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The Us Has Spent Over $1Tr On The Drug War

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The “war on drugs” costs Americans a staggering amount of money every year that it persists. Despite the billions they receive, federal, state and local law enforcement have a proven inability to stem the flow of drugs on the nation’s streets.

Since Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in June 1971, the cost of that “war” had soared to over $1 trillion by 2010. Over $51 billion is spent annually to fight the drug war in the United States, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting more humane drug policies.

It’s also taken a massive toll on human lives. In 2013, at least 2.2 million people were incarcerated in the U.S., with some estimates reaching 2.4 million, making the U.S. home to the world’s largest prison population. A vast number of those prisoners are victims of the war on drugs, reported Alejandro Crawford in U.S. News and World Report in March:

“Still, we should take comfort in the fact that these are mostly violent criminals and hardened drug kingpins, right? Not so. About half the inmates in the federal prison system are there for nonviolent drug crime – up from 16 percent in 1970 – and the leading drug involved is marijuana. Of course, none of this seems to have made marijuana remotely difficult to procure for those who want it.”

Money well spent, a perpetual war which can never be won.

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Thats probably the idea. Krugman likes the idea of spending trillions on defending us from non-existing UFOs. Trillions diverted from productive uses, billions of gallons of wasted oil, steel, raw materials, massive environmental degradation. But at least unemployment falls a bit quicker.

Its ideas like Krugmans UFO's that make me think you have to have some kind of mental disorder to be an economist.

Surely good economics must be improving quality of life..ie supplying things people want and need. Not exercises in futility, be they drugs wars of UFO defense systems. He's a typical government stooge. Obsessed with his little target, 3% growth in activity, 5% unemployment, and completely oblivious to the grander scheme of things.


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. ..Trillions diverted from productive uses......


Any idea what these productive uses may be.

I'm finding it harder and harder to tease out an activity one could label as productive.

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legalise and tax.

Anyone see that drug gang graveyard in mexico? the tombs are nicer than british houses!


the war on Terror can never end either. Perpetual war to justify the existence of government and the military industrial complex. They are insane!

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