Win Battles, Lose A War

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There was a big drug bust in Harnett County last week. Warrants were issued for 30 people, 16 of whom were arrested Thursday. Investigators seized drugs, guns and cash and brought charges that included possession and sale of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, crystal methamphetamine, ecstasy and oxycodone.

It was a job well done by the Harnett Sheriff’s Office and others involved in the investigation.

And it also gave us a deep sense of deja vu, as these big drug busts always do. We’ve been watching them for nearly half a century now. Two things are clear: Some of our neighbors have a nearly insatiable desire for drugs. And there is an endless line of people willing and able to make a quick buck by selling the drugs, just as there are organizations ready to step up and smuggle them into our country — or produce them here.

American’s War on Drugs appears endless because we’ve used the same strategy from the outset: Stop the flow of drugs and the problem will go away. Trouble is, nobody’s been able to stop the flow, and after all these decades, it’s reasonable to conclude that nobody will stop them, as long as there’s a ready market.

We need a new force in the drug war: Establish a treatment, education and intervention program that rivals the size and support for the interdiction effort. Get people clean and sober; dry up the market for drugs.

Otherwise, we commit to endless repetition of a failed process. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

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