Opioids, pot and criminal justice reform helped undermine this decade's War on Drugs

With an extraordinary number of Americans suffering, the door has opened to understanding and treating the pain of drug use rather than apply brute force
NBC News Think (US)
Sunday, December 29, 2019

us drugwarThis much we know: Americans like to do drugs. That might explain why a prescient headline in the satirical publication The Onion stands as one of the most enduring comments on American drug enforcement — “Drugs Win Drug War.” While that article was published in 1998, it was only during the past decade that its parody devolved into grim reality. In many ways, this reality has been an aching nadir, with more lives lost annually to overdoses than AIDS, gun violence and car crashes. But this past decade also brought its highs (pun intended): Recreational marijuana prohibitions started to fall in a domestic domino effect as one state after another accepted that it was pointless to criminalize the use of such a widely consumed drug.