As a physical and health major in college, I remember when my football coach told us we will never stop the supply of illegal drugs in the United States. The only way to prevent illegal drug usage was to educate the students about the negatives of drug use.
With over 14,000 DEA agents and a do-nothing drug czar, drugs are coming into this country at an alarming rate. It is no different than prohibition was in the 1920s and early ’30s, when gangsters such as Al Capone were making their fortunes running whiskey illegally into the United States. At least people were only getting drunk and not overdosing on hard-line drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
The potency has increased with these jungle chemists, figuring how to make their product more potent and deadly. The overdose rate is increasing everyday and some youngsters are not making it out of the emergency room.
Statically speaking, one out of every four junior high school students has and is experimenting. Two out of every four high school students are experimenting.
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Also a big part of the problem is there are approximately 6 million prisoners incarcerated for drug related issues. With the cost of $50,000 to house inmates, the 6 million cost is $300 billion a year. Add that to the 14,000 DEA agents and the drug czar’s annual budget, and we are way over a half-trillion dollars a year.
It is time to look at a new approach to the problem. If we can’t educate the students to stop, we have to eliminate the supply.
If the United States would disband the DEA and drug czar and take that money and set up a Drug Purchasing Department, they could begin to outbid the cartels and remove the raw product from ever getting to the streets.
Initially, we would be competing with cartel thugs, but that is what we have armies for, and after the cartels know that they can’t compete, they may go away or just try another illegal activity, but we would not be harming our youth.
By eliminating cocaine and heroin we would be saving our children and beginning to rehabilitate drug-related prisoners.
We could go to the 6 million drug-related, incarcerated prisoners and offer them a deal. We will cut your sentence in half if you agree to go work on an organic farm for the remainder of your term. If at the end of your term you like being a farmer, the government will give you an opportunity to have your own farm and finance the equipment you need. We would get criminals back working and contributing to society and not taking from society.
Dave Silva is a former health and biology high school teacher, now the owner of Automated Office Systems. He moved from New Jersey to Boise in 1990.