Since 1971, more than 40 million arrests have been conducted for drug-related offenses.I'm not going to say the obvious as the current administration's desire to escalate the war on drugs by an increase in funding in 2012 bringing spending to $26 billion. We out here in the streets are all aware that this is yet another investment in the very profitable Prison Industrial Complex. I mean why else is there a proposed increase in funding for federal prisons, right? So no, I'm not going to state the obvious. The important question, is just why did Barack change his stance on the war on drugs? What happened to the guy in 2004 who supports the decriminalization of certain illegal substances and doing things differently? Anyone wanna take a stab at answering this question?
And no group has been more targeted and suffered more damage than the black community. As the A.C.L.U. pointed out last week, “The racial disparities are staggering: despite the fact that whites engage in drug offenses at a higher rate than African-Americans, African-Americans are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate that is 10 times greater than that of whites.”
[...] Last week, the Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a 19-member commission that included Kofi Annan, a former U.N. secretary general; George Shultz, President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state; and Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, declared that: “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the U.S. government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.”
The White House immediately shot back: no dice. The Obama administration presented a collection of statistics that compared current drug use and demand with the peak of the late 1970s, although a direct correlation between those declines and the drug war are highly debatable. In doing so, it completely sidestepped the human, economic and societal toll of the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, many for simple possession.
No need to put a human face on 40 years of folly when you can swaddle its inefficacy in a patchwork quilt of self-serving statistics. (source)