When trying to eradicate the foreign supply of drugs, we seem to only “succeed in shifting sources, not in reducing drug abuse (Gray par 13). Similarly, the domestic arm of demand reduction has been met with equal setbacks. Drug use seems to be a persistent, if not pervasive aspect of modern America. I believe this is the hidden trap of drug policy; the perception of prohibition as the status quo, and the interpretation of drug use as a corrosive and immoral byproduct of America’s industrialization and modernization.
Historically, drug use has been common in human cultural the policy of prohibition is a recent development of the 20th century. Looking to the future, this author believes that America’s, and other nation’s policymakers need to accept that affinity for drug consumption as a given and work toward more realistic policy goals. Perhaps this is the definition of retreat, or the acceptance of failure, but the truth of our current situation is that “[…] culture and addiction are powerful forces—equal or greater than all the legal barriers and social programming arrayed against them” (Simon, Burns 541). The goal of policy is to be in congruence with societies values, some reassessment of just what America’s values concerning drugs is in order. In cold policy terms, the implementation of some kind of decriminalization/legalization initiative is the only possible step toward a more effective approach.