War on Drugs collateral damage
War on Drugs collateral damage

Casualties of War - A Deeper Look at the Collateral Damage of the Drug War

The War on Drugs left many victims and social justice programs are just the beginning.

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Monday Apr 19, 2021

Casualties of War: A Deeper Look at the Collateral Damage of the Drug War

drug war collateral damage

We can all agree that after 50 years of the “War on Drugs” – Drugs Won!


It’s peculiar that the Federal Government dubbed it “The War on Drugs” because like with any war, there are always casualties. While it will be difficult to determine the extent of the negative side effects of this policy one thing is certain…


Something has to change…and fast!


In this article, we’re going to be taking a more nuanced approach at looking at the casualties of war left by the war on drugs. We’ll be looking at more common themes like systemic oppression of minorities to more in-depth analyses about the effects a criminal record had on generations of kids affected by the system.


Casualty #1 – The Truth & Trust in Establishment


Before we can talk about the negative effects this policy has had on people, communities and the world at large – we must mention the first casualty of the Drug War – The Truth!


Since the origins of prohibition, deception and propaganda has been a staple in relation to spreading the information about drugs and drug use in general. We were led to believe that drugs was a major problem.


In reality, the number of “drug users” remain fairly consistent irrespective of drug laws. [Source]


Yet politicians frequently cited the “War on Drugs” as their number one priority to keep people “safe”. The idea of a “Drug Free” society was etched into the minds of several generations while simultaneously pharmaceutical drugs were being prescribed at Alarming rates.


In order to sustain the bluff of the war on drugs, researchers sought out to find negative side effects from cannabis use – since these were virtually one of the few ways researchers could get grant money from NIDA.


As a result, the people lost trust in the institution of government and no longer can…or rather should believe anything promised by them.


Casualty #2 – Individual Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness


The US Constitution guarantees your inalienable rights – meaning these are rights that no government or institution can revoke, nor can be given away by the possessor.


The War on Drugs took away individual liberty by making certain consumable items “illegal”. You see, “things” can’t be illegal. A plant cannot be illegal.


YOU consuming it is illegal, YOU possessing it is illegal, YOU selling it is illegal. These objects of illegality is an excuse used by the government to give them legal permission to harass and enslave you.


Don’t believe me? Ask Nixon!


If cannabis gives just one person some form of happiness – then consuming it would be classified as “The Pursuit of Happiness”. In fact, this applies to all drugs – and by the government sustaining the idea of prohibition…they have taken away your inalienable rights.


Mostly – by your compliance to their system.


Casualty #3 – Minorities


We can’t talk casualties without mentioning the negative impact the War on Drugs has on people perceived to be “minorities”. In the US these are typically people of Hispanic descent or people of African descent.


Minorities are being arrested at nearly 5x the rate as their Caucasian counterparts, despite similar rates of consumption.


Of course, there could be plenty of other reasons – but the War on Drugs was initially formed by Nixon – with cannabis added in at the last minute – to literally have a legal right to disrupt protests and go after the “blacks”.


Yes – Richard was Racist AF!


Minorities continue to be the target for many police departments and while we continue to sustain this policy – there will be only more systemic oppression.


Casualty #4 – The Fatherless Children


What happens to the kids of those who got arrested for drug-related “crimes”?


Statistically speaking 71% of high school drop outs are fatherless but it gets more impactful the more you pull on the thread.


In early childhood, studies show that school-aged children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie. Overall, they were far more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior. - Source


This is such a major issue that even former President George Bush addressed the subject;

Over the past four decades, fatherlessness has emerged as one of our greatest social problems. We know that children who grow up with absent-fathers can suffer lasting damage. They are more likely to end up in poverty or drop out of school, become addicted to drugs, have a child out of wedlock, or end up in prison. Fatherlessness is not the only cause of these things, but our nation must recognize it is an important factor.” – George W. Bush


One of the major contributing factors to this phenomenon – specifically relating to minority and minority community development – is the WAR ON DRUGS!


Casualty #5 – Science


We tend to believe that we are a “Science-driven society” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If we were a “science-driven community” we would have long abandoned the War on Drugs.


The War on Drugs – within a scientific framework – has proven to be a colossal failure – yet,  the government mostly funds studies aimed at proving “how bad drugs are”.


The War on Drugs has gagged scientific research into certain “sacrilegious knowledges” – similar to how the Church forbade people from studying or reading certain topics.


If you were to take a step back.


You’d realize that we’re still following the same doctrines that we used to when we were ruled under the oppressive thumbs of the “Church” – except, now the term “science” is the new Church.


We’re not Science Driven – we’re ideologically driven in this society and no matter how much you try to deny it – the acts speak louder than thoughts.


Casualty #6 – The Environment


One of the major reasons cannabis became illegal was due to the direct competition it had to synthetics like polyester. For over 80 years – we have had one of the most resourceful plants on the planet – BURNED!


The government has sprayed chemicals on “wild crops”, not only killing the cannabis – but counts of animals and other plants as well.


The fact that cannabis remains illegal on a federal level forced growers to use “indoor” artificial light. This increases the carbon footprint and subsequently makes the entire industry less “green”.


Bottom line


I know the US is a “War-Time Economy”. This is why they have a “War on Poverty” or a “War on Drugs”. Because when they are in War – the executive branch gets a little more powers over you.

If we want to address these issues – we must take the first step in abolishing the CSA in its entirety. One cannot “control substances” – one can only control access to them from other people.


This is essentially a declaration from the government saying, “You do not possess full ownership of your body or mind and must ask permission prior to consuming anything”.


My question is – is that freedom?








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