The DEA's Own Website Proves The War On Drugs Is An Epic Failure

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Carey Wedler via,

This summer, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) demonstrated its incompetence and exposed its archaic ideology on more than one occasion.

First, in defiance of public opinion, the agency announced it would continue to classify cannabis as a Schedule I drug, meaning the plant will continue to be categorized as one of the most “dangerous” drugs in America. Then, the DEA announced it would schedule kratom’s active ingredients in the same Schedule I category, even though the increasingly popular Asian herb, like cannabis, could potentially help curb the nation’s current opiate addiction epidemic.

To some Americans, these two actions demonstrate just how hopelessly out of touch the DEA is. But the agency’s ineptitude isn’t limited to misguided and stubborn decisions to ban plants. It’s actually out in the open for all to see on the DEA’s own website.

The DEA’s “Top Stories of 2016” page, which contains a selection of press releases the agency has issued throughout the year, is intended to highlight the valiant efforts of DEA agents in the fight against drugs.

But a simple analysis of the headlines reveals just how little the DEA has done to achieve its goals.

Here’s a sampling of their top stories:

Rogers Man Sentenced to Maximum of 20 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking


Overdose Investigation Leads to Heroin Distribution Charges


Over 65 pounds of heroin recovered from truck axle in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Two arrested


Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced to 12 Years Prison


Colombian Narcotics Kingpin Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 35 Years in Prison for Massive Cocaine Conspiracy


Cumberland County, New Jersey Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine Conspiracy


Two Brothers Charged with Distributing Heroin Involved in Overdoses


Owner of String of Marijuana Stores Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison


Major Takedown Leads to Indictment – Seizures of Over Half Million Dollars in Heroin and Cocaine

At first glance, it appears the DEA is doing a bang-up job. Look at all the bad guys they’ve caught! Can you believe they seized half a million dollars worth of scary drugs in one mission? Bless the men and women in uniform who fight to keep our children safe!

At second glance, however, one might begin to wonder why, nearly fifty years after the Drug War’s inception in 1971, the DEA is still struggling to contain the flow of illegal drugs in the United States.

Search for yourself. Perform a simple Google query on drugs seized by the DEA and law enforcement agencies around the country. You’ll find that seemingly every day, shipments of cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, and other drugs are seized by government agencies. Traffickers are charged with crimes and, to be fair, significant quantities of drugs are removed from the streets. But even the DEA admits (pdf) that, in general, increased seizures mean more drugs are in circulation; in the agency’s 2016 National Heroin Use Threat Assessment Summary, they note the recent uptick in drug seizures “indicates a sizeable increase in heroin availability in the United States.

The agency’s efforts to reduce the circulation of drugs and the power of traffickers are further discredited amid evidence that legalizing cannabis has decreased the power of Mexican drug cartels. In contrast, 80% of drugs from Colombia, “one of the countries [the U.S. government has] focused on the most,” the Atlantic reports, make it into the U.S. One can suspect that if cocaine were legalized, the black market demand for it — and therefore, the power of cartels — would be reduced.

After 45 years and countless pounds of illicit substances seized, the war on drugs is yet to be “won,” even as the DEA increasingly requests (pdf) more money for its budget.

Take it from the government’s own National Institute on Drug Abuse:

In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug.

Do you mean to tell me that in spite of law enforcement’s grand efforts to intercept literal tons of cannabis, use of the drug is still on the rise?

That’s as preposterous as claiming alcohol prohibition in the 1920s failed to stop people from drinking! Oh, wait.

Even the DEA itself has acknowledged the rise in drug use. From its 2016 National Heroin Use Threat Assessment Summary (pdf):

The threat posed by heroin in the United States is serious and has increased since 2007. Heroin is available in larger quantities, used by a larger number of people, and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths.

The report further highlights the severity of the problem, which has been exacerbated by the government’s own double standard when it comes to banning some dangerous drugs while classifying others as medicine:

“In 2014, 10,574 Americans died from heroin-related overdoses, more than triple the number in 2010. Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug (CPD) abusers using heroin. CPD abusers who begin using heroin do so chiefly because of price differences.” [emphasis added]

That’s right. Nearly five decades, $1 trillion dollars, and thousands of destroyed lives later, the war on drugs has failed to stop drug use.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon — who, according to a former adviser, launched the modern drug war in part to crack down on anti-war and black rights movementswarned that “America has the largest number of heroin addicts of any nation in the world.” As he urged Congress:

We must now candidly recognize that the deliberate procedures embodied in present efforts to control drug abuse are not sufficient in themselves. The problem has assumed the dimensions of a national emergency.

