War on Drugs
anonymous Asks ...
If the war on drugs is systematically punitive toward minorities, by like a 10 to 1 ratio, how can these policies stand on moral grounds? Do we need a new figure, like a Martin Luther King Jr. to hold a mirror up and force policy makers to acknowledge the devastation that election-grabbing policies have wrought? In general, do people in the addiction treatment field support drug-war policies? In general, would people in the addiction treatment field support an end to prohibition of all drugs?
Jim LaPierre Says ...
Wow - great question and you're making some strong points. Short answer - you ask how can existing policies stand on moral grounds and to be perfectly candid with you, I find many of the policies and the application of them to be immoral - but also entirely ineffective.
No one to my knowledge has done anything MEANINGFULLY to survey the beliefs and values of addictions counselors. I don't know that anyone can say what we do or do not support as a group. What comes to mind is you're asking a medic what their thoughts on war are. The best of us are in the trenches fighting a disease that kills and that disease continues to flourish independent of public policy.
You're asking an all of nothing question which makes things problematic. I certainly agree existing policies discriminate against minorities. I certainly see an argument for legalizing marijuana. I'm more concerned with the unavailability of treatment for those in need. I encourage you to narrow the scope and put your efforts into one issue at a time. God luck and pursue your passions.