I received an interesting email the other day. The author of the infographic below who’s name is Camille reached out to me through the contact form and asked if I thought this might be interesting to the KillTheCan.org members. To be honest, I get requests like this pretty often and 9 times out of 10 they amount to nothing but spam. However, this particular infographic about the War on Drugs got me to thinking… check it out.
So my first question is this… Do you agree? Has the War on Drugs failed? We all know that numbers can be made to say anything but I have to say this looks like some pretty compelling evidence to me. Let’s take a look:
- “Since first declared in 1970 by President Nixon, the U.S. has spent $1 TRILLION on the War On Drugs. That’s $793 per second or $25 billion per year.”
To this, I simply say, “Wow”. I knew it would be a lot, but I honestly had no idea.
- “The cost of cocaine is 74% less expensive than it was 30 years ago.”
I’ve never tried cocaine, never purchased cocaine, have no desire to purchase/try cocaine. In fact I think I’ve only seen cocaine in person once in my life. Does the fact that it’s cheaper now indicate that the market is flooded (which would suggest that the War on Drugs isn’t successful) or that the demand for cocaine is lower cause there are other competing products available (which would suggest that the War on Cocaine may have been successful, but the War on Drugs was not).
- “1 out of 10 Americans use illegal drugs.”
This seems way high to me. I know a slew of people and while some of them may act like they’re high, I have a hard time believing that 10% of America is wasted on something other than alcohol. Perhaps I’m living under a rock in suburbia.
There are quite a few others in here that are interesting, but the one that really stood out to me and made me think was the question and answer that Camille presents at the end:
Question: Is this drug war saving lives?
Answer: Tobacco and alcohol kill more people annually than illegal drugs.
And there’s where my interest was piqued. Obviously I’m anti smokeless tobacco, anti dip, anti nicotine. I see the millions (and MILLIONS) of dollars that Big Tobacco throws toward advertising and getting folks, especially kids, hooked on their products at a very young age. And they do an amazing job at it. I’m not sure that I’d say it’s time to end the War on Drugs but I think it’s safe to say that we need to turn more of our attention toward Big Tobacco. And before some of you get all up in arms yelling at me for suggesting we “ban” tobacco products… I’m NOT saying that. I’m simply saying that if we’re going to spend $25 billion per year trying to keep our folks citizens off drugs, that we should remember that nicotine is in fact a drug.
What do you think? Did you catch the WWE reference? 🙂
If you’d like to include this infographic on your site you can find it here: www.onlinecriminaljusticedegree.com/failed-war-on-drugs Special thanks to Camille for sending this along. Very much appreciated!