Ending the war on drugs in a System of Toleration, Counseling, and Control
The book is written for the general reader as well as for professionals interested in drug policy including policy makers, politicians, public intellectuals and researchers. It details how we can bring about a fundamental change in our failed and inhumane national drug policy: our “war on drugs”.
The widespread use of most of the psychoactive drugs for non-medical purposes is not consonant with the interests of a rational society, and this view is reflected in the system proposed. However, drug use prohibition has clearly been a mistake and a better system is needed to defeat the traffickers and dealers so accessible to our teenagers. Such a new system tolerates responsible drug use by adults and, at the same time, maintains measures designed to prevent drug availability to minors.
The book describes the harms and costs of the failed war on drugs. The system proposed is a scalable state by state system, which can be started with pilot programs in selected counties. Once the program is proven at small scale, e.g., as the crooks leave the county for greener pastures, the state can expand it.
Qualified adults are allowed to join a confidential program that allows them to purchase drugs and paraphernalia manufactured and dispensed under FDA regulations, at below street prices. Purchase is through a tightly controlled remote ordering/delivery system, preventing access by minors. To qualify, users commit to regular contact with counselor/monitors, or “coaches”. The coaches maintain contact with the users to promote responsible use, to keep them informed of current information and risks, and to serve as helpful confidants when someone says: “I’m ready to think about rehab.”
The book shows how this system will
- Increase users’ willingness and ability to seek abstinence over time and at a pace commensurate with their individual circumstances and conditions;
- Employ market forces to destroy the business of the pervasive drug dealers and violent traffickers;
- End the accessibility to drugs of teens and preteens;
- Improve health and safety in our communities; and
- Release tax dollars (criminal justice costs) for better purposes, including education and addiction treatment.
Most users will eventually quit on their own without treatment. Many more will, given the chance, seek treatment in support groups and professional rehab centers. Tolerating a controlled use in the system proposed will foster recovery through all the various methods more effectively than the disruptive and dispiriting criminal punishment system. The myriad details necessary to make such a plan work properly and its benefits are detailed in this book.