InternetExplorer, on Monday, February 13th, 2012, 8:41 AM, said:
did reagan simply give a name to what was already common practice?
Absolutely not. "War On Drugs" was a very finite and unique policy.
Care to guess at what point on that graph we 'declared war on drugs'?People really don't understand how laws, law enforcement offices and law enforcement agents work. Law enforcement agents will run right up to the edge of what they can get away with and then tiptoe on it, always, 100% of the time. This is universal to law enforcement in all societies and cultures, regardless of economic status. The only difference is how regularly they cross the line- standard in the 3rd world, less standard in the developed world. When you pin a badge on a man and tell him its his job to go after other men who are engaging in certain behaviors, that man will do so with a gusto regardless of whether or not the 'law' in question is ethical. Power over other humans is a neurochemical reward behavior, which is precisely what attracts a 'certain type' of person to law enforcement professions. You can be sure that when you tell cops they can now pull over redheads- and you tell the courts that they can now incarcerate redheads- as sure as the sun rises, cops will start pulling over redheads and courts (including juries of their peers- a useless mechanism in a mindless society) will start throwing them in jail. When Reagan instituted war on drugs as a hyper-aggressive policy, he basically gave carte blanche for hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers to attack tens of millions ofpeople. In time, drug arrests became tied to law enforcement funding, drug arrests are enormously tied to prison industry and a decade or two later, there are 120 pages of lawyers in every phone book and we have more people locked up than any other country on earth. Reagan was a privileged ideologue from another era, who really didn't understand contemporary social policy. Guys like that are great at the macro like dealing with Russia, terrible at dealing with the Southside of Chicago.