now-illegal drugs illegal, HOW COME THEY STILL ARE? I don't notice that we're living in a fascist state where they're illegal only because Der Führer likes it like that. Rather, we're living in a democracy where > 50% of your neighbors like it like that. Different problem. Either they're all illiterate or stupid, or else this article is missing something essential. Since I happen to agree with its thesis (that the War On Drugs is about as wise as the War on Iraq), I'm not in a position to comment. But even if I were editing an article on the US war on Iraq (say), I'd want to see the hawk side better-argued, because it's not THAT unreasonable. This is not the holocaust, and I don't really appreciate having to invoke Godwin's Law this early. SBHarris 01:44, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
What the English-speaking people belief is not what this article is all about. There is more than the English-speaking world. Democracy doesn't prevent violations against human rights and does not guarantee the government abides to the law. --mms (talk) 18:08, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
What the English-speaking people believe is exactly what this article is about, since this is the English language Wikipedia article. You can do whatever you want to the Dutch version, or whatever. I'll never bother you, and nobody else here will, either, I'll bet. And as for the government "abiding by the law", in the US, what the governments ends up "abiding by" IS the law. That is how the law is defined. The courts can decide differently later, but the government almost never has to pay retribution. Even if retribution would make up for the punishments and excesses of the government, which it hardly ever does. So forget it. Claiming the government is violating the "law" is the most worthless excercise you'll ever do. I suggest you take up celery-chewing. SBHarris 22:01, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia aims to have a woldwide POV in every language edition. There is no English edition! Only a king is above the law. The government of a republic is under the law. In the USA the congress legislates and still infringes his own laws in legislating. If government is always right, I wonder what the American Civil Liberties Union is good for. In my periphery several municipalities and cities sue the state government. How is this possible if the government can't be criminal? --mms (talk) 00:26, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Dear Sbharris, firstly, the English language encyclopedia is not meant to be for English speaking countries only. In fact, about 1/4 of users are non-native English speakers, and this number is likely to go up in future.
Secondly, Wikipedia does not convey a "societal consensus", it conveys facts. Wikipedia should not report what a majority thinks is true, it should report what is true, whether a majority believes this or not. If there is more empirical evidence that the War on Drugs is a failure than evidence that it is a success, then that's what Wikipedia should say. Remember that this article is not criticising the War on Drugs, it is simply presenting the criticisms from notable sources. Cambrasa 14:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is concerned with verifiablity not truth. See WP:V. That policy is there because it's more or less impossible to objectively determine "truth" except in the experimental sciences, and even there, the best we can do is determine what is false, not what is true (unless you trivially want to talk about the truth that a particular idea is false). However, it does not follow that the converse of every statement that is false, is true, because there is a large middle which isn't excluded. The idea that Wikipedia should report "truth" whether the majority believes it or not, is especially funny. You'll generate a good argument on that with regard to hard science questions, but on matters of social policy, politics, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy, taste, etc, you won't even get a good argument-- you'll just be laughed at, and rightly so. Many, if not most, statements are neither true nor false, but lie in the realm of social opinion, which means all we can do is report what the majority thinks, and what significant minories think. Do chocolate cookies with milk taste good? Is circumcision good? Bad? How about Scientology? Did Jesus rise from the dead? Do you think the last question has an answer, and if it does, then should Wikipedia report it (ie, the TRUTH), suppressing all other opinions? Is Taiwan an autonomous country? That depends on who you ask and when, and there was and is no brightline date when it changed from one thing to the other. Such things have no answers except by appeal to opinion polls. The war on drugs is the same. "Empirical evidence" in the social sciences is far from from physics, that it's nearly indistinguishable from simply opinion polling among social scientists and various governments and political action groups, who between them hold every major opinion you can think of. SBHarris 23:45, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't need to say whether circumcision and Scientology is good or bad. It only needs to present empirical evidence, a priori reasoning, and opinions by notable people, and the reader can decide for him/herself. It should not present opinions as facts of course. It should always say "X says Y is true" instead of "Y is true". But this is what this article is doing. I don't think that presenting a large number of criticisms constitutes bias. It's up to the reader to decide if he/she trusts the sources and finds the arguments compelling. And I disagree, opinion polling in social sciences is not just as good empirical evidence. Empirical evidence does exists in the form of drug usage statistics for instance. Opinions on the other hand, are often ideologically motivated, and ideology tends to make people blind to the point where they deliberately choose to ignore solid evidence. When the Pope says that condoms are ineffective against HIV infection (basing his argument on religious dogma) and medical professionals say that condoms are 95% effective (based on evidence) whos opinion counts more? The Pope's or the doctors'? An opinion alone is not good enough, we also need to know what that opinion is based on. It is wrong to say that a opinion is valid just because a majority holds it, without questioning why they hold it. The general population simply assumes prohibition works because it seems intuitive. But "common sense" has often proven to be wrong in history. Cambrasa 00:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Well somebody finally took out the main offender in the intro, which is good. That being said, this page needs a bit of restructuring to make it less opinionated. TostitosAreGross ([[User talk:TostitosAreGross|talk]]) 21:46, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

The statement about propaganda just lacked a source. Besides it was well fitting. --mms (talk) 00:26, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

This whole Wikipedia entry is a joke. And, it won't matter how many times you try and fix it, drug legalization proponents will quickly come back to change it to favor their legislation and policy agenda. Go look at the DEA entry. They are constantly putting ridiculous statements in there, that the slightest fact checking will dispel. But, like this entry, no matter how many times it is corrected, they will come back and change it. It's entries like these that make Wikipedia a joke with serious researchers, or even with people trying to get some basic information.

