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Drug Enforcement Agency Headquarters, ca 1973: The build-up to the War on Drugs.
If you've ever lived in Baltimore — heck, if you've ever watched The Wire — you have a pretty good idea of what the so-called "War on Drugs" looks like. It looks, frankly, like a war on poor people. Every battle costs money, lives, futures — it is a devastating cycle that feeds on despair. Of course, this is a war that's been going on in earnest for thirty-five years now. Ben Wallace Wells, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, has an update on how he thinks that war is going — and his particular take makes Iraq look like a success. Don't worry, though, we're getting another take on this, too — a doctor who's an expert on drug policy thinks that if the war did fail, it's not because of criminalization — it's because of policy failures. Listen, it's practically impossible not to be drafted into this particular war — if you're on the front lines in any way — in the criminal justice system, enforcement, public health, or a drug user, what's your take on this long and costly war?