Work a solution for drug woes

President Nixon began his war on drugs about 40 years ago. My agency wanted nothing to do with such investigations, contending such would be corruptible. At the time I was working Newark, N.J., and the word was that older Mafia chieftains did not want to get involved with drugs, either. The unrelenting problem finally got my agency and the Mafia into the matter, for different reasons, of course.

The war has been an abysmal failure because law enforcement has tried to arrest its way as a solution. So it has filled our prisons, but has the problem been stemmed? Absolutely not. Take for example the local reporting of meth lab arrests. There is no end to them. One is taken down and there must be a dozen more primed and ready to fill the void.

The drug problem is a black plague all over the world. Pope Francis just left Brazil where the problem is rampant. Unemployment among youth may be the problem. In Brazil, 50 percent of youth are without work. It is nearly the same in the U.S. “All play makes Jack a dull boy.” Youth have so much energy and nowhere to expend it.

Police must be circumspect with youth arrests. Incarceration blemishes them, possibly for a lifetime, as well as making them vulnerable to sexual deviancy and exposure to more sophisticated criminal tools. Speaking of youth, I have heard our last three presidents state they had experimented with drugs in their youth. Had they been arrested, that would have ended their presidential ambitions.

So what is the solution to the world’s malaise? Work, of course. “Man must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.”

John Bryan