The War On Drugs has been ongoing for many years with little to show for it. The effort consumed considerable public attention and resources and that does not count the private attention and resources devoted to the inappropriate and illegal use of drugs. The public arena is a particularly slow learner but enough time has passed that some things become obvious even if everyone will not accept them. The first is the War On Drugs failed with heavy human and financial cost. Second there is something about American society conducive to use of drugs. The illegal use of drugs is only part of the drug picture in America and it is not the largest part. Not to be ignored is the legal but inappropriate use of drugs, which is the largest part if not the majority of the drug picture.
America is conditioned to expect many and often unreasonable benefits from drugs. Pharmaceutical companies manufacture and use every means possible to sell drugs. Advertizing of drugs is unseemly and sometimes misleading. Physicians are trained and lobbied to prescribed drugs. Patients want relief from symptoms and complaints and they often expect it from drugs. We are a capitalistic society and there is no better example than drugs. Sometimes the market approach gets out of hand.