In 1972... President Nixon started a war on drugs-the first
intensive effort to enforce the prohibition of drugs since the original Harrison
Act. Drug control spending since 2008: $213,489,400,000
are some general features of a socialist enterprise, whether it's the Post
Office, schools, or the war on drugs. The enterprise is inefficient, expensive,
very advantageous to a small group of people, and harmful to a lot of people.
That was true of socialism in Russia, it was true of socialism in Poland, and
it's true of socialism in the United States.
WE ARE speaking of a plague that
consumes an estimated $75 billion per year of public money, exacts an estimated
$70 billion a year from consumers, is responsible for nearly 50 per cent of the
million Americans who are today in jail, occupies an estimated 50 per cent of
the trial time of our judiciary, and takes the time of 400,000 policemen -- yet
a plague for which no cure is at hand, nor in prospect.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
While this economic engine drives
forward, so have our efforts to punish those who operate it. Today we have the
highest incarceration rate for any Western nation, almost 1 million [There are
higher estimates. -- ED.] in jails or prisons at a cost of $20 billion a year.
Federal drug cases have trebled in ten years, up 25 per cent in 1993 alone, with
marijuana cases up 17 per cent. The total federal expenditure on the drug war
this year under the proposed budget will exceed $17 billion. Ten years ago the
annual expenditure on the drug war was $5 billion for all governments, federal,
state, and local.
While our expenditures have increased tenfold, the number of Americans using drugs has remained relatively constant at 40 million.
Robert W. Sweet,
Judge in New York City
Despite-or because of-the war on drugs, drug overdose deaths increased nearly tenfold in the 40 years following the 1970 Controlled Substance Act.
can this be in the public interest?
not the public interest, whose interests are served?
THE money, stupid.'' After 35 years as a police officer in three of the
country's largest cities, that is my message to the righteous politicians who
obstinately proclaim that a war on drugs will lead to a drug-free America. About
$500 worth of heroin or cocaine in a source country will bring in as much as
$100,000 on the streets of an American city. All the cops, armies, prisons, and
executions in the world cannot impede a market with that kind of tax-free profit
margin. It is the illegality that permits the obscene markup, enriching drug
traffickers, distributors, dealers, crooked cops, lawyers, judges, politicians,
Joseph D. McNamara
- Mr. McNamara was chief of police in
Kansas City, Mo., and San Jose, Calif. -- to inquire into the special problems
of the war on drugs on the street. Mr. McNamara, who has a doctorate in public
administration from Harvard, is the author of four books on policing and is
currently a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.
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