Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A lost war

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof makes an argument that we need to drastically change the nation's policies with regards to illegal narcotics. "This year marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s start of the war on drugs," he writes in his most recent piece, "and it now appears that drugs have won."

One former big-city police chief says:
“We’ve spent a trillion dollars prosecuting the war on drugs. What do we have to show for it? Drugs are more readily available, at lower prices and higher levels of potency. It’s a dismal failure.”
Kristof adds that the War on Drugs has left the US with five times more people imprisoned than the world average, while at the same time enriching criminals and terrorists. He raises some good points in the column and everyone who makes policy in this country, or who cares about it, should read it and start thinking about new approaches.

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