Drug War Won?

I was intrigued when I read the article this morning about Maryland’s Governor. We agree on one of the fundamental problems facing America – a shrinking middle class. We disagree on economics – he thinks that a strong middle class makes an economy become healthy, and that raising the minimum wage even higher will help foster a strong middle class. I think it’s the other way around – a strong middle class is produced by a healthy economy and a steady government, and that one of the reasons our current economy has become so unhealthy is due to too much unsteady government, and that raising the minimum wage even more will further damage the economy (See NESD one-pager).

But I found his recanting of Baltimore’s drug war under his leadership the most interesting:

He said Baltimore, for example, was ravaged by drugs back in 1999 when he was elected mayor. He cleaned up the city, closed down drug markets and expanded drug treatment programs as part of a campaign called “Believe.”

There’s an implication here that he made a difference in the Drug War. Traditionally, governments spend a lot of money fighting the drug war, without changing the problem. Here was the success that has been alluding us. So I did a little research.

Alas, not all observers credit Governor O’Malley with having engineered a successful approach on prohibiting people from consuming drugs. Here’s a Google search for “Baltimore Heroin Problem” which, as you can see, is full of recent news about Baltimore’s severe drug culture.

Darn, I thought we had something there. That would have been a best practice worth replicating!

This is a very serious societal issue, one that government seems ill-equipped to influence. What we need is a scientific breakthrough to allow us to shut down whatever brain process drives addiction.

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