Some critics go so far as to say that "illegal drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today" than ever before. This is a compelling argument and a powerful sound bite, to be sure. There's just one problem: It's not true.
Among the misconceptions fostered by AA and the disease theory of addiction is the idea of "hitting bottom" -- that there is some objective state beneath which no human being will go. The same is true in our misconceptions about what will end our war on drugs.
There is an inescapable conceptual struggle when dealing with America's volatile history of, and attitudes toward, substance use. In other words, the meaning of addiction is a never-ending American, and thus worldwide, cultural debate.
A "catch-22" has long plagued medical marijuana advocates and patients. Lawmakers and health regulators demand clinical studies on safety and efficacy, but the feds bar these studies from being conducted.
Having spent eleven years in the Office of National Drug Control Policy, I can say that in contradiction to a recent report, we have little reason to believe that America has reached a turning point in the war on drugs.