…let’s get it clear is that there is no “War on Drugs.” You cannot make war on inanimate objects, only on people. What we are witnessing is a war on drug users, particularly poor and minority drug users. This so-called war is a failure only if one accepts it on its own terms–that is, if one believes that its real purpose is to interdict the supply of illegal substances and to prevent drug use. On that level it’s a colossal failure of historic proportions. However, from the perspective of justifying repression–of justifying the continued funding of highly armed police forces, of validating the existence of the legal machinery of what is called the “justice” system, and of channeling profits into the owners of private prisons and the many industries that supply prisons–the war is a major success. To which benefits we can add the political value of fear mongering and offering to be “tough on crime” to political opportunists vying for the support of a frightened, credulous and uninformed public.