Has the drug war been effective?

In terms of reducing drug use?

8 Answers

  • LTP
    Lv 4
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Here is some information on drug prohibition:

    "The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law for nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase in crime in this country is closely connected with this."

    -Albert Einstein

    "Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

    - Abraham Lincoln

    "Despite four US drug wars fought at a cost of nearly $150 billion, world illicit opium supply grew fivefold from 1,200 tons in 1971 to 6,100 tons 1999. Similarly, during 15 years of US biateral eradication in the Andes, coca leaf production doubled to 600,000 tons in 1999. After holding steady at 100 prisoners per 100,000 population for over half a century, the US incarceration rate, driven by mandatory drug sentencing, soared from 138 in 1980 to 702 in 2002--creating, in effect a doomsday machine that continues to fill prisons without limit or logic. At the start of the twenty-first century, the United States was fighting a global drug war by creating the world's largest prison population and defoliating mountain farms in Asia and the Andes." - The Politics of Heroin pg. 20

    There's also some good statistics on the usage decreases and how those transformed into crime syndicates and have actually propelled usage upward but I'll have to sit down and create a list out of those statistics and haven't done so yet.

    Prohibition Statistics

    • Prison Population (BBC 2006)

    -United States: 2,193,798 (overall population 313,900,000)

    -China: 1,548,498 (overall population 1,344,130,000)

    -Russia: 874,161

    -Brazil: 371,482

    • Alcohol Prohibition (MSNBC)

    A) Arrests for drunkenness and disorderly conduct up 41%

    B) Homicides, Assaults, and batteries up 13%

    C) Number of Federal convicts up 561%

    D) Federal Prison Population up 366%

    E) Total spending on penal institutions up 1,000%

    Host "We have the same exact kind of enormous jumps in incarceration, crime, and prison expenditure under this current pot prohibition."

    • Each year the United States spends 350 billion dollars on the war on drugs.

    • On any given day in the United States 1 in 9 African American males between the ages of 20 and 34 is incarcerated.

    • Mexico declares war on drug cartels in December of 2006 (BBC)

    A) 2006: 270 drug related deaths

    B) 2009: 16,337 drug related deaths

    This is when the Mexican Government stopped releasing these figures.

    • "Between January 1 and April 30, violent crime and property crime in Denver — the most populated city in Colorado, in terms of both people and weed dispensaries — dropped 10.6 percent compared to that same span one year earlier, official statistics reveal. Homicides have dropped to less than half of last year’s levels, and motor vehicle theft has shrunk by over one-third." (RT) http://rt.com/usa/163644-colorado-marijuana-crime-...

    • Judge Jim Gray (Reason TV)

    - Stated In 1990 we were only half as successful in prosecuting homicides as we were in 1980 due to the Reagan administration ratcheting up the drug war. This due to prosecutorial resources being devoted to drug related "offenses".

    - In Holland marijuana use is legal for everyone 16 and older. Coffee shops include marijuana. The minister of health recently held a press conference in which he stated that marijuana use within his country was half that of the United States both for adults and teenagers. He claimed that they had succeeded in making pot "boring".

    • Drug offenders in prisons and jails have increased 1,100% since 1980. Nearly 6 in 10 persons in prison for a drug offense have no history of violence or high-level drug selling activity (November Coalition)

    • According to the UN, drug prohibition has seen increases in the use of opiates, cocaine and marijuana to the effect of

    -Opiates 34%

    -Cocaine 27%

    -Marijuana 8.5% (Worldwide presumably. CNN)

    • According to DEA: (Google Tech Talks)

    - 4 million drug users in 1965 (2% of overall population)

    -112 million drug users in 2003 (46% of overall population)

    • Wholesale cocaine costs 60% less / Heroin costs 70% less (Google Tech Talks)

    • Heroin overdose rate: (Google Tech Talks)

    - 1979 = 28 deaths per 100,000 users

    - 2003 = 141 deaths per 100,000 users

    • Approximately $30,000 per year per inmate

    • 39 Million drug arrests under drug prohibition

    • 1914 = 1.3% addicted to drugs/ 2002 = 1.3% addicted to drugs (Google Tech Talks)

    • % of crimes resolved by arrest or other means (Google tech talks)

    - 1965: Murders 91%

    - 2006: Murders 60.7%, Forcible rape 40.9%, Robbery 25.2%, Aggravated Assault 54.0%, Burglary 12.6%, Larceny-theft 17.4%, Motor vehicle theft 12.6%

    • “Since 1965 marijuana arrests climbed from a mere 2 per hour to 100 per hour in 2008” (FBI/ Jim Marrs Trillion Dollar Conspiracy)

    • Decriminalized Drugs

    1. Netherlands 1976

    2. Portugal 2001

    3. Mexico 2009

    4. Argentina 2009

    • Marijuana use by tenth graders in Netherlands: 28% / Marijuana use by tenth graders in the United States 41% (Google Tech Talks)

    • Marijuana use: U.S. lifetime prevalence = 37% / Netherlands = 17% (Google Tech Talks)

    • Heroin Use: U.S. lifetime prevalence = 1.4% / Netherlands = 0.4% (Google Tech Talks)

    • After decriminalization, Portugal drug use by ages 13-15 decreased by 25%/ 16-19 decreased by 22%

    - Heroin overdose deaths decreased by 52%

    - HIV infections reported by drug users decreased by 71% (Google Tech Talks)

    • Netherlands homicide rate per 100,000 population: 1.5/ U.S. homicide rate per 100,00 population 5.6 (Google Tech Talks)

    • United States imprisons more of its' own population than any country in the history of the world. (TV Show "QI")

    BBC Prison Statistics: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/uk/06/prison...

    Cited videos can be found in following playlist:

  • 7 years ago

    Using the word WAR relative to drug use is ridiculous. Drug use is a matter of supply and demand. As long as people want drugs and are willing to pay for them, other people will grow them, manufacture them, ship them, and sell them. Some drugs become popular for awhile, then may be replaced by another, and then some of the older drugs become popular again. Right now, heroin is making a comeback.

    Here's a pretty good website with lots of charts showing the trends in drug use over time.

  • 7 years ago

    Of course not. Any person with half a brain can get drugs and not get caught, so the illegality stops nobody. The only thing prohibition of drugs does is take tax money away from the government and put it in the hands of criminal empires. This is just a big repeat of the 30s prohibition of alcohol.

  • Jethro
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    No, it's been a bigger waste of money, time than Afghanistan.

    I keep repeating this and maybe someday the public will listen.

    Pot is not dangerous or addictive.

    Keep the govt. out of it and let people grow enough for themselves only.

    The resources saved can be used to combat the deadly drugs.

    A lot of kids who turn to hard drugs might not have if they had the freedom to smoke pot.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 7 years ago

    Not at all, no.

    Prohibition of any kind has consistently demonstrated it's lack of practicality in eradicating the use of whatever it is the Government is trying to ban.

  • Kevin
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    No, it's only been effective in spending billions on arresting and ruining the lives of non-violent offenders.

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    no not at all

  • Sarah
    Lv 7
    7 years ago


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.