THE DRUG WAR; CAN IT BE WON?
MARCH 2, 1990
DR. RON PHILLIPS
Drug Wars... or anti-drug rhetoric, at least... have been
political grist for election campaigns at every level of
government for the past two or three decades. Politicians... by
and large.. . have been afraid not to do something. .. They are
painfully aware of the irritation, the anger, the frustration and,
yes... the fear of the American public. Americans seem to have
reached a solid consensus that something must be done... even if
taxes have to be increased... and Politicians are being pushed
hard to respond... A situation which reminded me of a definition
of leadership I once heard from a school superintendent...
leadership... he said... is finding out where your troops are
going and running like hell to get out ahead of them...
Leadership in the drug arena will surface in those who will best
select from several available strategies the combinations which
prove to be the most effective in drug abuse reduction... No
national consensus has surfaced... no single strategy now receives
majority support... it may well be that no one strategy can do the
job. . . The fact remains, however, that we are simply not able to
commit enough resources to pursue all possible avenues... that
some require invasions of privacy and rights which are
inconsistent with our civil liberties and with our ideas about
Before we look at the four or five major strategic choices now in
the eye of national policy, I'd like to share a few of the
personal insights and observations which have been accumulating in
me over the past six months in this job. Within the last month I
helped plan and participate in a meeting in Indianapolis in which
Members of the Quest Club authorize the Allen County Public Library to digitize and publish past, present and future Quest Club papers for dissemination on the Allen County Public Library website (Board of Directors of Quest Club, Inc., Resolution of May 2010).