The War on Drugs became a movement in the 1970s to stop the distribution and use of specific products by making them illegal and imposing stiff penalties on individuals involved with the items.
That’s a long way from the 1890s Sears and Roebuck catalogues that offered a syringe with cocaine for $1.50.
In the early 20th century, prohibition laws started coming through the world’s governments. In the United States, the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 charged a sales tax on hemp and cannabis products.
In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act set the standard for Americans, creating five “schedules” that classified drugs based on their use and potential for abuse. Anything that fell into Schedule 1 was considered dangerous and strictly limited, if not made illegal.
President Nixon Declared War on Drugs in 1971
The rise of recreational drug use in the 1960s led to the government’s focus on stopping that behaviour in the following decade. After the Nixon administration declared that drug abuse was “Public Enemy No. 1,” funding for drug control agencies, mandatory prison sentencing, and expanded drug crime definitions developed.
After a small hiatus in the late 1970s, the Reagan administration brought back the War on Drugs in the 1980s. That’s when the “Just Say No” campaign launched, along with severe penalties for drug-related crimes.
Since the data showed that minorities were targeted or arrested on suspicion of drug use at higher rates, the prison populations changed. By 2014, almost half of the people serving time in an American federal prison were there because of a drug-related charge.
Despite over 40 years of fighting drugs, it’s cheaper and easier to get anything you want in almost any place in the world today. How did we end up losing this war?
Opioids Were Never Treated the Same as Other Drugs
When we look at the data from drug overdoses, almost half of the deaths are associated with opioid use.
After governments started targeting drugs like marijuana and cocaine, most opioids were left alone. The only exception is heroin.
Heroin and prescription painkillers are easy to find and use. Even if someone can’t find a doctor to offer them access, it’s relatively cheap to buy them on the street. If a person wants to get high using drugs, a “war” won’t stop that desire.
Since 2000, the number of people who have died from drug overdoses has doubled even though penalties for distribution and use continue to expand.
An endless war on drugs doesn’t change the stressors that cause people to look for coping mechanisms. We must support people in challenging situations so that they understand they’re not trying to solve problems alone.
Even when we look at cigarettes, about one in five people still smoke even though they know it can lead to future health issues. We must focus on the hurting, give them the compassion they need, and offer support so that drug use doesn’t seem necessary.
Then we must understand that opioids and choices like cannabis are very different. How can CBD oil be treated the same as heroin? Until we expand our understanding, we won’t make progress.
Why CBD Should Be Your Next Investment
CBD doesn’t come with the same risks of taking a psychoactive substance or acute intoxication. Although a few users report feeling the effects of cannabidiol in negative ways, it’s usually appropriate for treating everything from chronic pain to epilepsy.
When CBD oil is part of a person’s daily routine, it can help them reduce or eliminate the effects of general anxiety disorders, panic attacks, PTSD, and more (check out Kootenay Botanicals).
All these benefits are possible with minimal health risks or unwanted side effects. If you’re ready to start feeling better, consider CBD!