Everything in this page is backed by evidence and cites sources. How is this not useful?

Ive spent dozens of hours by coming here, finding relevant supreme court cases, doing research into the things that supreme court justices have written both for and against. And among the countless arguments I saw made by Justices for the constitutionality of prohibition, I have yet to see one which isn't easily disproved by one or more dissenting Justices.

This is just one aspect of this page, but the most important one. It is the most important one because it dictates whether or not the government has the right to enforce the prohibition. And that goes whether or not the prohibition works effectively or not.

You can attempt create a valid argument for circumventing the US constitution, or to find that lost amendment which denies us our right to the liberty and pursuit of happiness guaranteed to us by our social contract.

Until you do, no one will care. Because the constitution is the sole sovereign entity in the US. The ONLY unchallengeable power.

Get to work prohibitionists!!!

Teamster 657 ATX (talk) 06:03, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

The problem is is that drug use isn't something that just harms the person using it. It can cause violence against others, either out of effect of the drugs, or people stealing to encourage the habit. What's the quote? "The right to swing my fist ends where the other person's nose begins". The constitution is also hardly unchallenged, as it's been added too and interpretated many different ways. It's also a mistake to assume that it's perfect. The founding fathers may have been cool guys, but they weren't gods, and even Ben Franklin said that he didn't think the constitution was perfect. You also claim that everything on this page is cited, yet I see numerous fact checks and tags.-- (talk) 13:34, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

So many logical fallacies in SBharris' arguments... —Preceding unsigned comment added by DubYou (talkcontribs) 17:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

how about a new section for voices against the war on drugs from within the usa government?

the only one that comes to mind is that of jocelyn elders. does anyone know of others? Badmachine (talk) 22:38, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

There are organizations for former cops against prohibition.

I don't think that's what you're speaking of though.

Since admitting to such views would mean political-death within the current(read unamerican) bi-partisan system no politician would ever admit to having such views.

As far as I know, its only a few select politicians, so they are going to most likely be considered fringe, or radical.

Ron Paul!

I know for a fact that he doesn't support the drug war. He says simply that when alcohol was outlawed it required an amendment to the constitution, and so should any other drug.

Hes still slightly fringe, but he did make a good run in his campaign for the presidency!

Teamster 657 ATX (talk) 06:23, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

"A different view on the War on Drugs" section too long?

Is the section A different view on the War on Drugs too long? In my opinion it has too much information that goes beyond the scope of this article. I suggest moving most of the information to a new article Drug policy of Sweden and just presenting a brief summary here. Cambrasa 15:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I see the Swedish example, published by UNODC, as a different kind of strong criticism of the War on drugs and also a strong criticism of some other criticism in the same article and therefore it is a relevant part of the article. It it not easy to write this section short and make it understandable for people living in the US. For ex, if someone writes zero tolerance many readers probably think that that this is equal to many prisoners or that you are writing tales if you argue that many prisoners is not a matter of course if a country implement zero tolerance for illegal drugs.--Dala11a (talk) 17:20, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree, it does seem a little off topic. I think moving and summarizing in the section in the current article a good choice.--DavidD4scnrt (talk) 07:46, 16 April 2008 (UTC)of

Is 7% of 10 pages too long??? What about the other 93%?--Dala11a (talk) 09:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

i think it should be moved. it has nothing to do with us drug policy.

Badmachine (talk) 18:28, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Nothing?? 1) Bejerot was not a citizen in the US. but he wrote books and held speeches where he made comments on the war on drugs i the US.. He was both a supporter and opponent. 2) UNODC has in 2007 by the report SWEDEN’S SUCCESSFUL DRUG POLICY:A REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE, [3] shown that they think that other shall acquaint them self with Bejerots theories. In the report he is described as, I quote :"The theoretical foundation of Sweden’s restrictive drug policy of the 1970s and 1980s appears to be largely based on the work of Nils Bejerot, who is sometimes referred to as the founding father of Swedish drug control policy" So why is Bejerot less relevant than for ex far-fetched comparisons with Nazism?--Dala11a (talk) 01:46, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
for this article, this is all not relevant. whatever one thinks of bejerot, his views havent affected the usa war on drugs. Badmachine (talk) 19:31, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Nils Bejerot is a very controversial person in Sweden, even today. He himself stated that he became a MD to gain political influence, with the authority of a doctor. The statistical foundations of his findings (his doctoral thesis) have been debunked by later reviews. The "professor" title he got is a honorary one, given by the Swedish government in 1977. He never made a academic career within the ordinary system, working as a psychiatrist, for the police, magazines and as the first scientific leader of a private research foundation. Allegedly, he had great skills in rhetoric and persuasion, and he was a pioneer in the field of drug epidemiology, but thats about all. For example, note that his model on the spreading of drug abuse being largely interchangeable with the diffusion of innovation-theory. He has been accused of being unable to accept or even listen to another views than his own. If anything, his view of how a good drug policy should look like belongs to articles as the one suggested above and of course, his own. u Second, Sweden's sucsess is based on the premise that low numbers of drug users is a meaningful indicator. However, Sweden has quite high levels of problem drug users, high mortality rates ect. Additionally: Sweden is the biggest donor to the UNODC after the European Commission.

