[FWD: The High Cost of the Drug War]

Sheree M. Krider

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: The High Cost of the Drug War
From: "Mark Greer" <mgreer@mapinc.org>
Date: Tue, April 21, 2009 11:13 pm
To: shereekrider@usmjparty.org

View this message on our website:

As Quoted from 2008 News Clippings in the MAP DrugNews Archive While
the U.S. deficit approaches $1 trillion, many states and local
communities also face major budgetary shortfalls. Yet, despite the
economic crisis, your tax dollars continue to fund drug war costs like
$40 billion for the drug war. "Despite a $40 billion-a-year ‘war on
drugs’ and political speeches about a ‘drug-free society,’ our society
is swimming in drugs: cigarettes, sugar, alcohol, marijuana, Prozac,
Ritalin, Viagra, steroids and caffeine."
$700 million to build prisons in just one state; $100 Million per year
to run them. "[The state prison in Scotland County, North Carolina] is
one of six that state lawmakers have approved since 2001 to address a
dire need for prison space, and they are already being expanded. When
complete, the construction and expansions at all six facilities will
have cost more than $700 million and operating costs will top $100
million annually." http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n702/a11.html
$400 million more to Mexico. "This past June [2008], Bush struck a deal
with Calderon to approve $400 million toward additional drug war
assistance (representing a 20% increase in the Mexican anti-narcotics
budget) — for still more helicopters, military training, ion scanners,
canine units, and surveillance technology."
$225 million for regional anti-drug efforts. "It [High Intensity Drug
Trafficking Area program] is one of 28 similar efforts nationwide, with
the federal government spending about $225 million annually to
coordinate federal, state and local law-enforcement campaigns."
$702,969 to prosecute drug offenses in just one U.S. county. "Lake
County [Illinois] will spend $702,969 prosecuting drug offenses this
year . Except for an estimated $30,000 in revenue from asset
forfeitures, county taxpayers absorb the difference."
$178,290 for drug testing in just one school district. "A $178,290 drug
prevention grant means 5,900 drug tests for the Victoria [Texas] school
district." http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n712/a01.html
$615,000 for all kinds of things. "[Sheriff] Smith Used $615,000 in
Federal [forfeiture] funds for Tuition, a Lease, Private Lawyer and More
.. $14,400 on employee training and associated travel . a 28-foot boat .
$100,000 for a scholarship at Georgia State University . About $9,000 to
help a boxing club owner pay her lease . $4,000 in retainer fees for
Brunswick lawyer." http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n654/a13.html
$60,000 for just one police force to buy drugs. "Estimating controlled
drug buys for the average local case run his task force $200, Centeno
figured his officers spend at least $60,000 a year just to purchase the
drugs they need to seal the average of 300 cases."
What if, instead of spending such shameful sums,
we instead taxed and regulated illicit substances? "By legalising drugs
we can apply the same controls to their production, distribution and
consumption as we apply to alcohol and tobacco. And there’s a triple
bonus to society: spending on crime prevention will plunge, not just on
drug-related policing but on all the criminality arising from the
activities of drug-financed gangs; crime levels overall will plunge; and
the government becomes a net recipient of monies from drug consumption
rather than a net spender via law enforcement. Harvard economist Jeffrey
Miron estimates that the United States spends $44 billion a year
fighting the war on drugs. If they were legal, the US government would
realise about $33 billion a year in tax revenue – a net swing of $77
billion." http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n388/a07.html
If you think that your tax dollars can be better spent, then you know
it’s time to change drug policy.
Here’s what you can do to end our failed and expensive War on
Drugs: A. Join DrugSense or other local, state, or federal groups
working on drug policy reform here and around the world. Our Drug Policy
Central provides web services to more than 120 drug policy focused
organizations. Check out
http://www.drugpolicycentral.com/hosting/clients.htm for a group in your
area. B. DONATE. We’re able to get the word out about the incredible
harms of the drug war and alternatives to prohibition because people
like you DONATE. It’s quick, easy, and secure. Just visit
Help us uncover more government drug war waste. Get involved.
Write. Join. Donate.

Mark Greer
Executive Director
Don’t forget! You can spread your donation over the course of a year by
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Or you can donate toll free by calling 1-800-266-5759.
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