Calling United States drug policy “The War on Drugs” was never an exaggeration. From its beginning, the policy was carried out through the increasing militarization of American police forces. The US government supports the Mexican government’s escalation of the drug war, which has led to an explosion of violence in Mexico that is gradually spilling over into the United States. And now 46 warships and 7,000 Marines are likely to enter the fight in Central America.
Like any war, the War over Drugs is fought against people, and people are killed. Allegations of selling items the government does not approve of are served with paramilitary police raids. The consequences for police officers who kill people during these home invasions are almost always minimal or non-existent. Violence between rival drug gangs and governments vying for control have left thousands dead in Mexico.
But the drug war’s casualties are not limited to combat. Cancer patients who are not permitted to use marijuana, including those who will never be aware of the substance’s positive effects due to government-supported propaganda, may die much sooner and more painfully than they otherwise would. More drug war damage is found in the neighborhoods that have been destroyed by government action including drug combat, and in the prisons where thousands of people who have harmed nobody must waste their infinite potential trying to survive inside a government cage.
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