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is a $400 billion per-year industry that represent 8% of the world's
trade. 3/4's of all illicit drug shipments would have to be intercepted
to reduce the profitability if the narcotics trade. Current efforts
intercept 30% of cocaine shipments and 10-15% of heroin shipments,
according to the United Nations. Americans
spend $46 - $79 billion annually on cocaine and heroin, according
to the White House Office of National Drug Policy.
the Nixon administration spent $65 million on the drug war. In 1982,
the Reagan administration spent $1.65 billion. In 2000, the Clinton
administration was estimated to spend over $18 billion.
drug war's littlest victims -- More than 8 million of America's
75 million children have a parent or parents addicted to drugs or
alcohol. Parental drug addiction fuels the foster care system; it
feeds the juvenile justice system. It affects welfare caseloads,
school performance and child health. And parental addiction is self-perpetuating:
Up to 70 percent of the children of addicts become addicted to drugs
themselves. A national shift from incarceration to treatment has
the potential to save much more than dollars.
up for the War on Drugs -- For decades, we have been prosecuting
and imprisoning increasing numbers of people for possessing or selling
drugs. No country in the world has as large a percentage behind
bars as the US and a major reason is the war on drugs. As drug-related
prison population increases, there has been no corresponding decrease
in drug use. It has risen and damage caused by our war on drugs
is troubling. Our response to drug use is a failure.
war on drugs -- This Andean nation of 37 million people is harvesting
bumper crops of coca leaves and opium poppies, the raw material
for heroin. US officials say Colombia supplies 90% of the cocaine
and 2/3rds of the heroin sold in the US. Their drug profits have
fueled the mushrooming role of Marxist guerrillas and right-wing
paramilitaries of the narcotics trade to a savage civil war that
has killed tens of thousands and left the Colombian countryside
Wars -- A report from both sides of the battlefield on the 30
year war on drugs.
Alan Fox, dean of the College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern
University, notes, these officers have been told that they form
the front line in a "war" on crime and a "war" on drugs, that they
have been enlisted in special "operations" and drafted for bold
new "offensives." "We use all these paramilitary terms," Fox said,
have promoted somewhat of a siege mentality among police: The
enemy is out there, and there are more of them than we thought."
Fox paused, sighed and added, "When you have this sort of mentality,
excessive brutality and improper actions are more likely to occur."
time for soft crimes -- 2 million Americans are locked up, most
for nonviolent drug offenses. Some Republicans are trying to change
- "Snitch" investigates how a shift in the country's anti-drug
laws, including federal mandatory minimum sentencing and conspiracy
provisions, bred a culture of snitching that is rewarding the guiltiest
and punishing the less guilty. PBS
against the Drug War The
articles posted here describe the growing disillusionment with the
War on Drugs in the law enforcement community, the growing Support
for reform, and some of the ways in which the Drug War corrupts
police forces and encourages a war mentality that is at odds with
a police officer's intended role as an officer of the peace. DRCNet
Looting Of America -- How over 200 Civil Asset Forfeiture laws
enable police to confiscate your home, bank accounts & business
without trial. EscapeArtist
will tell - Why drug abuse among the rich is a "disease" while
among the poor it is a "crime." Salon Robert
Downey Jr. and "VIP syndrome" Caregivers cutting corners for
a famous client may be just one of the problems bedeviling the respected
actor who could be facing hard time. Salon
often get less severe penalties than blacks and Latinos for
the same drug crimes. The Chicago Reporter
Use Rates Remain Stable - The 2000 National Household Survey
on Drug Abuse shows that illicit-drug use rates remained unchanged,
while youth tobacco use declined, according to the Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The survey found
that while overall rates of current use of illegal drugs remained
stable, there was a drop in use among preteens. Join
Linking Drug Use With Terrorism -- Stirs Controversy
Forget the Hype: Media, Drugs and Public Opinion - The NY Times/CBS
news poll records 2 periods during the last decade when public concern
about drugs skyrocketed. In spring 1986, when the media "discovered"
crack, the percentage of the public identifying "drugs" as "the
# 1 problem facing the nation" climbed from 3% to 13% in 3 months.
A 2nd shift occurred in 1989, when the number of people who identified
drugs as the most serious problem leapt from 23% in June to 65%
in September. The statistics during the 1980s indicate no basis
for these increases. Annual reports by the University of Michigan
on drug usage among US high school and college students show most
illegal drug use generally decreasing since the late 1970s. Powder
and crack cocaine peaked in 1985 and 1986. When the public became
aware of the "drug crisis," the use of all major drugs was declining.
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