I think the section should be moved. Ssteinberger (talk) 02:08, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

dala11a: 2) UNODC does not praise Nils Bejerots ideas, they praise the drug policy of Sweden. And thats a different thing, although it is based on his utopian urge for a "drug-free society", it is more pragmatic. And you know that. Ssteinberger (talk) 02:19, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Nils Bejerot's importance for the drug policy i Sweden is well known and acknowledged. Read the source from UNODC. A common complain among pro-cannabis activist in Sweden is that his influence on the government policy is and has been to big. It correct that he has been a controversial person. But i can't see how anybody can write anything of practical importance about the war on drugs without attacks from opponents. It true that a big part his career, before he become M.D at Karolinska Institute in 1974, was in a position outside Karolinska. He made many thousands of medical investigations of drug addicts. It is also true that he in 1975 received the title docent, a Swedish title limited to those who has the academic qualifications for a job as professor. The present text in Wikipedia does not say that Sweden is a country without drug problems, so what is your point? I think that you "debunk" yourself when you hint that the UNODC report is not relevant. Is not the truth that your opinion is that Bejerot's influence on the Swedish anti-drug policy has been too big? --Dala11a (talk) 12:23, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Former Swedish drug czar Björn Fries have distanced himself from the extremist Bejerot for one example. Allowing for permissive policies like needle exchange and substitution treatments Bejerot whould have seen as contra-productive and dangerous in a cultural perspective. He also made the government to take a over the responsibility of producing anti-drug propaganda, earlier taken by fundamentalist anti-drug popular movements in Sweden ("dope is poo"-campaign). When you state that Bejerots ideas, as a whole, is accepted, you are bloody wrong. They are highly controversial, even among the parties of the riksdag. And not only among hardcore drug liberals and cannabis legalization activists as you states. Ssteinberger (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 13:18, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
The present text in Wikipedia say that Bejerot was a founder of the present ant-drug policy in Sweden, it does not say that the present policy is identical with Bejerots views. And who believe that any anti-drug policy will not have loud opponents? You forgot to inform that needle exchange is very unusual in Sweden, about 99% of the municipalities has no clinic with needle exchange. Both the present and the former government have Zero tolerance for illegal drug use as the official policy; and zero is zero in Sweden, that is a typical Bejerot view. Then it is another matter that governments not always are consistent.--Dala11a (talk) 15:53, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
So Bejetots view on permissive policies as having a contra-productive impact on cultural climate as it legitimized drug use in the society, is for example applied today? Have you heard any leading politican speak about the "drug-free society" lately? And why do you think they have stoped talking about it? However, that was sort of off-topic: Tell me why a dead controversial swedish social policy commentator is relevant in the understanding of the present day policy of USA? He, his analysis of English and American drug policies, and his ideas are possibly relevant in an article on Swedens drug policy, but not in an article on the American War on Drugs. To me it looks like OR and POV-pushing. Ssteinberger (talk) 16:24, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
1)Your first sentence. The headline of the section war An alternative view on the war on drugs -Nils Bejerot. You don't like Bejerot's view, but that does not give you the right to constrain other people from reading about it.
2)"Have you heard any leading politician speak about the "drug-free society" lately?" Answer: Yes. Read this [4] It is one of many the sources you deleted. The source is a link the present Swedish government's official web page.
3)"is relevant in the understanding of the present day policy of USA" Answer: Yes. First Bejerot has theories about addiction, why is the war on drugs in USA not more successful. Second. The Swedish example shows that it possible to have a much lower use of drugs without having 1 in 100 imprisoned. That is very relevant for the present war on drugs in the US. I big part of the article War on drug support the view that a war on drugs is almost always lost. That is unbalanced. The facts in the Swedish example show that a combination of several different methods can reduce the drug use significant. This has impressed on the manager of UNODC. It is not a hopeless battle, a war on drugs must not include racism, creation of a permanent underclass or other types of large drawbacks mentioned in section criticism of the article War on drugs. I think that is relevant for a reader in US. also for a reader that has no connection to Sweden. It gives another view in War on drugs.
4)Your first suggestion was to move the text to another article. Now you have just deleted it including all sources. I put it back. --Dala11a (talk) 01:35, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Neither my or your opinion on Bejerot is relevant in this matter. And, it do not matter: If you read what you just written above, its all to clear that it is Original Research. Even if the synthesis was correct, it would only be interesting if some leading American politician used his analysis in the American debate and lifted forth Sweden as a good example, however I doubt that is the question. And if, it would be easy for you to find that politician and provide a link. Ssteinberger (talk) 04:33, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
You asked for more links to the War on drugs. One of the sources you have deleted is quotes from Antonio Maria Costa . Executive Director, UNODC . I quote him from UNODC’s web site:
Societies have the drug problem that they deserve," Mr. Costa said. "In Sweden's case, the commitment to prevention, law enforcement, demand reduction and treatment over the past thirty years has made a significant difference.
Mr. Costa said those who doubted the effectiveness of drug control should look at Sweden's experience, which was useful not only for showing that drug control is possible, but how and why. [5]
In DEA’s web page “Inside DEA…” [6] you can read:
Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was in 2007 the keynote speaker on The Twenty-fifth International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC XXV) that took place May 8-10, 2007.
IDEC an organization with clear links to DEA, from the same DEA web page:
Presidency /Co-Presidency: The President is elected annually and presides over the next conference. The country in which the conference convenes is determined by the President of the conference. The Administrator of DEA is the permanent Co-President of the conference. Permanent Secretariat: DEA, through the Office of International Programs (OI), functions as the permanent Secretariat. Member Country delegations at each IDEC consist of one or two senior drug law enforcement officials who are accompanied by the DEA Country Attaché.
So, even if you don't like it has "The Swedish example" become a part of The War on drugs.--Dala11a (talk) 10:36, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
So the Italian politician Antonio Maria Costa, paraphrased the analysis of the godlike drug policy thinker Nils Bejerot at a DEA seminar. Is that what you imply? Ssteinberger (talk) 11:43, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
You distort my words.--11:58, 1 May 2008 (UTC)~