Richard Nixon’s words are still embarrassingly true. The United States still has more opiate addicts than any other nation – they gobble up 80% of the world’s supply. Though pharmaceutical opiates constitute much of this figure, this growing habit, as the DEA acknowledged, drives users to heroin.

Nixon’s words are also still timely considering  government’s attempts to stop drug use and addiction remain “not sufficient.” In fact, earlier this year, two U.S. senators called the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic “a national emergency” — the exact term Nixon used to push the war in the first place.

If, after almost fifty years, the conditions that officially inspired the drug war haven’t changed, perhaps it’s time for a change in strategy, not a continuation of it — especially when it was waged for reasons wholly unrelated to keeping people safe.

As Nixon’s former advisor, John Ehrlichman, said toward the end of his life when he admitted the Drug War was conceived to stifle dissent:

Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

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PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Sep 21, 2016 7:03 PM

One phone call to the CIA would stop the drugs from flowing.

wildbad's picture

Failure!?!  We've made BILLIONS of this war and put many super predators in prison, forget about all the Fun we had in Mena.


Yours truly,


NidStyles's picture

The war on drugs was a twofold operation.


1) It restricts the flows to illegal avenues, which then can be pushed as "exclusive" access which makes them more of a form of rebellion, an attitude a specific group of people belonging to a specific Tribe promote daily.


2) This restriction to access to specific avenues means the supply is always lower than the demand, which jacks the price up. This means that particular group of people within that specific Tribe that is involved with the primary source of trafficking comtrol all the flow, and make all the real profit both through running political scams and private prisons to running the drugs and money laundering businesses themselves.


This is the market version of controlled opposition.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

its very, very simple: the war on drugs does much more harm to society than drugs themselves

Heavy's picture

The Kratom mentioned  above that the DEA wants to schedule isn't so much a drug as it is a popular way to break a heroin or pain pill addiction.  Research it a bit and you]ll find the DEA is trying to ban Kratom to help the Pharmaceutical industry make money while hurting addicts that try to efficiently clean up; Kratom looks to be the best way to break an opiate addiction (it turns down the ability of opiate intake to dump serotonin and establishes a long lasting base line level blocking opiate action).  They will schedule it and the DEA will make life worse for a ton of people while terribly perverting justice for usual. 

roxyNL's picture

All american wars since ww2 are epic failures

Iraq/afghanistan is responsible for 10-15% of US gov debt !

Maynard G. Krebs's picture

"that specific Tribe that is involved with the primary source of trafficking comtrol all the flow..."

Are you referrring to Obongo's tribe?

MeetTozter's picture

Three fold purpose - The DEA also is the muscle for big Pharma - cannabis & kratom cut into opioid sales with less side effects, very unhealthy for oxyPharma!

knukles's picture

Wasn't one of The Messiah's Promises that he'd legalize pot?

nmewn's picture

Yeah...and you'll "save $2,500 a year...on average!"...lmao!..."No ones gonna take your buds."..."No ones watching you reading your High Times subscription."..."It's just crazy that someone on a government watch list can just go in & buy a joint!"


To my dickless junker, wut...same thing ain't it...lies, obfuscations & distortions...can't handle it?

Just wait ;-)

Ignatius's picture

Knucks, this really isn't the forum for Rasta theology. 

Might get some play at HuffPost though.

stinkhammer's picture

my dog ate my stash man

cowdiddly's picture

The Gov'ts

War of Drugs

War on Poverty

War on Terror

starting to see a pattern yet?

Richard Chesler's picture

Obongo! Obongo!

Stupid americans keep cheering for this corrrupt SOB!

Shame on you...

LetThemEatRand's picture

Anyone with half a brain can see that the federal government refuses to legalize drugs that are competitors to big phrama for very obvious reasons.  Until bribery of elected officials via massive campaign contributions (or contributions to their foundations) becomes illegal, this will never stop.  The legalization of pot in a few states is proof that the Founders had it right in intending for the states to have more power than the Feds, because state governments are more accountable to the electorate as a whole.

StychoKiller's picture

Excellent, the ZeroHedge "conditioning" is working on LetThemEatRand's brain! :>D

monad's picture

Nothing about UN treaties conflicting with the constitutional sovereignty of the United States?

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

Of course it is a failure, just like prohibition was a failure.  You simply cannot stop people who want to get fucked up, a certain percentage of the population will do it. They always find a way, and it always leads to gang warfare and violence.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Prohibition gave us the Kennedys.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

DEA. The Drug ENABLING Agency.

Related to the Crime Inciting Agency.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

If you want to get rid of drugs, you get rid of its makers and sellers.

You get rid of them "With extreme prejudice".

