The Big Deception

An excerpt from the newsletter of Alec Karakatsanis (May 18, 2023).

Over forty years into the War on Drugs, the following are true:

  • The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars; detained tens of millions of people for hundreds of millions of years; separated tens of millions of children from parents; chemically destroyed millions of acres of rainforest and pristine ecosystems in Latin America; killed hundreds of thousands of people; stopped, searched, sexually violated, and arrested hundreds of millions of people; surveilled the communications of billions of people globally; stolen billions of dollars in property from poor people through civil forfeiture; deported hundreds of thousands of people; deprived tens of millions of people of highly effective therapeutic treatments for cancer, mental illness, PTSD, chronic pain, etc.; caused millions of people to become infected with infectious diseases; kicked millions of families out of public housing and public benefits; put tens of millions of poor people into an endless cycle of debt; and cost tens of millions of people their jobs at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy.
  • The use of prohibited drugs has increased, prohibited drugs are more potent than ever, and overdose deaths have skyrocketed to their highest levels in U.S. history.  

People in power making drug policy are not universally incompetent. Most of the people crafting U.S. drug policy know the above facts. 

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