Dala11a: You said "a big part of the article War on drug support the view that a war on drugs is almost always lost. That is unbalanced. The facts in the Swedish example show that a combination of several different methods can reduce the drug use significant."
But this article is only about the US-lead prohibition campaign. The fact is that the US strategy hasn't been very successful and that's what the article reflects. The Swedish strategy is different to the US strategy, so you can't call it a "war on drugs". If anything, the Swedish example also casts the "war on drugs" in a negative light. I suggest you move this section the the article Prohibition (drugs) whose scope is more global. --Cambrasa confab 12:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
A problem with Prohibition (drugs) is that an essential part of the text we are discussing is not about prohibitions. It is a different view. If the complete text "An alternative view .." is deleted in War on drugs will that article become unbalanced in favour of the opinion that a war on drugs is almost always lost and that is impossible to change. What is your solution of that?--Dala11a (talk) 12:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
The article Prohibition (drugs) is not just about Prohibition, because it redirects from Drug Policy. It is a badly named article and I've already requested to move it. --Cambrasa confab 13:13, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
For the second time: the Swedish drug policy is not "a war on drugs". --Cambrasa confab 15:32, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but the redirect is nothing I can change. You did not answer my second question. -Dala11a (talk) 14:00, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it is something you can change! This is a wiki. Simply go to the page Drug policy, delete the redirect, start a new article with a brief summary of the most common drug strategies in the lead, and then add the section you have written and title it "The Swedish model:Niels Bejerot" or similar. That way we could also keep the article Prohibition (drugs) as it is. I would do this myself, but drug policy is not my main area of interest, and I also don't have the time right now, so why don't you do it, since you are enthusiastic about this topic? --Cambrasa confab 15:32, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

dr v's private hell

the video is amusing, but probably doesnt belong here. Badmachine (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 23:34, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

MERGE War on Drugs and Drug policy of the United States

im voicing support for the merger of these two articles. please go here and let your opinion be known. Badmachine (talk) 01:47, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm strictly against such a merge. a) "War on Drugs" is a contentious, emotive, and politically motivated term. Using it as a synonym for "Drug Policy" (the scolarly term) would violate Wikipedia's neutrality principles. b) We could have just one article "Drug Policy of the United States" where "War on Drugs" is explained as a subsection, but the expression, in my opinion, is so notable that it warrants its own article. c) The article covers the history of drug policy long before 1972, at which time the term hadn't been invented yet. --Cambrasa confab 15:42, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I think the pages should be merged into Drug policy of the United States. War on Drugs is only one part of the insane U.S. drug policy. Every state has different drug policies too. So do cities. They all overlap. It seems kind of redundant to have the few paragraphs at Drug policy of the United States sitting there when all the relevant info is mostly at War on Drugs.
I suggest having the name War on Drugs redirect to Drug policy of the United States. Everything from the War on Drugs can be copied to Drug policy of the United States. Nothing is lost. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:04, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
My latest thoughts on this are at Talk:Drug policy of the United States#MERGE War on Drugs and Drug policy of the United States. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:06, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

See the coinciding discussion at Talk:Drug policy of the United States, but here's my take: There was/is a great deal of content here that describes events predating the declaration of a "War on Drugs" that would be better dealt with at the parent article. Moved a fair bit over, but more cleanup is required. A merge would be overkill, especially considering the already rather hefty length of this article - See WP:LENGTH. A partial merge, however, would result in a much cleaner presentation of the topics at hand. Went ahead and started the process. MrZaiustalk 10:23, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

U.S. comparison to other countries

U.S. comparison to other countries

Official agencies and departments tasked with implementing drug policies, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, have published several reports that show several other countries with restrictive drug policies have for decades produced significantly better results than U.S (lower prevalence for use of different drugs, fewer citizens imprisoned for drug crimes).[talk 1][talk 2][talk 3][talk 4]

References (talk copies)

I have an issue with the above as it stands. It seems like either synthesis or just straightforward original research to me. For example, I've looked at the UNODC: World Drug Report 2008, Consumption, Statistical Annex and I would argue that it doesn't really support the section's main contention. Let's look at page 276, section - Cannabis - Annual prevalence of abuse as percentage of the population aged 15-64. This shows e.g. USA 12.2%, Italy 11.2%, England and Wales 8.2%, Netherlands 5.4%. Is this supposed to support the argument that "several other countries with restrictive drug policies have for decades produced significantly better results than U.S."? - And if you argue that it does, what does that mean? Isn't it rather random? How do Italy and England show higher figures than the Netherlands? Why isn't the Netherlands top of the table? We otherwise know that in the U.K. when cannabis was reclassified down from class 'B' drug to class 'C' drug the prevalence of usage actually dropped. How could such a softer approach bring the figures down when what is supposed to work is a tough approach? There seems to be no clear statistical correlation here, just one editors cherry-picking interpretation.