Remember that "Rewards dictate behavior. Change the Reward, change the behavior."

Radical Marijuana's picture


The contradictions between the insight expressed in a witty way in your first comment above, followed by the second one, makes me wonder ??? Generally speaking after the levels of profit reach roughly about 500%, then there are people willing to die and/or kill for that kind of return on investment. I believe it can be demonstrated that even various past attempts at genocidal elimination of drug producers and sellers have NOT actually worked, but rather, only driven the profit margins up enough to motivate some to still take the risks.

In my view, as already stated by many other comments, it is a MISTAKE to describe the "War on Drugs" as having been a "failure." In order to understand the real situation, one has to be willing to consider how and why the FACTS are that governments are the biggest forms of organized crime, dominated by the best organized gangs of criminals. IF, AND ONLY IF, one is able and willing to more seriously consider how and why civilization necessarily operates according to the principles and methods of organized crime is it then possible to consider all of the various forms of "warfare" as based upon successful organized crime, manifesting on larger and larger scales. The "War on Drugs" was fantastically successful at advancing the agenda of bigger and better organized crime, especially including that it more than anything else enabled the government to become bigger and bigger organized crime, even more and more dominated by better and better organized crime.

Unfortunately, most of those who campaign to "End the War on Drugs" deliberately are NOT interested in thinking more deeply about how political economy operates inside human ecology. Those who deliberately refuse to consider how and why the death control systems in general, and the murder systems in particular, necessarily are the central core controls of everything else, which must necessarily exist in some form or another, then still keep on spouting the same old bullshit, originally developed to enable bigger and better organized crime to flourish, which clearly has been fantastically successful at doing that, rather than any kind of "epic failure."

In my opinion, the greatest "epic failure" is in the controlled opposition groups, whose MISTAKE is to regard warfare as being some kind of "failure," when it actually results in small groups ending up becoming ever more wealthy and politically powerful, which, from their point of view, was actually fantastically successful (at least so far.) Actually, the only genuine ways to improve the overall situation would be to develop better organized crime, which would require more people to better understand the principles and methods of organized crime. However, almost everyone has been too brainwashed to believe in absurdly backward bullshit regarding all those topics, such that they can not even begin to consider those kinds of more radical truths.

These days, the "War on Drugs" may be allowed to wind down, because the "War on Terror" is being wound up to become many orders of magnitude worse. Of course, the "War on Drugs" developed the wide range of techniques which could segue into the "War on Terror." The underlying issues are that there must necessarily be some death control systems, while the actually existing systems became those which were the most deceitful and treacherous. The so-called "War on Drugs" was one of the phases of those developments, while almost everyone who believes that they are opposing that ends up being nothing more than mainstream morons and reactionary revolutionaries, who are not able and willing to reconsider what better death control systems would require.

Globalized Neolithic Civilization is based upon enforcing frauds, while advancing technologies have enabled those to become exponentially more fraudulent. Of course, the "War on Drugs" was based on enforcing frauds regarding some particular "drugs" which were picked to suit those purposes. About 75% of the "War on Drugs" was the "War on Marijuana." While hemp is actually the single best plant on the planet for people, for food, fiber, fun and medicine, its was BECAUSE those are the facts that it was re-branded as "marijuana which is almost as bad as murder." The biggest lies, backed by the most violence, worked best as propaganda, in order to advance the agenda of bigger organized crime, dominated by better organized crime, which is what has actually happened. (For instance, the Mexican drug cartels originally got going due to the potential for profits from illegal marijuana, while, of course, it was part of that picture that the word "marijuana" was Mexican Spanish slang. The IRONIES of the deliberately induced blowback eventually become quite extreme, from a sufficiently sublime point of view.)

In general, people should stop taking for granted thinking using the DUALITIES of false fundamental dichotomies and the related impossible ideals. Rather, people should start thinking using more UNITARY MECHANISMS. There is only one political system that actually exists, and that is organized crime. Since the vast majority of people do not understand that, and do not want to understand that, the established systems become more and more unbalanced, due to the excessive successfulness of the biggest forms of organized crime, dominated by the best organized gangs of criminals.

The DEA represents about 10 billion dollars per year of backing up huge lies with lots of violence. In the bigger picture, that has become relatively trivial. However, the political problems surrounding the so-called "War on Drugs" continue to be relatively easy to understand examples of the ways in which civilization is based upon the methods of organized crime, while, from that perspective, the greater the apparent "epic failures," the greater the actual fantastic successes are for those who are able to benefit the most from civilization developing as bigger and better organized manifestations of criminality (despite that the longer term tragic trajectory of that becoming runaway criminal insanities, which could become so extreme that civilization will commit collective suicide.)

