VIEWSnFighting Drugs, Taking LibertiesnIn the early 1980’s, the Reagan Justice Department announcedna far-reaching “war” to free the United States from illicit dmgnuse. There was skepticism at the time that govemment actionsncould cause such a fundamental change in entrenched publicnattitudes and behaviors, and there were different views aboutnthe means by which such a war could be fought. Should it benaimed primarily against producers or consumers, major dealersnor street-level entrepreneurs? These doubts notwithstanding,nthere were few initially who dared to oppose the notion of anwar as such, few overt “pacifists” who felt that in drug policynas in international affairs, there is no such thing as a good warnor a bad peace.nA decade later, we can begin to assess the consequences ofnthe drug war, and victory seems as far off as ever. Somenslowing of the cocaine supply is indicated by increased seizuresnby law enforcement, a rise in street prices, and a decline in emergencynroom admissions. On the other hand, surveys suggestnthat regular hard drug use continues to grow; while the officialnfocus on cocaine may actually have benefited the other illicitnentrepreneurs who supply less publicized substances, abovenall heroin, methamphetamine, and the “designer” dmgs. It isnthese sectors of the black economy that now seem poised forna renewed conquest of the market.nEven if the war had resulted in absolute and unconditionalnvictory, its far-reaching consequences would still be deeplyndisturbing for observers of all political stripes. A liberal critiquenis certainly possible here. Personal liberties have eroded at anrate unparalleled since the McCarthy era, with a corollary growthnin the [X)wers of police and law enforcement agencies. But con-nPhilip Jenkins is a professor in the Administration of JusticenDepartment at Pennsylvania State University.n14/CHRONICLESnThe Effects of the Drug Warnby Philip Jenkinsnnnservatives should be equally alarmed. Many who might welcomena reassertion of traditional authority and moral standardsnshould be appalled by the unconstitutional means by whichnthis goal is being achieved, the undermining of familiar legalnprinciples, and the dramatic expansion of federal power in lawnenforcement. Some of the nation’s most conservative judgesnhave declared themselves horrified at the savage and disproportionatenpunishments they have been required to imposenon narcotics offenders by mandatory sentencing laws.nBeyond the purely legal arena, the war on “substance abuse”nhas employed notions of reeducation and therapeutic powernthat should be anathema to libertarians, conservative or otherwise.nSubstance abuse issues have permitted the subversionnof older notions of personal liberty in areas as far afield as religiousnself-expression and reproductive freedom. That the bmntnof the drug war is borne by the poor and minorities is badnenough; but it is by no means the only reason to call for annimmediate armistice. The dmg war subverts law, threatens civicnorder, and tramples justice.nThe primary beneficiaries of the drug war have been policenagencies and prosecutors, especially at the federal level. Theynhave benefited in resources and manpower: federal spendingnon all forms of dmg interdiction and enforcement reached tennbillion dollars by 1990, a fivefold increase over 1984. Police havenalso acquired an impressive arsenal of new. legislative devices.nHistorically, these developments are by no means surprising.nThe history of policing in the United States is filled with crisesnover moral enforcement, which frequently reflect more or lessndisguised social or ethnic conflicts. Temperance, Sabbath-breaking,nblue laws, juvenile delinquency—all played a crucialnpart in the difficult task of persuading a tmculent republic thatnprofessional police were necessary and were not incompatiblen