Though they preach fiscal responsibility, Members of Congress want to keep giving piles of money to state and local governments to prioritize low-level drug arrests - especially for marijuana possession. Even worse, they want to put the cost of these failed programs on the nation's credit card. You and I will be paying off this foolishness for decades to come if we don't act now.
We have an opportunity to cut the funding that helps keep the drug war alive at the local level because Congress is working on a new federal budget right now.
One of the provisions up for debate is the Byrne/JAG Grant program, which is a waste of taxpayer money that fills US jails and prisons with nonviolent drug offenders and distorts law enforcement priorities. Numerous studies have shown that the grants funded by the program are fueling civil rights abuses across the country, from racial profiling to property confiscation to dangerous no-knock raids.
And on top of all that, the Office of Management and Budget has found there is no evidence the Byrne/JAG program has reduced crime!
With deficits rising, it's long past time to eliminate or cut failed drug war programs.
Take action and urge your representative to oppose failed druge policies like the Byrne/JAG Grant program.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, there is virtually no evidence that the Byrne/JAG program has been effective in reducing crime. A recent GAO evaluation of Byrne grant spending included in the 2009 stimulus bill found that performance measures used by the Department of Justice "lack key attributes of successful performance assessment systems that GAO has previously identified, such as clarity, reliability, a linkage to strategic or programmatic goals, and objectivity and measurability of targets."
Moreover, numerous studies and news reports have found that Byrne grants are fueling civil rights abuses across the country from racial profiling to civil asset forfeiture (where property is confiscated from Americans never charged, not alone convicted, of a crime) to no-knock raids that put both police and citizens in harm's way. Congress could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year by eliminating this problematic and wasteful program.