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What is the War on Drugs Costing Us?

Forty years ago, President Nixon launched America’s “War On Drugs.”

The Results?  Drug addiction was not impacted at all.  The “War” has failed to help drug abuse.  On the other hand, the amount of money the U.S. is spending to fight this losing battle went from less than a billion dollars in 1970, to over 20 billion a year in 2010.
But Why did the Drug War Fail?

1)    The law does not stop people from choosing to use drugs.
2)    The criminalization of drugs creates a black market, more lucrative for armed and organized crime groups who can enforce their illegal deals;
3)    As the Global Report made clear: as long as people want drugs, and they are lucrative to supply, a market will always exist.

No amount of anti-drug enforcement will change this.

The statistics, reports, and leaders agree: the “War On Drugs” is not working.  So why do we keep hemorrhaging money on this failure?

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  – Albert Einstein.

Is our government insane, or is there another reason to keep funding this War?

Let me be clear:  The government is wasting your money.  They keep spending money and getting no results: the evidence that the War on Drugs has failed is overwhelming.

If you are sick of throwing good money after bad, just wait until I tell you how much the government is actually spending when you include all of the money beyond just law enforcement.

Numbers vary, but everyone agrees that the amount the United States Federal Government has spent in the last 40 years is somewhere between 1 Trillion and 2 Trillion Dollars (depending on whether you consider the State’s expenditures).

With our national debt over $18 Trillion, can we really afford to spend $20 Billion+ a year on waging this losing war?  The answer is No.

On top of the dollar costs, we also have human costs to consider, like the amount of people the U.S. is putting in prison, and the denial of individuals’ rights to regulate their own bodies and seek alternative medical treatments…

Millions of Americans are being locked up for non-violent drug offenses, and the time they are spending in prison is getting even longer.  Ask yourself:  Why?

And what about the families they leave behind?  Thousands of young children are growing up without their fathers and mothers because of a victim less crime.

Given the obvious failure why does it continue? The answer is that a lot of people make serious money on the war. You have heard it before but war is a racket. The for profit prisons that are filled to the brim with drug related, non-violent convicts are making big profits.

They are a huge lobby group that wants more and more things illegal. The more criminals they can make the more profit they make. So they want lots of laws. The more laws the better they say.

That is the perverse incentive of the war on drugs.

To sum it up, the United States has spent over a trillion dollars on a failed war.  They are locking up people for non-violent crimes, destroying families, and criminalizing something that has fair and valid uses.

Guest Author: Jarrod Dennis is the CEO of Success Council an educational firm specializing in investment strategies.