We’re losing our declared ‘wars’

Published 12:34 am Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The recent death of celebrity Whitney Houston brings into sharp focus the destructive nature of the drug and alcohol culture. How many high profile individuals must death claim — Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn, Janis Joplin, Anna Nichole Smith, Michael Jackson and on and on — before a lesson is learned by those using drugs and alcohol.

Houston, reared in church singing in the choir, possessed a voice straight from Heaven. When she sang gospel, even the angels swooned. Her once in a lifetime angelic voice was assaulted by drug and alcohol abuse. Although she was tremendously successful by worldly standards, singing and acting, you have to wonder what she could have accomplished had she not wrestled with the demons of addiction. What a witness for Jesus Christ she could have been.

Drugs and alcohol are a scourge on America’s modern day society. A recent raid in Selma netted 22 individuals engaged in the possession of or dealing illicit drugs. Unfortunately, that is only the tip of the iceberg too. Apparently, Selma is inundated with illegal drugs as evident from the violence and crime here.

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In 1971, former President Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs.” It has been ongoing now for 41 years and look where we are today. The “War on Drugs” has had the same reverse effect as President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”

Drug use has increased exponentially since war was declared and poverty has been institutionalized with a subculture languishing in a constant state of government dependency. Neither of these wars are directed toward the root of the cultural problems, therefore, they continue to get worse. They are handled in the typical American political way of throwing barrels of taxpayer dollars at the problem in the hopes they will go away.

After 40 years of the “war on drugs,” the cost has been a trillion dollars and thousands of lives not to mention the violence and crime associated with it. The “War on Poverty” has been even more of a dismal failure costing taxpayers $9 trillion in a 40-year span and counting.

The sad facts are neither problem, drugs or poverty, have been helped. In fact, they both have become far worse. You would think after 40 years of failure, our president and Congress would figure out it is just not working and change directions.

Drug usage is not just a rich and famous problem. In my opinion, drugs and poverty are intricately intertwined, and random drug testing for government assistance should be mandatory.