The Drug Policy Alliance & The Alliance for Global Justice – 2011-06-17 23:41:20
(June 17, 2011) — Two days from now marks the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s declaration of the war on drugs — a war that’s destroyed countless lives and cost the American public more than $1 trillion.
We’re fed up with these disastrous policies — Congress MUST finally end this shockingly wasteful, counterproductive war. To make sure they get the message, we’ve designed a trillion dollar bill to symbolize this staggering waste of money.
Not only has the war on drugs destroyed countless lives, made communities more dangerous, and overburdened our prison system, it has also cost the American public more than $1 trillion!
Congress must put a stop to the failed war on drugs before any more lives are lost and before any more of our precious tax dollars are wasted.
On Friday, we will hand deliver a trillion dollar bill to each member of Congress and we want to include at least 25,000 letters of support. Please sign our letter now to make sure your name is included!
This Friday marks the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s declaration of the war on drugs — a war that’s destroyed countless lives and cost the American public more than $1 trillion.
Tonight, more than 500,000 people across America will have to sleep behind bars for a nonviolent drug offense. That’s more than all of western Europe locks up for ALL offenses. The war on drugs is a moral nightmare for all of us who care about freedom, responsibility and accountable government. And fiscally speaking, arresting people for possessing drugs is irresponsible — locking up one inmate costs about $30,000 per year, more than twice the average cost for annual tuition, including room and board, at an American public college.
If you’re serious about cutting budgets, the drug war should be first on the chopping block. Polling shows that most Americans think it has failed, and it’s time to do something about it. Just consider these additional consequences of the war on drugs:
* 20 million US marijuana arrests. The vast majority of these arrests have been for mere possession, not sale or production.
* Preventable deaths. Millions of lives have been lost to drug overdose and drug-related diseases because cost-effective and lifesaving interventions are not sufficiently available.
* Shameful racial disparities in the American criminal justice system. 1 in 87 working-aged white men is in prison or jail, compared with 1 in 36 Hispanic men and 1 in 12 African-American men.
* Families and communities torn apart by violence. Prohibition has not only led to thousands of needless deaths in Afghanistan, Colombia and Mexico — but it has also made our neighborhoods more dangerous, even for people who have nothing to do with drugs or the drug market.
* Relegation of millions of responsible citizens to permanent second-class status. A first-time, low-level drug law violation often has debilitating collateral consequences for an individual and their family. It can result in the loss of employment, property, public assistance, food stamp eligibility, financial aid for college, and the right to vote — even after serving time behind bars.