How To Win the War on Drugs

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Conservatives
are unwilling to give up the war on drugs. They are convinced
that there is a war of drug lords on innocent victims, beginning
with teenage children, and they are uninterested in arguments
for de-criminalization.

Conservatives
want the State to spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually
on prisons to house convicted drug pushers — after the fact.
Liberals want the State to spend at least an equal amount on treatment
and rehabilitation — after the fact.

I’m
interested in shutting down the market for illegal drugs. I say
that it takes two to tango — buyers and sellers — and
I’m for shutting down the tango floor.

We
know where it is. There’s one in your town. There are probably
more than one. These are dark places of the soul. The users come,
desperate to buy a new high or maybe only a way to keep from getting
the shakes. The sellers come, greedy for income from the sale
of their destructive wares, despite the misery they sow.

And
then there are the innocents — children who have money in
their pockets and time on their hands. They come in droves, looking
for new thrills in a boring, meaningless environment.

What
we need is a clean sweep. We need to send local police, DEA officers,
and the news media into these hell-holes and shut them down once
and for all.

I’m
talking about the public schools.

Every
day, your local government sends out dozens or hundreds of yellow
buses to round up the next generation of addicts. These psychologically
weakened, carefully targeted victims are brought to the drug cartel’s
central emporium, where sellers can make their initial, price-competitive
offer — "The first one’s free!" — and their
subversive incantation, "Try it; you’ll like it!" Only
the Vice Principal stands between the users and the retail source
of their addiction.

Sellers
go where the money is, and the people with the money are concentrated
for seven hours a day in one convenient, rent-free location.

Users
and prospective users are herded into rooms where they must sit
for hours in hard, wooden seats, to be lectured at by indoctrinators,
whose job, by federal law, is to persuade these children that
life can be meaningful and full of hope without the following:
(1) the idea that God has any place in the classroom, the voting
booth, or the public square; (2) the idea that there will be a
final judgment (except for Adolph Hitler) that produces eternal
consequences; (3) the idea that mankind is the work of God rather
than purposeless, random forces of impersonal nature; (4) the
idea that man was placed on earth by God to exercise dominion
over the creation, rather than being merely a primate species
with the unique competitive edge of opposable thumbs; (5) the
idea that individuals are legally and morally responsible for
their actions, including their obligation to save for their retirement
years and to pay for their medical care; (6) the idea that there
are final answers to divisive moral questions (except regarding
Hitler); and (7) the idea that a relevant, foundational education
for all of life can be successfully imparted in an institution
that doesn’t employ full-time coaches. (Technically, point #7
is not mandated by federal law; rather, it is mandated by local
voters who will pressure the school board to fire the principal
if the football team goes 2-9 again this season.)

Educators
know that life cannot be lived strictly in terms of negatives.
There are also positive issues dealt with inside the public school
classroom, including: (1) the right to get free abortion counseling
from school-approved professionals without consulting with parents;
(2) the right of every sexual lifestyle to gets its position —
intellectual, I mean — discussed in the classroom as one
legitimate choice among many; (3) the right of every known minority
group (except Nazis) to get at least one positive paragraph in
the social studies textbook; (4) the right of every student to
gain a sense of self-esteem, except on sports teams; and (5) the
right of students to inform any teacher regarding their parents’
attitudes on matters of social or psychological relevance to the
school district.

Then,
in between classes, students meet to discuss the implications
of all this for their lives. "The first one’s free. Try it;
you’ll like it."

When
was the last time you saw a local TV news report on a drug bust
at a local private high school?

When
was the last time you read a newspaper article on a student who
overdosed on heroin at a local private high school?

Moving
slightly afield, when was the last time the police had to be sent
in to break up a gang riot at a local private high school? (I
can imagine the newspaper report. "The fight broke out when
a group of Catholics allegedly began chanting, u2018infused grace,
infused grace,’ during the compulsory morning chapel period. Baptists
allegedly retaliated with cries of u2018imputed grace, imputed grace.’
u2018It kept getting louder and louder,’ said Mr. Brubaker, who teaches
calculus and is also the school’s headmaster. u2018We finally had
to call the police when the Methodists began shouting, u2018prevenient
grace.’ It was just terrible. But I can assure the public that
we are taking steps to deal with these issues.’")

Conclusion

What
we need is an all-out drug war that targets the primary recruiting
centers used by drug-pushers, the retail outlets of choice for
the Colombian drug cartel: America’s tax-supported high schools.

If
I ever hear of members of Congress calling for this kind of bipartisan
war on drugs, I’ll take them much more seriously. When I hear
one of them stand up on the floor of either house of Congress
and say the following, I’ll be impressed. "As part of the
war on drugs, I am today introducing legislation to stop all federal
funding of education." Then his colleague from across the
aisle stands up and says, "I am ready to support this bill
if the distinguished gentleman from Texas is ready to support
my bill to remove all educational institutions from the jurisdiction
of the National Labor Relations Board."

When
the demand for illegal drugs is at long last analyzed in terms
of the categories that the demand for prescription-only painkillers
is analyzed — the chemical relief of pain — then we
shall begin to come to grips with America’s continuing drug problem.
The war on drugs should begin with a systematic program to eliminate
the tax-supported sources of the initial users’ pain, institutions
that are also the primary marketplaces for the sale of the painkillers
of choice. Until this is done, I don’t think the war on drugs
has much of a chance at reducing the level of addiction.

Until
then, every time you see a yellow public school bus on the highway,
think to yourself, "Free transportation to cocaine central."
On the back of every school bus in America, these words should
be plainly visible: "Medellin-Approved."

January
15, 2001

Gary North is the author of an eleven-volume series, An Economic
Commentary on the Bible. The latest volume is Cooperation
and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Romans. The series can
be downloaded free of charge at www.freebooks.com.

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