We Americans enjoy declaring war. However, we only tend to make the declaration when the battle must be fought against an abstraction. Declare war on Sudan for its genocide in Darfur? Nah, too many bureaucratic hurdles. Declare war on terrorism, as ill-defined as that term may be? Sure thing. Same goes for the war on drugs, still going strong after three decades. Now aside from the fact that what is and isn’t classified a drug happens to be random at best, the whole idea bears some serious scrutiny since the rate of drug use has actually increased during this “war” according to the government’s own statistics.
What’s even more worrisome is the knock-on effects this abstract war has had on parts of American society. No, I’m not talking about our abysmal rate of incarceration (although it is disgraceful). I’m talking about something much more important, much more fundamental. Something that should have been enshrined as an inalienable right in the Bill of Rights. Beer-league softball.
Apparently over the past six years, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the office responsible for waging the “War on Drugs,” has played in the same Congressional Softball League as a team made up of players from drug policy reform groups. And each season the ONDCP team has somehow managed to avoid playing the reform team, even when the schedule pitted the two teams head-to-head.
That’s right people, the drug war is slowly ruining our recreational softball leagues. Luckily, there is a solution. Declare war on the war on drugs.