Global War on Drugs a Total Failure –

The Real Cost of the Drug War

The Real Cost of the Drug War

In the New York Times a couple days ago, Jimmy Carter, the 39th president and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote an opinion op “Call Off the Global Drug War”. He speaks out that we have filled our prisons with young people who are no threat to society and that efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries are futile. The war on drug has resulted in a terrible escalation of drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights.

In an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. It recommends that governments be encouraged to experiment “with models of legal regulation of drugs … that are designed to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.”

Two and a Half Million American Citizens are in Prison Today!
Prison is big business. The single greatest cause of prison population growth has been the war on drugs. Not only has this excessive punishment destroyed the lives of millions of young people and their families (disproportionately minorities), but it is wreaking havoc on state and local budgets. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that, in 1980, 10 percent of his state’s budget went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons; in 2010, almost 11 percent went to prisons and only 7.5 percent to higher education.

To help such men remain valuable members of society, and to make drug policies more humane and more effective, the American government should support and enact the reforms laid out by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.