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This Ought to Start Working Any Day Now

"Our ultimate destination: a drug-free America. And now in the eleventh hour of this Presidency, we give a new sword and shield to those whose daily business it is to eliminate from America's streets and towns the scourge of illicit drugs." -- President Ronald Reagan, Nov 18, 1988, Remarks on Signing the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.

The bill declared it the policy of the US government to "create a Drug-Free America by 1995."

"Progress does not come overnight. America has had a long, dark struggle with drugs. Its not a war weve been fighting for 20 years. Weve been fighting it for 120 years. -- DEA Pub, "Speaking Out Against Legalization"

Yes, the drug war really has been going on for over 100 years. But there are two small reasons why 'stamping out drug use' will never work -- small reasons, but really important ones:

Reason 1: Humans are biologically hard-wired to seek novelty and pleasure

Historically, mankind has not had a great deal of success overturning the basic laws of nature. Even God couldn't get humans to "just say no" -- who do you think you are?

Reason 2: Where there is a demand, a market will rise to supply it

Stop the demand? -- biology says you lose.

This year we'll win -- we just need to try harder!
Year Headline Publication Issue Date
1903 War on the traffic Missionary Review Aug
1907 Warfare against opium-smoking in America 19th Century Dec
1908 Plan world war on opium traffic New York Herald* Dec 31
1909 Warfare against opium-smoking in America Outlook Feb 6
1909 Fight against opium Nation Jul 29
1910 National fight on baby killers Survey Oct
1911 Progress in solving the opium problem Outlook Jul 1
1912 Combating the drug evil in San Francisco Overland Jul
1913 Knock-out blow for opium Literary Digest Jun 28
1914 War and drug famine Literary Digest Sep 19
1922 New weapons in the war against narcotics Survey Jun 15
1924 Fight against opium Nation Nov 5
1924 America's part in the world war on opium Literary Digest Dec 6
1925 Losing fight against the deadly poppy Literary Digest Jan 3
1926 Sara Graham-Mulhall, a world leader in the war on drugs Pictorial Review May
1927 Uncle Sam scores one on opium Survey Jan 15
1928 New chapter in the opium war Survey Oct 1
1929 Step toward solution of the narcotics problem Current History Jan
1929 Fight against opium New Republic Jul 31
1930 League fights the poppy New Republic Aug 20
1931 Effective plan to control traffic in drugs adopted by twenty-eight nations Nation Jul 29
1931 New plan to curb drug traffic Current History Aug
1933 End of illicit traffic now in sight Literary Digest Jul 29
1936 Rising tide of narcotics over world Literary Digest May 16
1943 Narcotics; war has brought illicit traffic to all-Time low Life Jul 19
1946 New protocol on narcotic drugs signed U.N. Bulletin Dec 31
1948 War against dope runners Colliers Jul 31
1950 Our global war on narcotics American Mercury Mar
1952 Man strikes hardest blow yet against dope Life Jan 14
1953 International treaty endorsed for limiting world opium production U.N. Bulletin Jul 1
1955 Battle with dope in British Columbia Newsweek May 2
1956 World war against narcotics Reader's Digest Jan
1957 Dope: congress encourages the traffic Nation Mar 16
1962 Narcotics victory Commonweal Mar 9
1966 New prohibition? intensified federal drugs crackdown Newsweek Feb 7
1967 War on narcotics Todays Health Jul
1968 Waging a war on drug abuse Business Week Jan 20
1968 Alarming rise in dope traffic US News Sep 2
1969 UN to develop plans to control illegal narcotic drug crops U.S. Dept of State Bulletin Jan 20
1969 Growing menace of drugs US News Jul 28
1969 Operation impossible Time Oct 17
1969 Nixon's new plan to deal with the marijuana problem US News Oct 27
1970 We must fight the epidemic of drug abuse! Reader's Digest Feb
1970 Broader attack on drug abuse, to dry up the flow of drugs US News Mar 23
1970 War on drugs: it's meaning to tourists US News Sep 7
1970 Booming traffic in drugs: the government's dilemma US News Dec 7
1971 America's battle against the white death Newsweek Mar 29
1971 Sensible new plan to fight drugs in our schools Ladies Home Journal Apr
1971 Continuing battle over pot Science News Apr 24
1971 President calls for comprehensive drug control program U.S. Dept of State Bulletin Jul 12
1972 Last week was a bad week for the narcs; eventual decriminalization of marijuana Science News Feb 19
1972 Drive to curb hard drugs gets a no 1 priority US News Apr 3
1972 New progress in the war on drugs US News Aug 7
1972 U.S. scores in the war on drugs Newsweek Aug 28
