Forty years and $1 trillion later, America’s “War on Drugs” remains a costly, colossal failure – as evidenced by a new report released this week by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
Worldwide use of opiates surged by 34.5 percent from 1998 to 2008, the report found, while cocaine consumption jumped by 27 percent and cannabis use climbed by 8.5 percent. Meanwhile, government keeps pouring billions of dollars a year down the drain on ineffective enforcement and prosecution efforts.
“Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption,” the report noted. “Apparent victories in eliminating one source or trafficking organization are negated almost instantly by the emergence of other sources and traffickers.”
Not surprisingly, the “War on Drugs” has expanded dramatically under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. According to members of the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) organization, there have been 100 federal marijuana raids under the Obama administration so far – compared to just 200 raids during the entire eight years of the administration of George W. Bush.
Not all of these raids end well, either.
“We have to think more about drugs as a public health problem,” Obama says, but his administration refuses to adopt that policy shift.
Adding insult to injury, Obama’s “drug czar” Gil Kerlikowske refuses to even meet with drug reform advocates – a Yuri Andropov-style mentality that’s sadly right at home in Obama’s administration.
It’s past time for America to admit the obvious – that its “War on Drugs” is an incredibly expensive joke that should no longer be funded with our tax dollars.