From the beginning of Nixon’s “war on drugs” to the present, most estimates of its direct cost to the United States are around one trillion dollars, this figure does not include indirect or associated costs. The costs of imprisonment fueled the drive for private profit making prisons (now the primary source for caging immigrant families). Increased border patrols and customs scrutiny add to the taxpayer burdens. Police time and training should be added. School resources are sometimes involved; human resources for business. The health delivery system is strained by wounds (and death) in the pursuit of “drug dealers and users”. The Courts must consider many cases which occupy prosecutors and defense counsel (whose availability for indigent representation in other area is decreased.) The costs to other countries (including vulnerability to denigrate them as havens of drug pushers. now being exploited by right wing bigots running the Federal government, attacking Mexico, etc.) is not included in the one trillion.

Addiction itself brings societal costs. Researchers at Penn State calculate that the opioid epidemic alone has cost about $38 billion in lost Federal and State taxes. The loss of productivity in all areas of work from academic to manufacturing is widespread. Many students use restricted or prohibited drugs, some on the theory it may help studying or writing or exams, but usually interferes with learning. It acerbates class differences as celebrities laugh and boast publicly about and cannabis, cocaine, and alcohol use and abuse while others, not so celebrated, worry about arrest and imprisonment. Addiction is almost always bad for the health (gambling induces stress) with additional economic costs. (Much more dangerous with no regulations or quality control). Many individuals struggle with it and some are preoccupied by it. Extreme addicts often think simultaneously about what they are producing or discussing and how to satisfy their craving. Drugs take on a special appeal to many young people not only for rebellion or for experimentation or peer pressure but also because they are labeled “illegal.”

Enforcement of laws primarily against the poor and people of color who have swollen the punitive punishing prisons in this country is a well known devastating defect of the policy. (The Minnesota Court of Appeals struck down disparate sentencing for “crack” compared to usual cocaine.) This condition leads to tension between representatives of the law and communities. The opioid crises has increased the number of heroin users. This fact raises the question which is why the Doctors who, stupidly seduced by the manufacturers lies, propaganda, and salesmen, don’t continue to prescribe opioids to the addicted so that they don’t fall into heroin hell. We will return to this question. Many sane student of this area indicate that addiction is a public health problem not an occasion for flawed law enforcement.

The question of what constitutes addiction is complicated. There is a range of individual attraction and use from habit to addiction. Some addictions such as to food result from basic needs. Physical addiction may be indicated by withdrawal and its speed. But gambling seems pyschological. Note it is now encouraged hypocritically rather than discouraged by many States with lotteries whose winning amount is overstated while winning possibility displays astronomical odds. Advertised aggressively, the deprived and desperate turn to these lotteries, losing needed resources. Sports betting is legal in some states while Casinos have multiplied greatly. Gamblers Anonymous helps some in many localities.

Freud predicted accurately that “prohibition” would fail. The demonization of Marijuana by the FBI (e.g. Reefer Madness) and others is fading now into legalization and medication. Most societies use “mind altering” substances from which effective chemicals can be extracted. (E.g. peyote and LSD.) Some “party drugs” like Keratin are now being used medically – in Keratin’s case, to fight depression quickly and completely. We have fairly good ideas about the deleterious effect of alcohol over time, but not of cannibis, etc. because, being illegal they were not and could not be studied for a long time and in large control groups. (Cf. Nurses health studies based on self reporting). What has been prohibited, may, in certain context be helpful but we need to know the other consequences: – opioids, synthetic, fentanel too, have helped with pain (and sometimes sleeplessness?), but they are addictive.

Alcohol is now legal and taxed, Cannibis seems headed that way. Nicotine (disgracefully adulterated and combined with other chemicals by its manufacturers) one of the apparently worse addictions with difficult withdrawal is heavily taxed (to the point of making it regressive with working people who seem to desire it for breaks in work paying the high taxes which mean nothing to the many rich). Gambling, we have noted, is now widely accepted. What is legal and addictive seems not to be different in nature than what is not legal but addictive.

