Someone PLEASE wave the white flag.
I’m not sure exactly when we lost the “War On Drugs”, but I feel confident that after 40 years and nearly $1 Trillion spent on it, the results do not justify the cost. At all. And President Obama just asked for another $25.6 billion to continue this “War” in his 2013 budget proposal. At this point, we might have a greater impact if we piled the money up on the White House lawn and set it ablaze.
I mean seriously, spending that much time and money on a problem should have led to some measurable victories, some changes in society that we can all point to as justification for this war and the toll it’s taken on our Country. Instead, the numbers show the exact opposite of what sane people would call “winning”.
Take drug addiction rates. Common sense would say that after 40 years of constant “War” that fewer people would be addicted to drugs today than say… 1973. Except they aren’t. In fact, over the entire span of the “War On Drugs” drug addiction rates have remained fairly consistent with all the different programs, plans and methods having no measureable effect.
Ok, but the price of drugs must have skyrocketed, right? From our battles to eradicate coca leaves in Columbia to the stop and frisk tactics of the NYPD, these surely must have made it harder to manufacture, import or sell drugs, leading to a sharp increase in price, correct? Wrong. Basic supply and demand and its impact on price blows a hole in that theory as almost every category of drug is cheaper today than it was in the 70’s, even adjusted for inflation! (I want to point out this is NOT from first-hand knowledge. )
So much for that. Hey, I’m trying here…
About the only area you can say the “War On Drugs” has had a measurable impact is on the nation’s prison population, and I’d argue that’s nothing to be proud of. Our prison population has grown by 700% during the last 40 years, to 2.2 million people. And most analyst agree that roughly 50% of Federal and State prisons are filled with people incarcerated for drug crimes, many of them non-violent or usage crimes. Add to that, the disproportionate amount of minorities jailed (even when drug usage is higher amongst the white population) and you can see that unless you are in the prison business, or connected to a line of work that helps fill them, the “War On Drugs” is a failure.
I dare you to name another initiative that has cost us so much, over so long that has yielded so few results. Good luck.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.