Momentum is building for real change in America’s draconian policies toward illegal drugs, but we still have a long way to go. A new report by the London School of Economics analyzed in an Alternet article looks at the huge economic and social costs of the international war on drugs, and why we should be dismantling a failed policy that is doing much more harm than good.
Looking beyond the most obvious damages caused by the drug war — drug cartels, violence, jailing of citizens for non-violent crimes — the research exposes the lesser known, but no less harmful, costs of our current approach: enforcing drug laws actually increases the profitability of illegal drugs, counter narcotics efforts worldwide are based on faulty assumptions and have led to horrible unintended consequences, there are huge costs related to displaced populations, how mass incarcerations are a public health disaster and the harm done to constitutional commitments when long established principles are sacrificed to meet the reactionary needs of the drug war.
With the exception of a few Washington drug warriors on the propaganda payroll, virtually no one thinks the war on drugs has been a success. This latest report is one more in a long line of indictments of our failed drug policies and confirms that the war on drugs can’t end too soon.