--SallyScot (talk) 22:38, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

SallyScot: Your criticism is based on an incorrect interpretation of the text. You criticize things that are not actually exist in the text. You forget the word restrictive. Moreover, it is actually nothing of any statistical relationships in the text. What is is that there are several countries which for decades has been more successful ... Not more than strange to write that there are several nations which have succeeded better in the world championships in football than Canada. I can mention Finland, Japan, Norway and Sweden. They all have a restrictive drug policy. They have all significantly lower prevalence of different drugs and people in prison for drug crimes than the U.S.. Dala11a (talk) 17:48, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

There's an issue with its placement in the 'Positive' section as here it clearly invites the interpretation of analysis and argument made in support of the War on Drugs, thus I have moved the content to below the earlier Effects section instead. --SallyScot (talk) 22:07, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

What is the War on drugs in practise

What is surprising with this article is that is gives very little information of the methods used on local level in work against dug use. Something started by Nixon is almost zero information. Who is involved, what resources do the have, what is the cost for drug treatment if there is any drug treatment and who pays, what are the typical punishment for a minor possession of different drug, for sale of drug of smaller quantities, is there anti drug information i schools, how much, how active are organization that work against drug use, what role has the parent movement etc. etc. Dala11a (talk) 17:06, 3 August 2008 (UTC)


I deleted this awkward section today, because it doesn't really stand on its own without any explanation. Please feel free to re-add the quotes somewhere else:

We're playing with half a deck as long as we tolerate that the cardinals of government and science should dictate where human curiousity can legitimately send its attention and where it can not. It's an essentially preposterous situation. It is essentially a civil rights issue, because what we're talking about here is the repression of a religious sensibility. In fact, not a religious sensibility, the religious sensibility.

— Terence McKenna in: Non-Ordinary States Through Vision Plants, Sound Photosynthesis, Mill Valley CA., 1988, ISBN 1-569-64709-7

The government has been actively destroying crop fields in which marijuana is suspected to have been growing—however, punitive measures such as long prison sentences for drug offenders does not actually decrease the demand for the drug. If anything, its banned status gives it a certain "appeal" that actually makes it more attractive to people. With artificially low supply and high demand, the cartels profit dramatically, and with dealers competing for the "turf," which is often the nation's inner cities, to sell these highly valuable products, violence often erupts.

— Petition from"

06:29, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

LamaLoLeshLa (talk) 06:30, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Arguments for the drug war

Today this was added: "The recreational use of drugs being prohibited, the use thereof is usually a sign of rebellion against the strictures of society, and therefore the government feels compelled to act against such flagrant disrepect for the law and societal norms. Illegal drug use is thus a shibboleth, whereby drug abusers and all involved in the traffic thereof are perceived as dissident, disruptive and harmful elements in society. To decriminalize such activity would symbolically surrender authority to those who by nature oppose authority." Hmmmmm, seems like one of my drug-lovin friends may have written this. But we need some citations! I can't see the government saying such a thing. Maybe, go look on a fundamentalist website? I'm sure what you wrote wouldn't be far from what they have to say. LamaLoLeshLa (talk) 22:46, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Warren Redlich

Who is Warren Redlich, and why is he mentioned so prominently in the article, here? Nutiketaiel (talk) 19:41, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

the citation takes you to his site. it looks like he isnt notable, but the citation is interesting. badmachine (talk) 03:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

War on Drugs?

This page is talking about the "War on Drugs" like it was some official U.S. policy, rather than just a media characterization and catchphrase. There is no "War on Drugs" in the sense of a law or a department or anything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Much of the page should be broken out into Drug policy of the United States. That said, policy need not be law. As is repeatedly stated in the article, drug policies from Nixon onwards were frequently described and sold using this terminology. MrZaiustalk 14:08, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
"There is no 'War on Drugs' in the sense of a law or a department or anything." The Controlled Substances Act and the Uniform Controlled Substances Acts of the various states are virtually inseperable from the "War on Drugs" in the sense of a law. They are the basic instruments devised to implement the policy described as "War On Drugs" IMO. The Drug Abuse Control Amendments of 1965 were a significant change in policy and shift of federal-state power but the CSA was an enormous change. It has arguably been the vehicle for the creation of a state religion or new national ideology. Whether they are called departments, offices or something else the US has had no lack of them since the late 60s. ODALE, DEA, ONDCP come to mind immediately. The "War on Drugs" is an historically distinct and extremely important part of American drug policy and national ideological conflict. Definitely merits its own article though I think there are important weakness of placing it in historical context. Indeed, I think the whole subject of US drug policy (including over a century where the "policy" was essentially that drug use wasn't a matter for government policy or intervention) is addressed very poorly from an historical perspective. Wickipedia is young. This may get fleshed out well in the coming years. -- Moss&Fern (talk) 13:07, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Barriers to scientific research

Previously read:

The U.S. government classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug (having no accepted medical use) is contradicted by several scientific studies which suggest that it may in fact have medicinal value as a treatment for ailments such as cancer,[39] glaucoma, Fibromyalgia,[40] and neuropathic pain,[41] among others.

Added today as a continuation of the paragraph:

In fact, in the abstract for patent number 6630507[42] filed Feb. 2, 2001 "Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants", held by the United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC), they state "Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia."