1972 Victory soon in fight against drug traffic? US News Sep 25
1972 Teenage war against drugs Parents Dec
1972 Big gains in drive to cut off narcotics US News Dec 25
1973 Tide has turned in the war on heroin US News Jul 16
1973 Victory over opium: capture of Lo Hsing-han Time Jul 30
1974 Holy war against heroin Progressive Jan
1974 Incredible war against the poppies Esquire Dec
1974 U.S. to provide helicopters to Burma for narcotics control U.S. Dept of State Bulletin Dec 9
1975 Our chronic drug dilemma Saturday Evening Post May
1975 Tranquilizer war: controlling Librium and Valium New Republic Jul 19
1975 Drug abuse 1975: the war is past, the problem is as big as ever Science Nov 14
1975 U.S. pledges continued efforts in drug abuse control U.S. Dept of State Bulletin Dec 8
1976 Losing battle against heroin New Republic Feb 7
1976 President urges redoubled efforts against illicit drug traffic U.S. Dept of State Bulletin Feb 9
1976 Phony opium war: Washington can't kick the habit Nation May 15
1976 War over marijuana Psychology Today Dec
1976 How U.S. aims to dry up the heroin supply US News Dec 13
1977 Mexican heroin flow continues unabated Science Apr 29
1977 Let's end the dope war: a junkie view of the quagmire Nation Jun 25
1979 $45 billion yearly drug traffic hits Main Street US News Feb 19
1979 War on drugs Maclean's Apr 2
1979 White House prepares war on marijuana US News May 21
1979 Ban on drug paraphernalia? Newsweek Nov 26
1980 War on drugs Time Jun 30
1980 At war with the mushroom pickers Maclean's Dec 1
1980 New flood of heroin, and why it isn't stopped US News Dec 8
1981 New federal war on drugs Newsweek May 11
1982 Reagan gets tough on drugs Rolling Stone Apr 15
1982 All-out war on heroin in Golden Triangle US News May 24
1982 Joining the war on drug abuse Nations Business Jun
1982 Reagan's war on drugs Newsweek Aug 9
1982 Feds vs. drug runners: game gets trickier US News Oct 4
1983 The marijuana wars Newsweek Aug 29
1984 Why the U.S. is losing the war against drugs US News Feb 6
1984 Drug traffic can -- and must -- be curbed USA Today (Periodical) May
1984 War on the cocaine mafia Time May 28
1984 More bad news in the war against drugs US News Jul 16
1984 California's war against pot Newsweek Oct 8
1984 The war on drugs Nation Oct 27
1985 Fighting the cocaine wars Time Feb 25
1985 Drug war gets even more vicious US News Mar 18
1985 Flood of drugs -- a losing battle US News Mar 25
1985 A continental drug war Maclean's Apr 1
1985 Drugs drugs everywhere -- and no solution in sight National Review Aug 9
1985 A war that must be won Vital Speeches Aug 15
1985 Time for a real war on drugs Newsweek Sep 2
1986 Drug wars: the new alliance against traffickers and terrorists U.S. Dept of State Bulletin Apr
1986 An inadequate war against drugs Newsweek Jul 28
1986 The battle against drugs Vital Speeches of the Day Aug 15
1986 The latest antidrug war: better luck this time? US News Aug 25
1986 War on drugs: more than a 'short-term high'? US News Sep 29
1986 Business' war on drugs Nations Business Oct
1986 The drug wars will be won with treatment, not tests Business Week Oct 13
1986 The U.S. campaign against international narcotics trafficking: a cure worse than the disease USA Today (Periodical) Nov
1986 The war on drugs: light, camera, overreaction US Catholic Dec
1987 How to lose the coke war Atlantic May
1987 Exporting the drug war National Review May 22
1987 How should we attack the drug problem? Courier Jul
1987 The drug war bogs down Time Nov 23
1988 Where the war is being lost Time Mar 14
1988 Losing the war? Newsweek Mar 14
1988 The drug wars: a multi-national force? Newsweek Apr 18
1988 The lost 'drug war' National Review May 27
1988 A war on drugs with real troops? Science Jul 1
1988 The war on drugs get serious Common Cause Jul/Aug
1988 The U.S. drug war in Peru Nation Aug 13
1988 Losing the drugwar: drugs, banks, and Florida politics American Spectator Sep
1988 Colombia and the war on drugs Foreign Affairs Fall
1988 Soviet drug war New Leader Nov 14
1989 How to win the war on drugs: target the users USA Today (Periodical) Jan
1989 The newest drugwar Newsweek Apr 3
1989 It's deja vu all over again US News Apr 3
1989 The most effective weapon in the war against drugs: the paycheck Nations Business Jul
1989 Spies and soldiers enter the drug war US News Jul 31
1989 Bennett's drug war Newsweek Aug 21
1989 The annals of permanent war US News Aug 28
1989 Now for the real drug war US News Sep 11
1989 Now it's Bush's war Newsweek Sep 18
1989 The war? program? experiment? on drugs Science Sep 22
1989 A lost cause is a lost cause National Review Sep 29
1989 Why we're losing the war on drugs Reader's Digest Oct
