Drug Use Education.org
The Logical Solution
The Logical Solution
The Logical Solution
An Irrational WAR
THE ORIGINS OF THE WAR ON DRUGS: 1960-72
Societies have traditionally withdrawn from restricting the use of substances using any enforceable approach measures against citizens until the early 20th century when communist countries became the first. During the Eisenhower administration, no one would have even dared to utter such terms like, substance abuse or a war on drugs. These utterances would have no doubt resulted in accusations of communism and might have led to official actions. Nevertheless, drug use became increasingly prevalent during the period after WWII such that the Kennedy administration proposed an educational program which would have brought education into the classrooms and on television. Had JFK survived to win a second term in office, it is very likely that a bill would have been introduced to launch this process. The Johnson administration overlooked such legislation.
During the 1960s, New New Journalism launched an ugly war between television and glossy tabloids like Life and Look magazines. Vying for the same markets, these media shaped our world more than anyone might imagine. For the first time in history, cameras went behind the scenes and into the war zone of the Vietnam war. Instead of war heroes making it to the cover of Life and Look as had been the case during WWII and the Korean War, the realities of the battlefield were splashed on the cover of magazines and the five o'clock news carried film footage. The success this produced led camera crews into American urban areas, recording public reaction to the war. Initially staged events paved the way for the mass population to exercise a rebellion that had been stirring since JFK's assassination. Suddenly, America seemed to be a country on fire with draft cards burning on college campuses, bra burning to herald the women's movement; cars were on fire in Detroit, and even the American flag was burning. Cameras recorded everything from the hippie culture to the Stonewall Riots that herald the gay movement. A rather liberal press was flying in the face of the Nixon administration. Such coverage as the sexual revolution posed a threat to morality in the US. With the walls coming down around them, the right wing conservatives were not clear in understanding that what was actually transpiring was a natural evolution of the media. However, in small town America and among families in urban areas, the new form of media did not have the impact one might have thought. The mass population was simply undergoing a long overdue cultural evolution and would have adjusted as it had. However, the media forced politicians to take action to save their jobs and their country.
Some say that the catalyst to action happened during the summer of 1969. On the night after Judy Garland was found dead of a drug overdose in London, the gay community in New York responded to the raids on the Stonewall Bar in Greenwich Village. Those riots had been the first to spark a nationwide response from homosexuals. To politicians this "perversion" was a threat to the American culture as many speculated it could rise up to engulf the entire population to abandon families for the carefree gay lifestyle. Indeed, the gay population seemed to become a lot larger in 1969. What had traditionally been thought to be a rather small insignificant number was now out of control. By the end of that summer, the American public had watched a US citizen step foot onto the moon and plant the American flag there. They had also seen coverage of young people gathering at a place called Woodstock, New York for a concert that put the sexual revolution into full gear -- mind you that the sexual revolution was a term coined about the climate of youth during the 1920s -- as naked bodies covered with mud filled the pages of family magazines like Life.
To the conservatives, there was a reason why American youth had become unglued and that's because they were probably sniffing it, glue that is. In other words, the drugs were like modern day witchcraft. It had to be and something had to be done about it. The conservatives felt they would be overrun by a society fueled on cannabis, heroin, LSD, and hasish. The generation of baby boomers were flagging for open sexuality, homosexuality, free love, and everywhere drugs were accessible. Physicians were able to promote a smorgasboard of "pleasure" drugs. People -- youth, the successors to the throne -- were dying from overdoses, and it seemed as though the land of freedom had turned into a land of debauchery. There was a way to gain back the youth in modern society, but it was going to take time. It would not happen overnight; it would not take weeks or even months but years, and even decades to see the outcome of their labors, but the group decided that they would be committed... they would be persistent... and they would bring back the values of Christianity under which America was founded. They would unite and work to strengthen every family in America one by one. So, they rolled up their sleeves, made some calculated decisions, and soon they began implementing strategies to retain a better world -- that is, a world that was better for them. They agreed the central theme would be a war against drugs, but they would augment various factions to impede such societal adversities like homosexuality. Without really knowing what Pandora's Box they were opening, they decided to turn a free nation into one in which they had control. To many who were politically conservative, morally repressive, and theologically absorbed, the foundation of the nation they were recreating was sound, strong, and secure. But underneath this logical solution, there was death, AIDS, repression, incarceration, and a total misunderstanding of human nature.
It should always be remembered that the religious force behind this movement was Christianity. But what the veteran generation failed to recognize for some time, was that these values of love, peace, and concern for others were rooted firmly on the other side of the generation gap. There was no need for alarm. But then again, Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. In the modern definition of the word, Christianity means Capitalism.
In the New Testament of the Judea-Christian Bible, Christ loves everyone, embraces everyone, except for one class of people. The only time that Jesus Christ ever lashed out was at the wealthy merchants who made a mockery of God by turning the Church into a trading hall. Ironically, Christians keep searching for Christ's condemnation of homosexuality, when it is the wealthy capitalist that would have enraged Christ to violence as it had.
Was the drug war ever a logical solution? NO! In 1971, it only seemed like a logical decision to start an irrational civil war. When you think about it, it is preposterous that a nation that had worked for 100 years to become united, was now tearing itself apart again with another war against itself.