The quote has been copied from the US Patent and Trademark website which I believe to be in the public domain and therefore hopefully acceptable. LexRob (talk) 04:08, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


there is nothing in this section that shows that the War on Drugs protects communities. i think this section should be removed, and the template that says War_on_Drugs#Arguments_for_the_Drug_War needs expanded should be replaced. badmachine (talk) 01:29, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I've added the section back in again. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. The point here is not to establish whether the War on Drugs can indeed protect communities as President Clinton argued, only that the argument has been put forward. --SallyScot (talk) 22:25, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I think that this argument should be better explained. Is the threat to communities the use of drugs or the crimes committed by dealers and addicts? Would drug use increase or decrease if drugs were legal? The quote is too vague. The Four Deuces (talk) 13:54, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

POV tags November 2008

Tags above added to the top of the main article by BatteryIncluded on 30 November 2008. I agree this is a controversial subject. But while such tags do make a quick visual impact, they also suggest some current and ongoing discussion on the talk page. And, while there are some older postings on the subject above, BatteryIncluded hasn't really elucidated with their particular concerns. I've removed the tags on this basis. I'd encourage anyone who wants to make what they feel would be overall improvements to the article to go ahead. Be bold; edit the content. If this results in disagreement, which it doesn't seem can be resolved in a reasonable time frame by way of discussion, then perhaps such tags are appropriate. --SallyScot (talk) 13:22, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

the article has been very stable lately. i wonder if its a good article. badmachine (talk) 21:12, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


this section is prefaced by the following, which doesnt seem to have anything to do with any argument for the war on drugs:

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration claims to have had "Successes in the Fight Against Drugs".

In 2002, the Bush Administration set ambitious goals to reduce drug use. The first was to lower drug use by 10 percent over 2 years. We exceeded that goal: youth drug use dropped by 11 percent over 2 years. The second was to lower drug use by 25 percent over 5 years. We nearly reached that in 2007 by achieving a 24 percent decline since 2001 for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders combined.

— US Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Public Affairs (March 2008). "Successes in the Fight Against Drugs".

am i wrong? this seems out of place and i want to take it out, which would leave this section very bare. otoh, it doesnt seem like a good idea to fill out light sections with out of place content. badmachine (talk) 23:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

ok, i took it out. it was misplaced, and is not relevant to the section. badmachine (talk) 02:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Unbalanced lead

I recently reverted an edit that attempted to acknowledge criticism of the topic in the lead/introduction (due to its lack of nuance and overly abrubpt language), but something should be present. More than half the article is taken up discussing a lengthy multi-faceted debate about the effectiveness and propriety of the topic, but there is nary a mention of any potential drawbacks or criticism in the lead. Anyone care to take a stab at making the lead a better summary of the article per the manual of style (specific guidance at WP:LEAD)? MrZaiustalk 04:33, 20 January 2009 (UTC) PS: This change is long overdue, as demonstrated by the lack of progress in this section between the first edit in 2008 and today.

the lead seems well written and neutral, and that may be why it remains unchanged. the failure of the "war" on drugs can not be stated outright in the article, and is instead demonstrated by the dozen plus criticisms, versus only two (specious) arguments for it. badmachine (talk) 08:41, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The key goal in the lead, however, isn't neutrality - It's fairly and succinctly summarizing the article that follows. The two-thirds of the article (going by the TOC) that aren't mentioned in the lead result in a poor introduction. The edit that I reverted that issued a clear judgement on the topic before it was in error, but some hint that the policies are controversial in nature and have had an impact (be it positive or negative) are vital to getting this article to good-article status. MrZaiustalk 10:47, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
i added this, but its not enough. i dont edit this article much because its hard for me to be neutral on this topic. badmachine (talk) 17:50, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

article split

i see the proposal that the 'criticism section' be split into its own article. this would leave this article with only Arguments for the Drug War, with nothing about the negative criticism. i OPPOSE the split. badmachine (talk) 06:31, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

It'd also result in a seperate spammy attack piece, a bad thing per WP:CRITIC. That said, a more balanced approach that was titled something along the lines of Debate over the War on Drugs listing common talking points and giving the sides of both the detractors and supporters may be more viable. On the other hand, this article's short enough that it doesn't matter in the short term. MrZaiustalk 09:00, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. Oldag07 (talk) 15:28, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

If we keep this section then we should have an equally long section for arguments for the war on drugs, and arguments for should come first. Since this will probably not happen, we should split this section into a new article and keep the section in this article but in shortened form so that it represents WP:NPOV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

please feel free to add any verifiable, valid reasons for this war on drugs. the lack of arguments for the war on drugs has nothing to do with the neutrality of this article, and more to do with fact. this article has already been split once, and i think thats enough. badmachine (talk) 20:44, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I oppose the split. Criticism of the war on drugs is still information about the war on drugs. Lulabell petunia (talk) 01:19, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

it is approaching 6 months since the split was proposed. now what? badmachine (talk) 17:56, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

by the way, i OPPOSE the split, as i stated in january. badmachine (talk) 18:18, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
This isn't exactly my article. I don't exactly have the time to split off the criticisms. The section is awfully long taking up over half the page. but I see the argument going both ways. I am surprised the tag is still up. Oldag07 (talk) 11:55, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
i removed it. badmachine (talk) 08:42, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree that splitting the article would frame the opposition as "fringe" and possibly unsubstantiated enough to be removed from the root issue. I oppose the split. 20:26, 9 June 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Define "controlled drug"?