Why not abolish completely the whole misbegotten destructive “war on drugs?”

With what would we replace it?  We can recur for models to community health services and the War on Poverty community centers with social work, housing help, nutritional guidance, job training, counseling, child care, maternal care, Head Start, and legal services, etc. Different centers would deal with different groups of addiction.

Suppose we took all the money now directly spent in the “War on Drugs” and created many community centers (near addicts) which dispensed the now illegal substances for free in a center which also provided withdrawal (and death preventing) drugs for free.

Added to these would be the availability and offer of counseling, group therapy, social work, help with housing and families, healthy living styles taught, etc. – all available to those who wanted to withdraw or quit. These centers could also specialize differently given classes of drugs. All the above services would be provided along. with gentle verbal encouragement for voluntarily entering all the addiction curative services that might help (opioid addiction is not well served by the 12 Step programs) Voluntary services work better than those imposed. Allowing the use of the free addictive substances away from the center would keep addict apart and more likely to seek the services with the substances.

The first effect of free addictive substances now illegal would be the destruction of drug cartels and dealers at all levels. They could no longer claim to be filling a “felt need” like for other consumables.

The second effect would be to improve the health of those getting the substances. They would no longer be adulterated.

The third, perhaps most important, would be the abolition of the “war on drugs”.  All its horrors would be diminished.

The fourth would be the correlative release of all imprisoned on drug convictions with rehabilitation made available. This release and support could ser ve as a model of services for release in general as we work towards the end of mass incarceration.

The fifth would be to remove the temptation doing something illegal. Many adolescents will now find other, hopefully less destructive, means for rebellion and testing limits and identity.

Will this encourage more use? Perhaps it may become desirable in the future to require some proof of addiction. For the moment, not, as pushers no longer have the motivation. We have the examples, without centers, of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco (diminishing use advanced by negative ads, a possible tool.)

Will some never quit, although some users “age out”, Some never shed their addiction (although often many attempts finally work). Some like lawyers, stock brokers and others may remain cokeheads, while others still dread withdrawal and enjoy their “vice.” We have mentally ill (far too many since Regan began the closing of community mental health facilities) on the street and elsewhere in bad conditions. We can so classify the drug addicts and include those addicted to gambling, offering general social services.

The money to try this social services can be taken from, not exhausting, the money spent on the “War on Drugs.” Of course, the best way it to build the facilities immediately and then close down the doomed Nixonian “war”. At best, this could be accomplished in one budget year.

After this suggestion is implemented rather than considered “utopian” (as legalizing cannibis once was) we, as a society could move from satisfying cravings as a social health program to recognize the obligation to provide living essentials to all.

Now we have a sixth reason to end current enforcement, prosecution, and imprisonment. and then move to the best treatment modality.


Also See:

911 Criminals by Jonathan Weiss Esq


One thought on “REPEAL AND REPLACE THE WAR ON DRUGS by Jonathan Weiss Esq.”

  1. The War on Drugs brought to you by Harry Jacob Anslinger (May 20, 1892 – November 14, 1975) a United States government official who served as the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
    He was a supporter of prohibition and the criminalization of drugs, and played a pivotal role in cannabis prohibition.
    Anslinger held office an unprecedented 32 years in his role as commissioner until 1962. He then held office two years as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Narcotics Commission. The responsibilities once held by Anslinger are now largely under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    Harry Jacob Anslinger
    H.J. Anslinger papers, 1835-1975
    Collection is open for research. Microfilm reproductions from this collection are available at the Special Collections Library. It may be possible to borrow them through interlibrary loan. Contact the Research Services Department at for more information.

    Skull and Bones Society records, 1912-2013
    1345 Access Restrictions: Collection is closed until May 11, 2018.
    Skull and Bones Society records
    Skull and Bones Society
    This organization was founded at Penn State College on December 18, 1912, as an upper class leadership honorary group. This collection contains tap letters and invitations to prospective members, alumni interest group directories, scrapbooks, newsletters, and a general history of the organization.

