Statistics from DrugSense
For the police/judicial/prison systems the 'War on Drugs' creates its own customers by implementing laws that say what an individual cannot ingest or possess. The question remains whether the drug use or the legislative/criminal 'justice' system does the most harm to society. Many of us came to conclusion long ago that it's not the drugs that are the major problem but the war against them.
Lately I've been following what is going on in my local county. Arrests for drugs and violation of probation for previous drug charges far outnumber all others combined. Sometimes it's marijuana but most often it is the latest 'craze' ... meth. Don't get me wrong, I'm no proponent of meth use but there's one thing to understand. Meth is a do it yourself drug, similar in that respect to weed. Country folks have always had that DIY mentality and combined with lack of education, money and jobs, some choose to go into business for themselves. Plus they like the high.
Every single person in my county jail is white so here it is not a minority issue. Bail for those caught with the "shake and bake" meth making technique has been set at up to $400,000 just in the last month. Besides maybe 1st degree murder, any other crime will get you out on a much less bond. The police are always itching to nab a meth maker. It justifies their existence. Without the 'drug war' much fewer police would be needed, a county strapped for cash could use the money elsewhere and those police left on the job could concentrate on the more egregious crimes against persons and property. This applies not only locally but to the state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The government hates DIY. The sanctioned illegal drug market includes everything from the CIA and military and federal officials to the big banks that launder the money. One needs to look no further than Afghanistan to see that our own government in combination with international bankers are the major players in the world wide drug trade. They have plenty of help but you know the story.
Many will say that legalization of all drugs is the answer. After all, the medical/pharmaceutical legal drug trade kills many more people than the illegal ones do. A fraction of the billions of dollars saved each year by legalization could be going into honest prevention and treatment. Yes, there will be still be casualties in legalization. A percentage of users, however small, will not be able to handle drugs and fall into the abyss of addiction and death. That's the way it's always been. Most of us have seen it. Legalization will not change that.
The idea that government should get into the drug business with taxation and control of the market won't work at all if too high a taxation is imposed. That would just leave open a black market to undersell the government and the criminal elements would continue. The end of the prohibition of marijuana with allowing people to grow whatever they please is a no-brainer. Along with that the re-introduction of industrial hemp would create new farming opportunities and a multitude of renewable 'green' products. That scares many big corporations who don't want the competition. Legalization of all other drugs is a more complex issue and I don't have all the answers on that.
Some will say that legalization will lead to a drugged society that is much easier to control. It's a valid argument. One of the recipes in the cookbook of the Protocols is to ply the masses with alcohol and in the updated version it is drugs. Aldous Huxley warned us of this in "Brave New World." The 'soma' would be designer drugs to allow us to enjoy our slavery and debt. For all we know they are already on the shelf ready to go when the time is right. A tweaked version of Ecstasy (MDMA) maybe?
We have numerous pressing issues facing our declining country. Illegal wars of empire and a contrived collapse of the economy for the profit of a few stand at the top of the list but at this point in time it also seems to me that a great number of lives are being wasted because of the 'war on drugs.' Non-violent offenders whose prospects for a 'normal' life are cut short because the war needs customers ... and they are it.
The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America's criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of out of sight, out of mind.
The United States has only 5% of the world's population, yet a full 25% of the world's prisoners. At 2.5 million, the US has more prisoners than even China does with five times the population of the United States. 8 million Americans (1 in every 31) languish under some form of state monitoring known as correctional supervision. On top of that, the security and livelihood of over 13 million more has been forever altered by a felony conviction.
The American use of punishment is so pervasive, and so disproportionate, that even the conservative magazine The Economist declared in 2010, never in the civilized world have so many been locked up for so little.
The Exile Nation Project has an interesting full length documentary on the 'war on drugs.' Part 1 is below and the rest can be found at NoMoreCensorship.