> Of course there are easier, more rational approaches that would nearly eradicate the drug epidemic No half intelligent person would dispute that fact.
If people had self discipline, as any half-intelligent person should, addiction and drug related crime wouldn't occur. Neither would child abuse or serial murder. And yet, they do. It takes a very small number of "half-unintelligent" people to create enormous problems with addiction, with drug abuse, and with crime resulting from it. Even for reasonable people, the deceit involved in various drug trades has been extremely dangerous. Please look at the economic and social history of tobacco, of alcohol, and even of non-physical addictions like gambling to see a history of rational attempts to control them, and the failure of rational policies.
Could it be done better? I agree, many US drug policies are outrageous and ineffective. Are there rational approaches that would almost eradicate it? I must disagree: It has roots in human physiology, in human weakness, in crime, and in politics that make it extremely difficult to eradicate. Many are _not_ driven by greed. Many are founded in erroneous ideology. The idea that the war on drugs is a monolithic policy that "fits every aspect of the government's agenda" suggests that it is a thought out plan. I'm afraid it is not. Different members, and different branches, of the Us government have different goals which combine to extend current policies.
I'm afraid it's not one problem, so it can't be defeated by a single logical analysis.
> Obviously there is no real threat, there hasn't been since invention of atomic weapons.
If Io may say, this is disingenuous. There was a real threat from Afghanistan, which was hosting the Taliban. which had just murdered thousands of the most powerful and wealthy US citizens. The next logical target was Pakistan, which had since been hosting the Taliban and which has been selling nuclear technologies around the world. I'd prefer not to discuss why the US targeted Iraq next: it's a long discussion.
But in terms of the drug trade: sir, I suspect you were not alive during the Vietnam era, when US servicemen were often returning to US soil with opioid addictions. I myself only met, but was not old enough to greet on their return, Korea veterans who returned with similar addictions. The Soviets encountered it in dangerous proliferation when they occupied Afghanistan, one of the world's greatest sources for opium: I'm seeing reports of it now with US troops returning from Afghanistan today. This occurs for _any_ nation that invades Afghanistan. The proliferation of opium dens was a critical part of the Sherlock Holmes stories and Dr. John Watson's return from Afghanistan.