Drug war at odds with Constitution
The road back is not an easy one, but it is clear enough. It begins by admitting that not every good idea is constitutional, nor is every bad idea unconstitutional. And while many people might well think that prohibiting drugs is a good idea, it is decidedly unconstitutional. There is no authority granted to the federal government to engage in this sort of behavior.
In 2015, 591,000 Americans had a substance abuse disorder involving heroin, and 12,990 died from heroin overdoses. But to put the heroin problem in perspective, 15.7 million Americans have an alcohol abuse disorder, and alcohol abuse kills 88,000 Americans annually. The reason drug cartels exist at all is because of the U.S. government’s “war on drugs,” which President Nixon declared in 1971. Since then, the United States has spent over $1 trillion fighting drugs. And for what? When the government prohibits things people want, like drugs, those things don’t just disappear; they go underground. And when that happens, buyers and sellers no longer have access to legal protections of any kind, from simple police services to the courts for contract enforcement.