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Is The Trump War On Drugs Helping Addicts

The drug war's uncanny revisiting of the badges and indicia of slavery began, ironically enough, as a slogan from the Party of Lincoln: a ""war on drugs"" to outdo the Democrats' ""war on poverty."" This rhetorical flourish outlived its use as a verbal sally in partisan skirmishes to have real and sinister effects. A declaration of war, now as at other moments in our national history, allows us to throw out the normal rules of conduct under the imperative of a higher goal assumed to trump all other considerations. Lincoln himself suspended the fundamental right to the Writ of Habeas Corpus, citing the exigencies of the Civil War as rationale for the summary imprisonment of perceived enemies. Closer to our consciousness today, and especially haunting in its racial targeting, is the incarceration of 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. While no one would now defend using ancestral traits as a proxy for disloyalty, in the heat of war the majority of U.S. citizens defended or ignored the concentration camps, complacent in their trust of leaders claiming all means necessary in the paramount goal of national security.

Is the Trump War on Drugs Helping Addicts

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While Obama and Botticelli successfully pushed Congress to pump funding for MAT into public health departments and treatment centers, they did not advocate for drug decriminalization. For many people, using opioids and other drugs remains illegal, and the majority of people incarcerated in the U.S. have experienced drug dependency or misuse. In 2015, 469,545 people were incarcerated for drug-related charges, and 82 percent of drug arrests in 2010 were for possession alone. Most drug users are not addicts, but 80 percent of people who do have opioid disorders go untreated because of financial obstacles, social stigma and limited capacity at treatment centers, the vast majority of which do not offer MAT, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

As much as Trump wants to put "America first," he could learn a thing or two from Portugal and Uruguay. Portugal was the first European country to decriminalize drugs. Instead of seeing addicts as criminals, Portugal takes a rehabilitative approach. Uruguay legalized marijuana in 2013, taking the cue from other nations who focus on rehabilitation instead of criminalization. In both countries, the results have been astonishing: Portugal has the lowest drug use rates in Europe. Uruguay has managed to substantially undermine marijuana trafficking by allowing its government to sell a gram of marijuana for just $1; consumers are limited to 40 grams per month. 076b4e4f54

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