Perhaps the biggest bi-partisan effort throughout various administrations has been the War on Drugs. One area both Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that the battle over drug addiction and drug crimes in this country still wages on. Every President and every administration has had their stake in the effort to fight the drug war as far back as 1971 when Nixon formally declared the War on Drugs. Now the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder are staking their claim on winning the drug war but the question always remains: should the government be involved in yet another drug battle that seems to be producing the same failed results with each administration?
On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced an overhaul in the Justice Department’s policy on low-level, non-violent drug offenders and the mandatory prison sentences imposed in the 1980’s. “We need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter and rehabilitate—not merely convict, warehouse and forget,” Holder stated during a speech to the American Bar Association. Holder received support from Republicans on this overhaul including Senator Rand Paul who has helped to introduce legislation to give federal judges the ability to minimize sentencing for some low-level drug offenders.
While the effort to overhaul the amount of incarcerations for non-violent drug offenders will help to decrease federal spending on the already over-crowded prisons, the Attorney General is only trying to fix an already broken system without fighting the root of the problem. In his speech he addressed the fact that some issues are best handled at the state or local level because drug rehabilitation can be followed by state officials that can individualize efforts to help drug addicts. Many states have had great success with Drug Courts that provide treatment and close supervision of individuals instead of the mandatory prison sentences.
It is a little hypocritical for the Attorney General to start directing state involvement on issues such as the drug war when the Obama administration seems to be overhauling all legislation to big government mandates (including Obamacare and Common Core Education). Nonetheless, Holder is correct in highlighting successful states like Texas and Kentucky who have had success in reducing their prison populations and putting taxpayer money into rehabilitating drug offenders. The problem is Holder fails to report which programs are the most successful in treating drug addicts and why Drug Courts and state initiatives work. They work because many of the programs that treat drug addicts in those states have high success rates and many are faith-based programs that treat the root of the addiction.
This is once again an example of why “Big Government” efforts do not solve the problems of society. It is also a reminder that the community is the best place to meet the needs of the individual. Holder’s criminal justice reform is perhaps a step in the right direction but it does not address why our country is still fighting this War on Drugs. Addiction and crime are symptomatic of a broken society.
The greatest success in fighting the war on drugs comes from the healing of the individual and this is primarily done through faith-based programs like Teen Challenge , as well as others, that treat the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the addict. With the downturn of the economy and the new financial demands on the family income and the uncertainty in Obamacare costs, charitable giving is down. This has put a financial burden on faith-based programs that successfully treat drug addicts. It as if Holder and the Obama administration do not realize that there is a bigger picture in how their socialistic economic legislations affect those with the greatest need. Help that is greatly needed and growing but many of the rich and middle class are no longer able to give to programs that treat the drug addicted.
The War of Drugs still wages on but if any lesson can be gained from both sides of the aisle is that the battle is better fought at the state level and through the power of charity from the individual. Those who suffer from drug addiction need compassion and help from communities and individuals that can give up their time and finances to help cure the addiction and make whole the individual. Incarceration does not cure the addict nor does government legislation. What can help fight the War on Drugs is more money in the hands of the individual and community who can reach out to help those in need. The Obama administration’s socialistic policies are actually hurting the people they are trying to help like the drug addicted. Just another example of why socialism fails!
To find out more information on the successful faith-based drug rehabilitation program Teen Challenge go to www.teenchallngeusa.com.