The War on Drugs is Really About Poverty

url-3The War on Drugs… It costs a fortune. It gets people killed. It fills our jails and doesn’t seem to make a difference.

What if we were to re-frame the drug problem as a whole?

People turn to drugs and sell drugs on the street because they are desperate and poor. If offered a chance to make an honest, decent living, I think most people would not turn to crime.

So the problem is not drugs, the problem is poverty.

Yet instead of working to alleviate poverty, we send money to agencies that are already full of people who have graduated high school and college, and we ask them to be policemen, build jails, run law courts and so on. Our funding goes to people who aren’t poor, even though the real problem is poverty.

If we were to take the War on Drugs money and put it into building schools, making life liveable for working single mothers, and ensuring that children feel cared for, we might actually change things. Put the money back where it can benefit the poor directly. Some of this money might be wasted, sure. But right now almost all of it is being wasted.