The war on drugs, simple put, has failed.
The United States has for far too long spent untold billions on a “war” that has filled our prisons, decimated our communities, encouraged violence, and violated our civil rights while doing very little reduce drug abuse.
The drug war wastes roughly $20 billon in taxes -- five times what we spend on job training and ten times what we spend on renewable energy research -- and leads to the arrest of more than 1.7 million people each year.
Further, this misguided war disproportionately impacts communities of color. For example although African Americans comprise only 12.2 percent of the population and 13 percent of drug users, they make up 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses and 59 percent of those convicted of drug offenses.
We need a sensible and compassionate approach to reducing the negative impacts of drug abuse. Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating millions of people is not the answer.
Tell your representatives that you want real answers, not a “war” targeting our own communities. Ask them to move beyond a punitive model of dealing with drugs that is not only wasteful and abusive, but ineffective and offensive.