Winning the Drug War in Ten Years

This article by George Will about the drug war (and getting to the final proof of my new book on strategy) inspires me to apply Sun Tzu's principles to curing the drug problem in the US. Using the principles of strategy, this would be done is a series of small, inexpensive moves that paid for themselves. Could someone sell this program politically? If they understood strategy, they could put together a coalition of liberals, libertarians, and long-term thinking conservatives to make it law. The power of this plan is that it pits the long-term thinking of the forces of civilization against the short-term needs of drug addicts and drug dealers. The only people who would oppose this plan would be those who really want to see more drug use in America, and, while those people exist, they are not a large fraction of the population, despite the best efforts of George Soros. First, I would put the US in the drug supply business. The current drug enforcement apparatus would stay in place, but instead of destroying drugs, the government would supply them, selling them at prices undercutting the profitability of drug trade. Currently, drug enforcement seizes maybe about 2/3rds of the drugs coming into this country. The government would sell these drugs to diagnosed adults who are willing to accept the official label of "addict." The price of government drugs would fall to stay continually below the street price. All profits from drug sales would be put into enforcement (to maintain supply) and treatment and anti-drug advertising. To make sure that the government doesn't get dependent on drug income, all promotions and compensation would be based on the decrease of drug use per capita in a given area by independent audit. This would remove the profit incentive from selling drugs and remove any "glamour" from using them. Given enough time, it would destroy the economic network and related skills that enable the drug trade. Without an active drug trade, there wouldn't be any economic incentive to create new addicts. I would also tie school teacher compensation programs into a decrease in drug usage. School districts with the biggest percentage decreases in usage would get the biggest share of any wage increases. Unless public school bureaucracies can keep kids off of drugs, little else they do matters. Programs are timed so that schools aren't given incentives to increase drug usage in one year to reap rewards of drug usage decreases in following years. After the economic war had disabled illegal drug supply capabilities (probably two to three years minimum), the government drug supply system would have periodic "shortages" where prices would rise and supplies grow more limited for SHORT periods (a month at most) time. These shortages would arise naturally because with less commercial drug business, there would be less supply. These periods initially would be too short to create a new, profitable network of drug supply, but long enough to force a significant percentage of addicts into treatment. Over time, inventories of seized drugs would run out as the drug business ran down. Shortages of “legal” drugs would periodically create incentives for new drug smuggling, but that would create new supplies to satisfy the program. The general trend would be to increase prices by shortening supply over time. Whenever drug smuggling became profitable, the government would be there to undercut profits. Over time, drug addition would become diagnosed as a mental disorder. Those accepting the status of "addict" could still get free drugs (perhaps even manufactured by the state, but NOT as a RIGHT or a TREATMENT for a “disease.” The stigmata of drug usage would be coupled with the addict giving up voluntarily more and more of their civic freedoms for using drugs. Eventually, they would all be employed in programs aimed at decreasing drug usage. The system would pay so poorly that it would gradually push everyone into long-term treatment and exist from the program.