The essential issues are that, after a life form exists, then the death control systems direct the evolution of that life form, and that necessarily includes human being and civilization. The actual history of the manifestation of organized crime on larger and larger scales has been the history of warfare, out of which developed the sovereign states, whose powers were captured by the best organized gangsters, such that systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, would enable the continued elaboration of bigger and better forms of organized crime, such as the development of institutions such as the DEA and CIA, etc., all of which actually work to advance the international bankers' global agenda.

It is NOT possible to stop war, it is only possible to develop better dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies. Therefore, anyone who advocates for an "End to War," of any variety, is actually a form of controlled opposition, which is spouting the same bullshit as originally developed by the biggest bullies, to enable them to operate through enforcing frauds, by being able to perfect their public presentations of what they were doing through becoming improved professional hypocrites.

Anyone who says the "War on Drugs" was a "failure" is merely another mainstream moron, and reactionary revolutionary. Those sort of views are coming from the kinds of controlled opposition groups which are the most pathetic due to the degree that they do not appear to be aware that their thinking is being controlled, by the ways that they continue to take for granted the bullshit which was previously being spouted by various professional hypocrites, regarding the episodes of various topics regarding that during history, such as the development of the "War on Drugs" seguing into the "War on Terror."

The essential problems are that natural selection pressures drove the development of artificial selection systems to become most socially successful by becoming as dishonest about themselves as possible. Therefore, the existing death control systems operate through the maximum possible deceits and treacheries, while those who present themselves as opposing those systems do NOT propose and promote better death controls, but rather, the impossible ideals that there should be no such systems, or, at least, none that human beings are consciously aware of operating.

The "War on Drugs" was merely one of the phases of those sorts of developments in human history, which is, relatively speaking, one of the more easy to understand, and particularly, the "War on Marijuana" is the single simplest, most extreme particular example of the general pattern of social facts. However, in the same ways that the best available professional hypocrites dominated the established systems which waged the "War on Marijuana," so too similar professional hypocrites also dominate the publicly significant opposition to the "War on Marijuana."

The "War on Marijuana" made marijuana become worth insane amounts of money, which occurred inside the overall criminally insane monetary and taxation systems, which were based upon public governments enforcing frauds by private banks. Unless one is able and willing to think through how and why money is measurement backed by murder, then one is not going to be able to think through how and why the "War on Marijuana" really worked. However, generally speaking, the overwhelming vast majority of people are NOT interesting in better understanding how and why the monetary and taxation systems actually operate through the biggest forms of organized crime being dominated by the best organized gangs of criminals, and therefore, the vast majority of people are NOT interested in genuinely better understanding of the "War on Drugs," nor its most important aspect, which was the "War on Marijuana." Not only do the vast majority of people continue to take for granted the ways that they perceive the world in absurdly backward ways, they then also continue to take for granted perceiving the bogus "solutions" to those problems in the same absurdly backward ways that they were originally taught to perceive those problems in the first place.

buzzsaw99's picture

ever since the usa military started guarding the afghanistan poppy fields heroin production and distribution is way up bitchez.

Joebloinvestor's picture

The government has been growing marijuana for over 40 years and distributing it through a program administered by the University of Mississippi.

It is hypocritical for the government to take any position on marijuana being a dangerous drug.

Kagemusho's picture

DEA has been Langley's bitch since its inception. And Intel agencies have historically been the biggest drug importers:

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade


Been that way since Langley took over from the French in the early 1960's.

The Boodle Boys:

A Nanny Moose's picture

We gotta pay for all those off-books covert ops some way. We are bankrupt FFS!!!

Peon14's picture

What do you mean failure the Lawyers and Judges have got rich.

Chris88's picture

The war on flowers, a true disgrace to the notions of individual freedom and autonomy.  But hey, how else would the Cartel stay in business and a bunch of hicks with GEDs stay employed as local yocal cops or corrections officers?

Father ¢hristmas's picture

Gotta wait for all the faggot boomers to die off, first.

There were a lotta crewcutted guys in horn-rimmed glasses sharing milkshakes with Peggy Sue down at the ice cream shoppe even well into the 60's.  They raised children to do the same.

But the ratio is much moar in favor of the Hunter Thompson crowd as far as demographics go in the coming years.

You'll be able to snort coke on a city bus in the next ten-fifteen years.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) Father ¢hristmas Sep 21, 2016 7:37 PM

Totally agree. We are not ending prohibition, before that failure of a boomer generation gets out of the way of progress.

spanish inquisition's picture

Any drug or herb that could cut into big pharma profits is going to be illegal.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Until Big Pharma (or Big AG) gets an Intellectual Property monopoly.

