Forty years after President Nixon declared war on drugs, the effort is “getting nowhere,” Florida trial judge Marc Lubet told a journalism convention in Orlando Thursday. Despite the efforts of U.S. authorities and other governments, more heroin is emanating from Afghanistan than before the U.S. military campaign began there, the Orlando-based Lubet told the Investigative Reporters and Editors annual conference in a program sponsored by Criminal Justice Journalists.
In Lubet’s view, journalists should concentrate on the shortage of drug treatment provided by government agencies. “There are few places I can send defendants; most treatment centers are packed,” he said, citing a 78-day waiting list at a major one. “Jails and prisons have been turned into drug rehab centers.” Another speaker, U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill of the Middle District of Florida, contended that the U.S. has run a “very effective” Florida-based drug-interdiction program. Still, he said, drug-related violence in Mexico is out of control, and there likely be “heads rolling on the sidewalk” in Texas at some point.