Ending the Drug War

Drug use is down over the last 25 years, but a half million Americans are in prison for drug offenses. How should success be measured?

Are we really still fighting a “war on drugs”? This country has over half of it’s states with some form of legalization, whether it be, cbd, medical, or full legalization. Haven’t we suffered enough?

How many people have been arrested and received some sort of offense for marijuana. This plant has done as much harm to America’s people as some of our police actions in other countries! In fact,  this should be considered a police action against its own people? There are actually people serving life sentences for a plant. Then, down the street lives some pedophile walking free. I believe as 2016 ends, we’ve had enough of this crazy war on drugs. Let our people go, let them live a normal life like everyone else.  We now know, 45 years later, that the war on drugs is a war on people — and more specifically, black and brown people, whom it has sought to demonize and silence, criminalizing generations of youth of color and creating severe drug-sentencing laws ultimately to target and incarcerate communities of color.

What has gone wrong with our judicial system?

To start with, the government is fighting a losing battle. This year the war on drugs has cost the judicial system 56 billion dollars. Taxpayers spend almost $70 billion a year on corrections and incarceration. Just like alcohol prohibition, it has done nothing but drive a black market into a major cartel that we are having a hard time getting rid of. They have gotten to where the drug cartels just come here, guerrilla grow, and in turn ruin the land along with everything else in their path. The only thing is this cartel isn’t going to give up so easily when legalization takes place. They just trade off for another illegal substance. So goes the world right? How is this helping a made up war on our own people? It’s not folks!

It’s time we changed this paradigm in this country and we can start by getting rid of the DEA.

The DEA does nothing but rape, pillage, and plunder in the name of the law. They take land, home, cars, children, anything they can get their hands on. They always leave shattered lives and destruction in their wake. The United States has a problem with the DEA, but not cannabis! In 1971, Nixon temporarily placed cannabis into Schedule 1. Temporary has turned permanent, and this scheduling has remained in place since.

In 1972, his own commission he created unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations. In October 1977, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. However, that was quickly squashed with the arrival of Nancy Reagan and her “Just say No” campaign.

The beginning of Bush’s term escalated the drug war on cannabis, while the overdose rate of other drugs continued to rise rapidly. By the end of Bush’s term, there were about 40,000 paramilitary-style SWAT raids on Americans every year – mostly for nonviolent drug law offenses, often misdemeanors. While federal reform mostly stalled under Bush, state-level reforms finally began to slow the growth of the drug war.

Let’s lay this out in facts that we can understand. According to Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second. Someone is arrested for violating a drug law every 19 seconds. Arrests are expected to exceed the 1,663,582 arrests of 2009, and as of today they have.

According to the Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation  police arrested an estimated 858,408 persons for cannabis violations in 2009. Of those charged with cannabis violations, approximately 89 percent were charged with possession only. An American is arrested for violating cannabis laws every 30 seconds.  Arrests for this year have already surpassed that number, as well as all the previous ones.

82% of all drug arrests are for possession only, according to the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

With over half of the United States having some form of legalized cannabis, whether cbd, medical, or full legalization, why does this war rage on? Isn’t it time we as Americans say, “NO MORE”?