    Skull and Bones: A Preppy Fascist Cult
    , January 24, 2006

    Skull and Bones From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Prescott Bush, George W. Bush’s grandfather, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from and collaborated with key financial backers of Nazi Germany.

    Govt Docs: US Cannabis Ban was Secret Racist Anti-US Wartime Espionage

    The State of Hawaii recently banned official use of the word “mari-uana,” replacing it with the botanical term “cannabis” instead, owing to past racism associated with the old word. When the State’s legislators passed the bill, however, they may have only been partially aware of exactly how racist the first cannabis bans really were.
    Anslinger’s own files, in the form of a virtual confession to being a NAZI spy at the top ranks of the US State and Treasury Departments, appear to be corroborated by outside historical facts. Given that the two waves of American cannabis Prohibition occurred around WWI, and WWII, society must examine the possibility that the ban was an attempt to weaken US War readiness by depriving mainstay medicines and textile fiber sources crucial to the war effort.

    was a student of the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State or PSU), although it is unclear how much time he actually spent on campus versus studying via correspondence, or whether he graduated with the Class of 1914 or 1915, since sources list alternate years. Irrespective of that, the PSU student yearbook for the Class of 1914, published in 1915 with reference to that class as well, shows a lit-up NAZI-style swastika and letter “A.”

    Anslinger’s father, Robert J. Anslinger, born in Bern, Switzerland and had worked in that country as a barber. His mother, Rosa Christiana Fladt, was born in Baden, Germany. In 1881, the family emigrated to the United States. Robert Anslinger worked in New York for two years, before settling in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In 1892, the same year his son Harry was born, Anslinger went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

    Harry Anslinger later claimed that he had witnessed a scene that affected his life. When he was 12, he heard the screams of a morphine addict that were only silenced by a boy returning from a pharmacist to supply the addict with more morphine. He was appalled that the drug was so powerful and that children had ready access to such drugs. However, the experience didn’t stop Anslinger, while acting as the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he authorized a druggist near the White House to fill a morphine prescription for an addicted Senator Joseph McCarthy. [1]

    Anslinger enrolled at Altoona Business College at the age of 17. He also went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1913, he was granted a furlough so he could enroll at Pennsylvania State College, where studied in a two-year associate degree program in engineering and business management.

    He married Martha Kind Denniston (Sept 1886 – Oct 10, 1961) in 1917. In 1930, at age 38, when he was appointed as the first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he was renting an apartment at 16th & R Street in Washington, DC for $90 per month, where he lived with his wife Martha and son Joseph L. Anslinger (May 24, 1911 – Nov 1982), who were 44 and 18, respectively. Martha Denniston was the niece[2] of Andrew W. Mellon, the Secretary of the US Treasury who would appoint Anslinger to his 32 year post as Commissioner.

    Rise to prominence

    Anslinger gained notoriety early in his career. At the age of 23 (1915), while working as an investigator for the Pennsylvania Railroad, he performed a detailed investigation that found the claim of a widower in a railroad accident fraudulent. He saved the company $50,000 and was promoted to captain of railroad police.

    From 1917 to 1928, Anslinger worked for various military and police organizations. His tour of duty took him all over the world, from Germany to Venezuela to Japan. His focus was on stopping international drug trafficking, and he is widely credited for shaping not only America’s domestic and international drug policies, but for having influence on drug polices of other nations, particularly those that had not debated the issues internally.

    By 1929, Anslinger returned from his international tour to work as an assistant Commissioner in the United States Bureau of Prohibition. Around this time, corruption and scandal gripped Prohibition and Narcotics agencies. The ensuing shake-ups and re-organizations set the stage for Anslinger, perceived as an honest and incorruptible figure, to advance not only in rank but to great political stature.

