George Will Misunderstands Drug Control Policy – OpEd

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In the March 17 National Review, George Will poses a standard critique of drug control, stressing the futility of the project—“Opioids and Mexican Drug Cartels: Worse Living through Chemistry.”

Will asserts that despite our efforts, drugs (such as heroin) are today cheaper and more potent than ever; that hitting cartel kingpins such as El Chapo can’t stop drug flow (because Mexico witnessed a 37 percent increase in heroin production while he has been incarcerated); and that the drug trade produces an unstoppable, yearly, $40 billion profit.

Beyond heroin and cocaine, Will is further alarmed by potent opioid synthetics such as fentanyl, now the principle cause of overdose deaths. Based on developments, neither a “supply side” nor a “demand side” strategy, he laments, will make any difference.

Finally, dismissing President Trump’s border plan, Will concludes that “Any wall would be irrelevant to stopping drug shipments,” because they actually pass through the

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