Sometime in early October 2015, in a secret jungle hacienda in a remote swath of Mexico, Sean Penn conducted an interview with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the notorious Sinaloa cartel leader who tunnelled out of a maximum-security prison earlier in the year and was on the run. Penn’s story on the drug lord was published in Rolling Stone, which led to a wide range of legal and ethical questions, resulting in the sort of Internet outrage reserved for the Kardashian clan. It didn’t help matters that Penn’s 11,000-word story was written in a pale imitation of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo-style journalism.
Sean Penn went on 60 Minutes to set the record straight. In an interview with Charlie Rose, the actor said, “I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy in the war on drugs.” Whatever you might think about Penn’s article, his purpose, at least, is noble, as the policies on the war on drugs have been a systematic failure for over 40 years. America can’t win the drug war. Why? Because it’s impossible to win a societal war with criminal justice tactics. But that’s only the beginning. Here are 10 reasons why America can't win the war on drugs:
10 Prohibition Put the Drug Trade in the Hands of Criminals
9 The U.S. Government Manipulates the Numbers
8 The War on Drugs is Really a War on People
7 Drug Policies Brutalize Farmers
6 The War on Drugs is a War on Constitutional Rights
5 The War on Drugs is Discriminatory
4 Drug Trade Violence is Increasing, Not Decreasing
3 A Sharp Rise in Fatal Drug Overdoses
2 A Drug-Free Society is Impossible
1 American Consumers Love Drugs
It’s economics plain and simple, the law of supply and demand dictates whether or not America can win the war on drugs, and right now, well… American consumers love their drugs. America is the world’s top consumer off illicit drugs; in 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 had used an illicit drug in the past month. Whether it’s hits from the bong or painkillers riffled from a medicine cabinet, Americans are getting high. Drug use in America is the highest it’s been since 2002, with 27 million illicit drug users looking for a fix.
Sources: TheGuardian.com, BusinessInsider.com, USNews.com
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