Members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) make 3 incredibly good points about the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs. Rather than editorialize, I am going to let them speak for themselves and those that want to read the entire and related articles can visit their web site on the link provided below.
1. On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon (R) declared “war on drugs,” and thousands of deaths, millions of arrests, and billions of tax dollars later, drug prohibition remains in place — the Obama administration’s declaration two years ago that it had ended the drug war in favor of a public health-centered approach notwithstanding. Ending the Drug War details how the war on drugs continues unabated, despite the recent administrations’ less warlike rhetoric, and the ways it has hurt rather than helped drug users and society at large.
2. “When President Nixon declared the ‘drug war’ in 1971, we arrested fewer than half a million people for drug offenses that year. Today, the number has skyrocketed to almost two million drug arrests a year,” said former Baltimore narcotics officer and LEAP executive director Neill Franklin. “We jail more of our own citizens than any other country in the world does, including those run by the worst dictators and totalitarian regimes. Is this how President Obama thinks we can ‘win the future’?”
3. The report shows that despite the drug czar’s nice talk about ending the drug war, Obama administration spending priorities remain highly skewed toward law enforcement and interdiction — and it’s getting worse, not better. In 2004, the federal drug budget was 55% for supply reduction (policing) and 45% for demand reduction (treatment, prevention). In the 2012 Obama budget, supply reduction has increased to 60%, while demand reduction has shrunk to 40%.