I was still a kid, but I remember: as the Vietnam War dragged on, and on, we Americans continued to receive hopeful missives about how the next assault, or regroup, or dedication of manpower and weaponry, would lead to better results.
That’s what came to mind as I read the latest dispatch from the War on Drugs, in the Los Angeles Times. “White House announces push to combat growing heroin epidemic,” ran the headline.
So, it’s growing again? Haven’t I read this about a thousand times?
Talk about a familiar story:
The path to heroin addiction and overdoses can begin when patients are legally prescribed drugs containing opium, said Dr. Walter Ling, professor of psychiatry and founding director of the Integrated Substance Abuse Program at UCLA. . . .
“Once they get hooked they find out it’s very expensive to get these medicines and it’s much cheaper on the street. . . . That leads to street heroin abuse, which leads to the increase in opium overdoses,” Ling said.
But the rest of the story? Not reported.
Oh, sure: we were regaled with how dangerous the cheap street drugs are, because of how they are diluted. What we are not told, though, is that this is not a characteristic of heroin, as such, but of illegal heroin.
Decriminalize it. Let the legitimate market do what black markets cannot: provide responsible information that would discourage accidental overdoses.
Instead, we have a new and futile $1.3 million plan.
We’re overdosing on government. The cure is to cut down government to the proper dose.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.