Friday April 5, 2019
Ever since President Richard Nixon declared war on drugs in the 1970s, advocates of this government program, both conservative and liberal, have argued that the only reason why the U.S. government has failed to win the drug war is that government officials have failed to fight it sufficiently hard. If U.S. officials would really crack down, the argument goes, the decades-long war could finally — finally! — be declared over and done with.
In their unwavering support of this failed government program, however, what these people fail to consider is that as U.S. officials have met with increasing failure to win their drug war over the decades, they have cracked down ever more in the hope that they could finally win it.
That’s what mandatory-minimum sentences were all about. Send enough drug users and drug dealers to jail for 10-20-30 years to serve as examples, and everyone else would immediately stop consuming or distributing drugs.
It didn’t work.