How America’s Overbreadth of Liberalism Encourages Dangerous Drug Addiction Policies


Drug abuse Photo: IC

The decline in the governance capacity of the United States has become more widely known in recent years. The scale of the decline has repeatedly shocked the world in unimaginable ways.

According to media reports, the US state of Rhode Island plans to create supervised spaces for people who inject illegal drugs. There, trained personnel can administer the antidote naloxone to prevent overdose deaths. In addition, these injection sites also provide a point of access to other services that can help prevent harm to users, such as housing, medical care, and treatment. The sites are seen as a test of harm reduction rather than criminalization.

Such an approach to combating illegal drug use puts the cart before the horse. It may even end up backfiring on you. It provides, along with tax dollars, a secure shelter for drug users to enjoy drugs without any worry. This somewhat encourages the use of illegal drugs, and even helps to spread it. It is a symptom of excess liberalization in the United States, which is damaging.

Rhode Island State Representative Edith Ajello, a Democrat, said the death of her best friend’s son from an overdose during the pandemic convinced her that safe use sites would help prevent deaths statewide. She believed that such sites “can help reduce these losses.” It’s a really loud way to put it.

However, these remarks amount to an unspoken admission that the US government is unable to deal with the problem of illegal drugs. Rather, he concocts makeshift policies. If the US government is serious about acting responsibly, it should completely ban the use of illegal drugs. It should empower the police to crack down on drug crimes and end the use of illegal drugs nationwide. But the government has chosen to give up its efforts.

Some cities have tried to legalize supervised injection sites, including Philadelphia. In fact, one of them was barred from opening following a court challenge from the Trump administration, according to a Wall Street Journal article. But after Joe President Biden took office, promoting harm reduction efforts is now one of the priorities of drug control policy.

The shift in drug policy priority under different ruling parties shows that as American partisanship becomes more and more fierce, its policies are gradually starting to overstep the line. It is becoming a trend. Some pro-Republican conservative states prefer the criminalization of illegal drugs. But in states like California and New York, which are bases for Democrats, drug control policies are relatively loose. For example, the New York Police Department ordered officers to let drug addicts shoot themselves freely on city streets, and even let them share needles.

As the world’s greatest power, the United States now presents itself as a collapsing society. Its bad deeds set a horrible example for other countries. The United States is the world’s largest consumer of drugs. It is Washington’s poor governance and lack of anti-drug efforts that have led to widespread drug abuse. As a result, the American public suffers. In addition, a large and profitable drug supply chain has been created, making the global production and distribution of drugs more difficult to control.

There is no doubt that widespread drug problems can deeply harm a society. It is the bitter anguish that China has known before. In history, China has been plagued by opium. This has resulted in financial damage and the decline of China’s national power and the health of the people. China was then intimidated by countries for over a century. Thus, since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government has applied a policy of zero tolerance towards drugs. This is how he shows his responsibility towards the people.

From this perspective, the different attitude towards drugs also indicates the gap in philosophy and governance capacity between the Chinese and US governments. The fight against drug-related crime requires significant governance efforts and investment. But it really comes down to being accountable to the people and putting them first, rather than ignoring them for short-term political gains. Washington’s approach may seem justified. It can protect the interests of a small group of drug addicts in the short term. But in the end, it will cause a major catastrophe of widespread drug problems that will hurt more people.

So at the level of national governance, we must overcome myopia and narrow-mindedness. We need to think long term, and put the well-being of all at the forefront of governance. In this regard, the United States is obviously far behind China.

The author is deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University.


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