America’s Failing War On Drugs

In July of 1969, Richard Nixon stood before congress and declared drugs a serious national threat. He would go on to declare a “war on drugs” and create the DEA to help fight that war. Since then, hundreds of billions of dollars have been allotted for this fight. And what do we have to show for it? More drug use than ever, and the most prisoners per capita of any nation on earth, half of which are strictly drug offenses. And by the way, it costs around $35,000 to keep a prisoner in jail for a year, and we are paying that with our taxes.

That being said, we all know that drugs can ruin people’s lives, and the lives of those who love them. So what to do about it? For starters we can stop treating these people like criminals. A lot of addicts don’t seek help or treatment they need because they are afraid they will end up in prison. If drugs were decriminalized then addiction could be treated like an illness, and these addicts would have greater access to resources that can save their lives. Decriminalizing drugs has also shown to decrease addiction rates in many countries, and produce huge tax revenue. Plus, let’s be honest, if someone wants to smoke crack the law isn't probably going to deter them anyways.

Another way America can better fight drugs is by educating their citizens. People thought Bernie Sanders was a crazy Socialist for suggesting the government pay for tuition to public universities, but these same people are the tax payers shelling out a fortune to keep drug offenders in jail year after year. Not only does drug usage decrease among college educated people, it would also help the economy by producing a new generation of well educated Americans that can step up to the plate and perform the jobs that will lead this country into the future.