It might even be stating the obvious to say that the war on drugs has been a disaster. The amount of money that has been spent on a war that has caused more poverty than less is appalling. The amount of lives that have been sacrificed at the hands of the war on drugs is its biggest failing.
Despite the efforts by governments all over the world involved in the war on drugs, the people are finally realizing its shortcomings. Governments have been trying to convince societies for over 100 years that prohibition is the way to solve the problem of drugs. And for 100 years the people have continued to suffer the consequences of a war on drugs that doesn’t work.
According to the National Drug Control Policy, the federal American government spent $15 billion on the war on drugs in 2010. State and local governments add at least another $25 million to that. The USA is spending at a rate of $500 per second to sustain the war on drugs.
America’s homeless population seems too large for the USA to be spending more money fighting drugs than anything else. In fact, America has the largest population in the world. Over 2 billion of them are living behind bars, their lives wasted and at the expense of the rest of the American people.
The only things to show for all the money that has been spent are the amount of people incarcerated for drug law violation.
The facts are so overwhelming, that they’re worth making a mention here. In a CNN article, they wrote that if the drug trade were a country, it would be in the top 20 economies of the world. The amount of money that is then further invested by the USA feeds the entire problem, and makes it infinitely worse.
From the day that prohibition was instated over 100 years ago, the people have been aware of its implications. It would be a surprise if governments didn’t identify its implications, too.
In 1925, as a plea to end the prohibition of alcohol, H.L. Mencken said,
“Prohibition has not only failed in its promises but actually created additional serious and disturbing social problems throughout society. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic but more. There is not less crime, but more. … The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished.”
Mencken’s words easily apply to the global perspective on drug prohibition in the 21st century. Nothing has changed about the implications of prohibition, because making drugs illegal doesn’t stop people from doing it. It simply puts people more people in jail for a victimless, non-violent crime. It diminishes the power of the people, and their right to experiment with their own consciousness.
It seems that in the area of economics the USA has been proficient about identifying its downfalls and taking measures to correct them. It does not repeat the same procedures that continue to fail. However, it seems to be the perspective of governments all around the world to continue this trend of prohibition that has caused immense social problems.
It’s a time to be optimistic. People in power are changing and the attitude is shifting. After Sir Branson released the UN’s article about decriminalization of all drugs – after Bernie Sanders (a presidential candidate!) admitted that he would vote yes to recreational marijuana – the end of the war on drugs is in sight.
It’s far too obvious now – to the people and to those in power – that if the war on drugs continues, the entire system is going to fall apart. The prison system in the USA is buckling under the pressure from drug convictions, and quite frankly, the USA doesn’t have the money to continue spending the way that it is.
When the war on drugs is over, as it surely soon will be (call me an optimist), the people will finally have what they want. When the war on drugs is over, world governments are going to be forced to decriminalize all drugs. And for the sake of proving a point, when the war on drugs is over, the people come back into their power.