The negative outcry in response to the DEA exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry has finally reached the mainstream media, as a recent article about it has appeared in the Washington Post.
The wave of criticism of the exhibit has relied in part upon traditional arguments connecting the ineffective War of Drugs to prohibition, but has also used newer arguments that call into question the DEA’s connection between terrorism and drug trafficking. Perhaps the most offensive part of the exhibit is the use of post-9/11 patriotism in order to justify the War on Drugs by drawing the spurious conclusion that terror cells are funded in large part by drugs (which, of course, would be impossible given a regulated drug trade). And as the Post article points out, the exhibit fails to mention the fact that the Taliban publically condemned the heroin trade. This shouldn’t be surprising since the claim that religious zealots would be willingly funded by the the sale of narcotics is a difficult pill to swallow indeed.
As I have said before, the most important (and difficult) thing for the anti-prohibition movement to acheive is to reach an audience outside its own circles. Hopefully, mainstream articles like this one, as well as the DEA’s own insulting propaganda, will reach this wider audience.