America went through a period when there was a war on alcohol. That was a glorious failure, as we all know. That first period of prohibition proved one simple fact; prohibition doesn’t work. It can’t work and any monies spent on prohibition are a waste and those dollars come from your pocket.
Untold billions have been spent on the so-called war on drugs. The result has been a complete waste of money. This money would have been better spent on education and treatment. You can never expect people to forgo something when it is made illegal. The very fact that it is untouchable lures some to the party.
Parents know that when they forbid their children from doing things the kids are off to exactly that. It happens to all kids and all parents. The same is true of governments and her citizens; governments outlaw things like drugs and the populace, or at least some members of the populace, find themselves more attracted to the use of the illegal drug.
The costs of the war on drugs have been huge. The biggest cost most folks think of is the increase in policing costs. So much police time and effort has been spent fighting the war on drugs that they have had to draw resources from other areas in order to make the fight a worthy one and they have failed.
There are just so many crimes associated with illegal drugs that they would simply go away if drugs were made legal. Police would then have fewer crimes to concern themselves with and they would have more time to spend on community policing.
There are other areas in which money is being spent hand over fist because of this wasteful war. Not the least of which is the prison system. The United States of America has more people imprisoned than any other country on the face of the earth. According to Nation Master.org the USA imprisons 715 people per 100,000. The nearest country is the Russia and it imprisons only 584 people per capita. Most of these imprisonments are in some way related to the war on drugs.
People jailed on drug charges range from trafficking to simple possession of marijuana. So many other countries prefer to put drug users into treatment rather than into the jail system. Then when you have states that have these 3 strikes laws, well things get truly silly. With the amount of money spent keeping people addicted to drugs in jail they could be getting real help by sending them for treatment. Jail often does nothing for drug users because there are often more drugs in jails than there are on the streets.
There are many complaints about the court system and how slow and plugged up it is. Removing, at the very least, minor drug possession charges from people and sending them to a government funded treatment program would reduce the numbers of people in the courts and the numbers of folks who end up in jail.
The war on drugs is an idea that was lost before it was even started. It is time to rethink and come up with a better way to deal with drug use. There is a better way but Americans must be willing to accept it and politicians must have the guts to do it.