June 17th (making this post very late) was the 40th anniversary of the start of Nixon’s War on Drugs. Since then, the U.S. government has spent an unbelievable amount of money, time, and manpower enforcing these laws – laws that essentially do nothing but declare certain market activities (namely: producing, trading, and consuming certain substances) criminal.
This video from the Foundation for Economic Education gives the numbers: In 2009, the federal government spent $2,094,510,000 housing drug-related criminals. In 2007, 13% of all arrests were as a result of drug prohibition. And even with all the effort, 47% of Americans over the age of 12 have admitted to using illegal drugs.
Ask yourself: what would America look like if drugs were decriminalized? What can we determine about criminalizing substances from the Prohibition of the 1920’s? And how much better off would the United States be with the resources that are currently being spent fighting the drug war?
Think about it.