I see some interesting stuff in the article but, as a whole, it seems a jumble
Looks to me like we need something called Drug control laws, referring to relevant international treaties, listing, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, legislation related to those treaties, and aiming to produce a good trans-national definition of controlled drug
Then we might have a basis from which to make drug-related articles less of a jumble, including those which are about drugs which fall outside the scope of drug control laws (eg alcohol and tobacco in the UK)
Laurel Bush (talk) 13:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi Laurel Bush: see List_of_schedules_for_drugs_and_poisons. badmachine (talk) 15:28, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Cheers Badmachine
Looks like Australia may not have prohibition-based drug or substance control legislation covering the country as a whole, but leaves such legislation to the discretion of individual states, with central government merely recommending licensing categories
Laurel Bush (talk)

Loaded Language

Calling anti-drug ads "propaganda" violates NPOV. "Propaganda" is a loaded term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

The article is uneven

First I am a big supporter of marijauna's legalization and other drugs. However this horribly uneven. Drugs such as coke are seriously addictive and drugs such as marijauna have side effects. We need to mention them and we need even it out. YVNP (talk) 02:24, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Real drug war in a sence. Death toll in The US.

The reality is the drug war has been fought already on our streets, our murder rate has droped from near 30,000 a year to 15,000 thanks to the effort by our government to fight drug gangs.

If you don't think America hasn't been affected by the drug war, and we been using other nations to fight our own war. Go say that to the black community who was affected by the drug trade and saw more of their own murdered in the 80s, and early 90s then the whole Mexican nation is seeing today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brenthere (talkcontribs) 08:54, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

NPoV? This entire article appears to have been written by NORML

There appears to be no clear opening attempt to explain WHY the US and other governments (around the world) have adopted criminalization of various drugs from the beginning of time! For instance, why not, before bashing the entire thing, state:

For centuries many nations have sought to protect their societies from the unwelcome effects of a variety of substances, including alcohol; marijuana; cocaine; opium; and certain natural and synthetic psychedelic materials. The unwelcome effects that have been cited include:

  1. the reduction in logical, emotional and sociological restraint as compared to a socially-accepted norm by individuals under the influence of these materials;
  2. loss of ability of users to adequately function in the workplace and home environments (due to #1 above);
  3. a deterioration in the stability of the family-structure (due to #2 above), leading to marital abuse, divorce, criminal neglect of children and an increase in people, especially children, living in poverty;
  4. loss of the economic productivity of users (due to #2 above) which undermines the economic well-being of the society;
  5. increased crime rates due to those who become addicted to various substances needing (due to # 2 above) an alternative source of funds;
  6. increased costs associated with police and military efforts to prevent the smuggling and distribution of these materials.

I am quite sure that these concerns could be fully sourced and cited, and it would give the article a cohesion and balance that is currently fully lacking. As a United Methodist Pastor, married to a School-based Social Worker, we deal with the effects of illicit and abuse of legal drugs on a daily basis. As the Prohibition on Alcohol in the United States was the result of a campaign by the church I am a minister of, I am fully aware of the previous failure of that criminalization. Yet, as the number of intoxicated-driving fatalities continues to soar, killing thousands each year (many more than the total numbers in the Afghanistan-Iraq War on Terror), I am grieved by that failure.

On other note - there are several lists of statistics in this article that try to suggest that marijuana intoxication does not cause ANY fatalities. The problem with such a statistic is that the medical examiners and police who track deaths include all fatalities by any intoxicant together! Frequently the intoxicated driver has ingested multiple intoxicants during the same period, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and/or heroin, such that the cause is listed simply as "Intoxicated" or "Intoxicant-Impaired", for legal purposes. Thus, there is no way to accurately break out the cause of fatalities related to a particular intoxicant. - - - Such a case leads to the oft-used phrase (back when I was teaching finance and statistics in a university), that there are only two types of statistics, i.e., useful statistics and misleading statistics, with the accompanying truism that the only difference between the two types of statistics is which side of the argument you are on. (talk) 20:21, 3 May 2009 (UTC) William Berry

Credible, relevant statistics of any sort are difficult to come by. As for your stand on alcohol prohibition, which clearly brought organized crime to the United States, I see no credible arguments that eliminating drug prohibition would not reduce the power of said organizations. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:32, 6 May 2009 (UTC)


In the beginning of 1950´s implemented Japan restrictive drug laws under strong influence from the US. Japan have today about 63 prisoner per 100 000, the US have about 760 prisoners per 100 000. Japan has and also a very low number of criminal cases for drug offences compared with the US. This clearly show that there is no simple connection between number of prisoners and drug laws. Dala11a (talk) 18:25, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