Is Monsanto in the Medical MJ game yet?

Odin McHaggis's picture

D.E.A.: The good men and women of the D.E.A. have jobs and pensions. The so called "drug war" is just a by product. Fuck the tax payer, stoopid fukin schmucks.

shimmy's picture

Obviously the "war on drugs" won't end nor will these drugs become legal since there is way too much money involved to keep things as they are. Even if the DEA could stop the flow of drugs into the country, they wouldn't since that'd cause a lot of them to lose their jobs. 

It's like finding a cure for cancer since there is more cash to be made without the cure than with it.

One of these is not like the others..'s picture

ODD that you should mention cancer...

Cannabis oil makes tumours (and warts) disappear.

A fact which I have observed for myself, first hand.

Admittedly 2 months of high dosage cannabis, is an ordeal in and of itself, and some might prefer regular chemotherapy, which is only physically challenging, whereas cannabis tends to challenge your psychological "conditioning". (A big part of why "authorities" don't like the stuff IMHO)

Crash Overide's picture

The war on drugs is and always will be a money making operation, it's cash flow for CIA and black projects. This shit has been going on forever, it's about as fucked up as the Clinton's and the rest of the corrupt government.

Montana Cowboy's picture

Guaranteed way to end all crime associated with plant use:

Throw pot and poppy seeds everywhere. It becomes free and abundant. Cartels (and US government) collapse.

They point to crime to justify attacking people for otherwise victimless acts. That crime has nothing to do with use of plant products. It has only to do with the PRICE of the plant products - because they are illegal!

They will not be able to interdict the opiates of the future. Fentanyl and another analog known as W18 are being produced easily in clandestine labs. W18 is 10,000 times more powerful than heroin. I believe pure Fentanyl is almost that strong as well. Its causing a lot of overdoses because street vendors don't know how to dilute it properly. Anything that strong is dosed in micrograms like LSD. It can't be interdicted because it can be transferred like the old LSD blotter - just a dried drop on an area of paper a few mm square. A Happy Birthday card could invisibly contain a few hundred doses just on the back cover. Cut it up and let the party begin.

Anyway, heroin became abundant after the US took over the business in Afghanistan. Now, a hit on the street has reached bargain prices as low as $1 USD in some countries. That is cheaper than the same amount of similar drugs like morphine with a prescription.

Aussiekiwi's picture

Making Cannabis illegal is at the root of all of their problems, it encourages the drug trade and is the feeder for all the problems that the war on drugs is struggling hopelessly to overcome.

StychoKiller's picture

"The purpose of a System is what it does."

Kidbuck's picture

Weed was once legal. My grandfather, born in 1899, grew up in New Hampshire, told how when he got bored on Friday nights he would cut a piece off of somebody's boat house and smoke it.

Youri Carma's picture

No it was a great success because it kept drug prices inflated (which saved the banks) and gave jobs to millions of law enforcement agencies inside and outside the drug trade. Not to mention all the work it gave to the undertakers and prison guards. Papa Bush is awfully proud on you. And remember everybody would be using drugs if it weren't so expensive. U.S. Marines gots your backs

14 Years After Decriminalizing All Drugs, Here's What Portugal Looks Like

css1971's picture

The War on Drugs was kicked off in 1971 by Nixon. Another piece of insanity the man should have been hung for. Violent crime... rocketed in the following decades.

The "gun" problem that everyone says America has? Is a War on Drugs problem.

Pumpkin's picture

War on drugs keeps drug prices high.  Black projects needs lots of money.

g3h's picture

Trump and the establshiment both believe the war must continue.

Mediocritas's picture

Every article about the DEA or the War on Drugs needs to show this chart:

Kagemusho's picture

Prior to 1914 this country had no drugs laws...and no real drug problems.

Then the Progressives stepped in, and created mountains out of molehills.

Now look at the mess we have, when previously we hardly had any. An addict could get his fix for pennies on the dollar at a 'drug store' instead of some back-alley, and there was exceedingly little crime involved as there were no cartels save where drugs were outlawed. Adults were expected to take responsibility for their actions, and most addicts were mainly middle aged ladies addicted to opiates, not drug-crazed minorities. But the (supposedly enlightened) Proggies made the latter the boogeymen to pass the (Constitution-warping) legislation they wanted, and the rest was history.

The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School A Speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference

Today's Proggies can piss and moan about the drug laws all they like, but their ideological ancestors made the laws that are being used against their minority allies. It was traditional Constitutional conservatives that warned of creating the bureaucratic monster the drug laws spawned, and as usual, nobody listened to them.