    In 1930, Anslinger was appointed to the newly-created FBN (Federal Bureau of Narcotics) as its first Commissioner. The FBN, like the Bureau of Prohibition, was under the auspices of the US Treasury Department. At that time the trade of alcohol and drugs was considered a loss of revenue because as illegal substances they could not be taxed. Anslinger was appointed by Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew W. Mellon and given a budget of $100,000.

    In 1917 Anslinger married Martha Kind Denniston, niece of Andrew W. Mellon (Sept 1886 Oct 10, 1961). In 1930, at age 38, he was appointed as the first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. At the time he was renting an apartment at 16th & R Street in Washington, DC for $90 per month.
    The Mellons were RACIST Protestant immigrants from Northern Ireland who had settled in western Pennsylvania in 1818. Mellon almost unknown outside Pittsburgh was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in 1921 by Warren Harding the Teapot Dome idiot and was rated among the worst presidents ever who should have been impeached.

    Restrictions for marijuana started in District of Columbia 1906 and was followed by state laws in other parts of the country in the 1910s and 1920s. The early laws against the cannabis drugs were passed with little public attention. Concern about marijuana was related primarily to the fear that marijuana (racist word) use would spread, even among whites, as a substitute for the opiates. It is largely believed that the early prohibitive marijuana laws were a response by the general public to the popularity of the drug among Mexicans. [3] In 1925 United States supported regulation of Indian hemp, Cannabis for use as a drug, in the International Opium Convention[4]. Recommendations from the International Opium Convention inspired the work with The Uniform State Narcotic Act between 1925 and 1932. Harry J. Anslinger become an active person in this process from about 1930.[5][6]

    Some of his critics allege that Anslinger, DuPont petrochemical interests and William Randolph Hearst together created the highly sensational anti-marijuana campaign to eliminate hemp as an industrial competitor. Indeed, Anslinger did not himself consider marijuana a serious threat to American society until in the fourth year of his tenure (1934), at which point an anti-marijuana campaign, aimed at alarming the public, became his primary focus as part of the government’s broader push to outlaw all drugs.[7]

    Members of the League of Nations had already implemented restrictions for marijuana in the beginning of the 1930s and restrictions started in many states in U.S years before Anslinger was appointed. Both president Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Attorney General publicly supported this development in 1935.[7]

    An alternative explanation for Anslinger’s opinions about hemp is that he believed that a tax on marijuana could be easier to supervise if it included hemp.

    Around 1931 advertising started for hemp as the new billion dollar crop. Anslinger had reports from experiments with mechanical harvesting of hemp in 1936, reporting that the machines were no success.

    “they were able to cut only a part of the Tribune Farm crop by machine, two thirds of it they did by hand with a sharp hand cutter…”.[8]

    “The existence of the old 1934-1935 crop of harvested hemp on the fields of southern Minnesota is a menace to society in that it is being used by traffickers in marijuana as a source of supply “[9]

    By using the mass media as his forum (receiving much support from William Randolph Hearst), Anslinger propelled the anti-marijuana sentiment from the state level to a national movement. Writing for The American Magazine, the best examples were contained in his “Gore File”, a collection of quotes from police reports, by later opponents described as police-blotter-type narratives of heinous cases, most with no substantiation, linking graphically depicted offenses with the drug:

    Everybody should watch a documentary called “Grass is Greener”
    Cannabis documentary Grass is Greener, out just in time for 420, follows the history of marijuana in America, as the government resorted to increasingly drastic enforcement measures as a weapon for destroying black lives throughout the United States. Directed by artist and former MTV host Fred Brathwaite, more often known as Fab 5 Freddy, Grass is Greener has a myriad of voices speak on the painful legacy of the drug war, even as predominantly white businesses begin profiting off a now quasi-legal marijuana market, built on black suffering.
    “Way back in the days of the Jazz era, they were speaking on the plant, because the plant was something that was a way of helping them find their groove, find their mind and find their mental, to create some of the most classic music that was ever written,” Snoop Dogg says. “It’s timeless. There’s something about that cannabis that brings the best out of whoever you are, if you tap into your spirit.”

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