This is a forward from the book The War on Drugs: Tales from a Member of the Resistance by Theodore T. Villella Jr.
· Author’s Notes
The War on Drugs is the problem. The problem is not opioids, cocaine, marijuana, Kratom, MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms and other recreational drugs and substances. Even the dangerous fentanyl is not the problem. The war mentality is the fundamental problem, and it has been for over 100 years.
When we approach solving a social problem based upon racist misconceptions, ignorance, and malevolence we are doomed to fail. When a military mindset is a key element of the approach to remedy a social problem it serves only to make matters worse. The people who perpetuate the War on Drugs became lost in the detail’s decades ago.
And it is the details that are most important. In the early 20th century, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was passed to protect consumers from the sale of adulterated food in interstate commerce. Con-artists sometimes known as snake oil peddlers traveled the land selling useless products that promised miracle cures to all that ails one. Buyer beware you are the one who must be responsible.
Food and drugs were often intentionally mislabeled or misbranded for profit. Noble in concept, it led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. In 1909, the Smoking Opium Exclusion Act banned the possession, importation, and use of opium for smoking.
Primarily targeted at Chinese immigrants, it was the first federal law to ban recreational use of a natural substance. On the heels of the Smoking Opium Exclusion Act, the Harrison Act passed in 1914 to regulate and tax the production, importation, and distribution of opiates and cocaine. The prohibition of alcohol soon followed. Much of this was fueled by misplaced religious fervor, holier than thou men and women who were intent on imposing their beliefs on the masses. The Constitution be damned.
Though a decreasing minority in America, many are powerful people on the US Supreme Court, in the houses of Congress and in leadership roles in every state government. The meek and powerless being led by a powerful pernicious few. I will always support religious freedom, but faith cannot be imposed. It must be welcomed, accepted, and embraced.
False premises rooted in racism, ignorance, and lies, a practice that continues today, were the essential propaganda that led to the passage of The Harrison Act. In my book I use government documents to make my case. A government publication is defined in the U.S. Code (44 U.S.C. 1901). https://www.govinfo.gov/. You will see how documents published in the same year often at the same time contradict one another.
In the 1930s under the leadership of Harry Anslinger, the Federal Department of Narcotics, using false propaganda and ignoring known facts, began to demonize and attack the recreational use of marijuana. The “official” war on drugs was launched by the Nixon Administration in the early 1970s. (The book titled The Marijuana Papers documents in detail how a government funded propaganda campaign was responsible for a lack of opposition to the Marijuana Tax Act passed in 1937.)
You will learn that Nixon’s war on drugs was also launched with malicious intent. Nixon declared drugs “public enemy number one” all the while thinking his enemy number one was the counterculture, primary hippies, and blacks. He irrationally feared both much more than drugs. He turned drugs into a weapon in his war to win political advantage. Since its inception and strengthening for over 100 years, the war approach to address a mostly harmless handful and many beneficial drugs and substances, has left a trail of tears, terror, corruption, ignored science, and too many needless deaths.
Just as the War on Poverty did not conquer poverty, the War on Drugs not only has not conquered drugs, it has fueled their pervasiveness around the world and led to the wealth and power of violent drug cartels. The war approach has been the source of incredible human suffering, especially to minorities, and must end.
Americans must take action to end this egregious government failure. There are far better ways to address the unfortunate outcomes of drug and substance use experienced by a small minority. With new laws and changes to, or the repeal of, bad legislation combined with measured education and mental health treatments at the forefront progress is finally happening but there is so much more that needs to be done.
- I have tried to recreate events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. I have changed the names of individuals and places; I may have changed some identifying characteristics and details, such as physical properties, occupations, and places of residence.
- Although the author and publisher have tried to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and at this moment disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
- This book does not pretend to be a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician on matters relating to their health, particularly concerning any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
I dedicate this book to the millions of unfortunate people and their families damaged or destroyed by the careless actions of mislead, poorly trained law enforcement professionals worldwide. These well-meaning men and women work at all levels of authority. And to the vast majority of law enforcement professionals whose integrity has become suspect because of the actions of a few. We need you; a peaceful society cannot survive without policing and policing is ineffective without the people’s consent.
And to the judges who had their judicial discretion ripped away by minimum mandatory sentences. All signs of the slow demise of a once-great nation. And to my dad, who was a dedicated law enforcement professional. And last to my mother who died too young.
I consider Theodore T. Villella Jr. a good friend and I am honored to know such a great writer. Please check out his website https://theovillella.com/ and read his book in its entirety. You can also visit his YouTube Channel for more information. https://youtu.be/oZcy2KghXuw
You can register for a free pdf copy of the book The War on Drugs: Tales from a Member of the Resistance on Theodore T. Villella Jr’s. website.