US monster prison system feeds on non-violent drug consumers
Drug War Chronicle points us to a new report by the The Justice Policy Institute - Efficacy and Impact: The Criminal Justice Response to Marijuana Policy in the United States. Unsurprisingly they find little efficacy or impact on the use of cannabis, while they revel the socially destructive results of the policy. Facts of the day.
...the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) measured the effectiveness and consequences of national drug control policies that have resulted in the U.S. spending 300 times what it did 35 years ago on drug control. Criminal justice responses to marijuana - including law enforcement, judicial and corrections-accounted for $5.1 billion in 2000, according to Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron. Despite this increase in spending on drug control from $65 million to currently $19 billion, and the imprisonment of 30,000 people for a marijuana offense, marijuana usage has remained relatively unchanged regardless of arrest rates going up or down.It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on selected consumers - responsible or not. It's certainly not a war being waged to the benefit of society when non-violent consumers are locked up for years, while violent criminals enjoy early release to make room in the prisons.
...In 7 out of 10 states marijuana arrests make up over half of all drug arrests and in almost 3 out of 10 states marijuana arrests make up almost 60 percent of all drug arrests. The U.S. locks up more people for marijuana than the individual prison populations of 8 of the 10 European Union nations—and locks up more people for marijuana than the prison populations of the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Portugal.