A milestone in America’s longest war passed quietly on Friday. Too quietly.
On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared that “Public enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”
Forty years later, nobody is declaring victory.
Illegal drugs remain available and widely used around the world. The drug trade is now a global industry worth $320 billion. Here in the U.S., an estimated 25 million people use illegal drugs regularly.
It is an industry more destructive than any other. Its profits go to criminal gangs and murderous thugs. Thousands of people die each year from drug-related violence and drug overdoses. Factor in untreated addiction, and the human costs of a failed drug policy are incalculable.
Read more: Editorial: A $1 trillion failure
The Enterprise (Brockton), June 20, 2011