You have to understand that WP:SYN is not an joke. Steinberger (talk) 20:55, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
And WP:SYN was that ...? You need to specify why the text is WP:SYN The text was: The US proportion in prison is from 2 to 12 times the proportion of population incarcerated in several other countries that also have restrictive drug laws or even a zero tolerance policy for drugs, like Japan. Japan implemented in the 1950's drug laws under strong influence from the US.[4][5]
The text has sources, it don't include any conclusions and can not see why it is not relevant to compare with drug law and imprisonment in Japan. The restrictive drug laws in Japan is a fact [7]. The section in the article War on drugs already put drug laws and imprisonment rate together for the US, so why is it against Wikipedias principles to put drug laws and imprisonment rate together for Japan? Is it improper to compare Japan with the US or what? Dala11a (talk) 03:17, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
The conclusion read out of your text and especially its context was that restrictive policies do not always yield high imprisonment rates. Or as you put it above, "there is no simple connection between number of prisoners and drug laws". So, as non of the sources you used do state that, it simply is your original synthesis. When it comes to the imprisonment rate in the US and the connection to the war on drugs, the sources do explicitly state that connection, so that is not an original synthesis. Steinberger (talk) 12:49, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
1) I quote from the articel Synthesis (not changed by me): "The term synthesis (from the ancient Greek σύνθεσις σύν "with" and θέσις "placing") is used in many fields, usually to mean a process which combines together two or more pre-existing elements resulting in the formation of something new." I combined the same type of elements for Japan as the article War on drugs combine for the US, drug law + prisoners per 100 000 citizens. 2) The different development of drug use and drug law enforcement in Japan is discussed and published before. It is not an original synthesis. I quote from a book by professor Nils Bejerot page 103[8] (my translation):
"1954 grew in Japan a strong opinion against mass abuse, which at that time was many times more prevalent than the Swedish hitherto been. The legislation was strengthened and raw materials were subject to the same strict scrutiny as the finished amphetamines. They had not had time to build some treatment centers, but the prison had to take care of all that proven illegal dealings in drugs. Less possession was sentenced to 3-6 months in prison, for small dealing 1-2 years, major drug dealing 2-4 years, and illegal manufacturing and smuggling on a larger scale up to ten years. In 1954 were 55 600 people arrested for drug offenses in Japan, but in 1958 the figure was down to 271 people and the epidemic was stopped"Dala11a (talk) 19:04, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It is explicitly that, to combine elements into something new that is forbidden. Steinberger (talk) 19:56, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I have just showed that the combination of is not new. Se also [9] So what is your real reasons? Dala11a (talk) 20:25, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Success is possible

That is not a possible section heading, even if the information is otherwise suitable for addition (which I don't think it is, either; see #Japan above.) It presupposes that the goal of the War on Drugs is the reduction of illegal drug use, which is a conclusion not supported by any reliable sources. The most plausible goal of the "War on Drugs" is (a) making most people law-violators and/or (b) justifying massive violations of civil liberties, as, quite often, the only way to determine whether someone is using drugs is to take a blood sample. The elimination of drug use is an improbable goal, even if it were attainable. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:00, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

NPOV and Support of the Drug War

I expanded the support of the War on Drugs section. It might overlap somewhat with the article discussing the pros and cons of prohibition, but I think with some more data and quotes from government officials, etc. it might stand up to the significant bias in the article against the War On Drugs (which I happen to think is a horrible idea). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:55, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I am the user who added the arguments in favor of the War on Drugs. Politics aside, I followed the request to expand the article--which is heavily biased against the WOD--and think you might reconsider whether or not it is "original research" and whether or not that should disqualify it in this case. The claims I made typified arguments which are commonplace, abundant in newspapers and other media, and presented in a way which speaks in a general tone. I think the section as I wrote it could easily act as a template for further confirmation and citations. That might seem like putting the cart before the horse, but I'd encourage you to leave the section and allow other users to improve on its reliability rather than assume it is uncredible and discount it outright. (talk) 18:58, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

nb: the IP address is from a commonly used computer in a technology store; the rash of previous vandalism on the IP was not mine —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The expanded section still doesn't have any sources. I believe it to be the opinion of some reliable sources, but, as policymakers are real people, some of them living, WP:BLP would seem to apply. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:27, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you might be raising the issue of verifiability too urgently here, considering the content of the new material. My thinking was that sources could be added over time by myself or other contributors, as my preference is for information to be presented and then corrected or confirmed rather than removed outright. WP:Improve offers support for that approach, though perhaps in conflict with WP:Verifiability. I'm not sure WP:BLP is much of an issue since the "War on Drugs" is de facto supported by the entire U.S. government as well as anyone else who agrees with its mission. The section does benefit from verification though, and I have added some. (talk) 23:16, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

NPOV and another criticism

In response to those who contend that this article unfairly treats the War, have you considered that valid arguments for the Drug War may very well be scarce? NPOV isn't about giving each side equal time, but about treating all the evidence equally. This means if you find sources supporting the Drug War, by all means include them. Don't complain about NPOV just because the data supporting one side of an issue is out there in heaps while that supporting the other side is scant.

Also, noticeably absent from this article (and really discussions of a lot of political issues in modern times) is the condescending nature of this sort of ban. The presumption is that people are children and unable to take care of themselves, so the government needs to slap their wrists and take away what's bad for them. This may very well be true, but even if it is, the attitude is still debatable. That is, should we treat people like responsible adults and let the irresponsible suffer nature's consequences, or should we treat people like children in an attempt to legislate away irresponsibility?

That is my favorite argument against the Drug War (a related one is Chris Rock's "I think all drugs should be legal. You know why? 'Cause people wanna get high."). However, I have not gone source-searching, so I cannot comment on its notability. It may very well not belong in this article for the simple reason that it's not as common an argument and therefore not notable. Still, might be worth keeping eyes open for. Mbarbier (talk) 19:21, 8 July 2009 (UTC)


Who is winning this so called war? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b John P. Walters (19 July, 2002). "Don't Legalize Drugs". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 January 2006.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ David Boyum and Mark A. R. Kleiman (2003). "Breaking the drug-crime link". Retrieved 19 January 2006. 
  3. ^ [10]
  4. ^ Mr. Makoto Hashizume Delegation of Japan, 2005
  5. ^ World Prison Population List. 7th edition. By Roy Walmsley. Published in 2007. International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London. For editions 1 through 7: [11].