Are Drug War Policies Working?
Current U.S. drug war policies have come under fire for being discriminatory and ineffective. The war on drugs has not succeeded in halting narcotics production in countries such as Colombia or their eventual export to the United States. And Americans still spend an estimated sixty billion dollars a year on drugs. As of 2008, one-quarter of all American inmates are in jail due to drug-related crimes, which are primarily non-violent. In January 2005, a publication by Open Society Policy Center stated, “The abuses which occurred in Tulia are a mirror image of systemic problems facing the nation’s criminal justice system as a whole.” The U.S. imprisons a larger proportion of its adult population, for longer sentences of time, than any other country in the world; incarceration rates are racially disproportionate and have skyrocketed. The U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, but nearly a quarter of its prisoners. One main reason for this increase in incarceration was a