Losing the “war” on drugs

“Democrats and Republicans alike support the “War on Drugs.” Federal, state, and local police make more than a million drug arrests yearly. Drug cases clog the courts. More than 60% of federal prison cells and about 30% of state prison cells hold drug offenders. No-knock drug raiders nullify the Fourth Amendment every day. Yet illicit drugs continue to pour onto the market, and they are readily available throughout the land. Looks like another failed policy. But politicians say more money will win the war. For fiscal 1996, President Clinton has requested a record $14.6 billion for this exercise in futility. State and local government will also spend huge sums. Who benefits? Posturing politicians and puritanical zealots, of course, but also the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs Service, Coast Guard, FBI, and the rest of the drug warriors. Police love the drug war, because the forfeiture laws it inspired allow them to seize and keep private property with impunity. Corrupt cops get fabulous bribes, and corruption therefore runs rampant.”

— Robert Higgs
(1944- ) American economic historian, economist of the Austrian School
Source: The Myth of “Failed” Policies, THE FREE MARKET, June 1995.

Robert-Higgs

[Hey! Let’s keep doing the same thing! This time it will be different! We were never meant to “win” the war on drugs.]

“Thanks to the war on drugs, nearly 700,000 people were arrested in the United States for possession of marijuana in 1997, while 400,000 currently sit in prison for drug crimes — more than the entire prison population of Britain, Germany and Belgium — for what is a consensual act. Nearly $35 billion a year is spent on arresting, prosecuting and jailing drug criminals in the US — $400 million in Canada — to hammer at a crime which essentially harms no one but the drug user.”

— Steven Martinovich
Source: The Tainted Truth, REALMENSCH April 30, 1999

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Experiencing life in Iowa.
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