1989 Some winning maneuvers in the war on drugs Business Week Nov 27
1990 Fighting drugs with the military Nation Jan 1
1990 A worthless crusade Newsweek Jan 1
1990 More and more, a real war Time Jan 22
1990 A failed 'test case': Washington's drug war Newsweek Jan 29
1990 New drug warriors: lasers, labs and coke-eating bugs US News Feb 19
1990 The administration's drug war can reduce demand Vogue Mar
1990 In the cocaine war ... the jungle is winning NY Times Magazine Mar 4
1990 How to win the war on drugs Fortune Mar 12
1990 The war on (some) drugs Harper's Apr
1990 America's forgotten drug war Reader's Digest Apr
1990 A frontal assault on drugs Newsweek Apr 30
1990 When TV enlists in the war on drugs Channels May 7
1990 The drug war of words Nation May 21
1990 Drug-free zones: winning the war on drugs New Republic May 21
1990 The drug war is only make-believe U.S. Catholic Jun
1990 Good news in the drug war: prices up, purity down Newsweek Jul 2
1990 Bill Bennett can't lose the drug war Esquire Sep
1990 D.C.'s War on drugs: why Bennett is losing NY Times Magazine Sep 23
1990 Does the administration really want to win the war on drugs? Utne Reader Sep/Oct
1990 Declaring war on drugs: teens fight back 'Teen Oct
1990 A losing battle Time Dec 3
1991 United States stands with Colombia in the war against narcotics US Dept of State Dispatch Mar 4
1991 Drugs -- to make war or peace? America Apr 27
1991 President's war on drugs reduces customs seizures Conde Nast Traveler Jun
1991 The widening drug war Newsweek Jul 1
1991 Drug war fraud continues Utne Reader Jul/Aug
1991 What should we do about drugs? Vital Speeches Aug 1
1991 An unproductive war against drugs Forbes Nov 11
1992 The newest war Newsweek Jan 6
1992 CIA drug ties thwart our war on drugs Utne Reader Jan/Feb
1992 Cracks in the drug war: why the U.S.-Andean alliance to stop the cocaine flow is in trouble US News Mar 2
1992 Losing battles in the war on drugs World Press Review Jun
1992 What ever happened to the 'war on drugs'? NY Rev of Books Jun 11
1992 The winnable war Vital Speeches Jul 15
1992 How's that drug war going guys? Sassy Sep
1992 Rangel cites statistics revealing U.S. is losing in its war on drugs Jet Sep 21
1992 High technology's growing role in war on drugs USA Today (Periodical) Nov
1993 Fighting the right drug war US News Apr 26
1993 Can Janet Reno bust the war on drugs? Rolling Stone Jun 10
1993 The next war on drugs: targeting the inner cities Brookings Review Summer
1993 Clinton's shift in the war on drugs US News Sep 27
1993 Clinton and drugs: war without end Nation Nov 15
1993 Clinton's drug policy is a bust Time Dec 20
1994 The new opium wars US News Oct 10
1994 O.K., call it war NY Times Magazine Dec 18
1995 Drug war, II NY Times Magazine Jan 29
1995 The longest war Rolling Stone Apr 20
1995 New war over crack US News Nov 6
1996 The war on drugs wants you Nations Business Feb
1996 The no-win war New York Feb 5
1996 The war on drugs is lost National Review Feb 12
1996 The politics of drugs: back to war Newsweek Aug 26
1996 The phony drug war Time Sep 2
1996 Why this country is losing the drug war US News Sep 16
1996 Pot shots in the war on drugs Newsweek Oct 14
1997 War ends, drugs win Nation Jan 6
1997 The war over weed Newsweek Feb 3
1997 The drug war's phony fix: why certification doesn't work Nation Apr 28
1997 A timeout in the military's war on drugs US News Aug 4
1998 The lost war on drugs World Press Review Feb
1998 The war over weed Newsweek Mar 16
1998 The battle for medical marijuana in the war on drugs America Apr 11
1998 Winning the drug war isn't so hard after all NY Times Magazine Sep 6
1999 Call off the drug war American Spectator Apr
1999 Bush & the drug wars National Review Sep 13
2000 The drug war is only a hallucination U.S. Catholic Mar
2000 Scenes from the crack wars Harper's May
2000 A new front in the drug war Newsweek Aug 28
2000 U.S. hopes to fight drugs, not war, in Colombia NY Times Upfront Oct 2
2000 The war on coca: how far will the U.S. go? Business Week Nov 20
2001 Just say no to this drug war [Plan Colombia] U.S. Catholic Jan
2001 War no more National Review Feb 5
2001 The war on drugs goes to the air [anti-drug ads] Newsweek Feb 12
2001 High on drug-warring National Review Feb 19
2001 Lifting the lid on a failed drug war World Press Review Mar
2001 The war against the war on drugs Time May 7
2001 War without end Newsweek May 21
2001 I'm proof: the war on drugs is working Newsweek Jul 2
2001 It's time to give up the war on drugs Business Week Sep 17

Sources: Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature
* The Dope Chronicles, 1850-1950

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