Skip to content

Even more reasons to end the “war” on drugs

A NYPD narcotics detective has testified in federal court that it is common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people in order to meet their arrest quotas. “It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators.”

When asked by the judge whether he was concerned about the damage he was inflicting on the innocent, the detective answered “It’s almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they’re going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway.”

How much money are we taxpayers spending on this farce? The federal government says they spent $15 billion dollars on the war on drugs, and the states are estimated to spend around twice that amount. And a 2008 study by a Harvard economist estimates that legalizing drugs would pump at least $77 billion dollars into the economy.



  1. starluna wrote:

    The problem is even bigger than the inefficient use of public safety dollars. Arrest quotas are, in and of themselves, illegal. Police departments are violating all kinds of federal law by having explicit or implicit arrest quotas.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    I totally agree, but there is plenty of news coverage about how corrupt the NYPD is. I just wanted to make the point that even the police think our war on drugs is a total farce and waste of time and money.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  3. Jeff wrote:

    Topeka Kansas recently voted to stop prosecuting domestic abusers in order to save money with prosecutions. They argued that they couldn’t afford to protect abuse victims. They have since repealed this decision and reinstated the law.

    Why not repeal the misdemeanor laws concerning small amounts of marijuana? I’m pretty sure that would cut costs better than domestic violence cases, and it’s nearly as dangerous as failing to prosecute domestic assault.

    We should just legalize marijuana. Sell farmers licenses to grow it, tax it and regulate it heavily, and help the government make some more money off of it. this kind of thing is getting ridiculous.

    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 4:48 am | Permalink
  4. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I’d caution against the use of the broad term drugs. Marijuana is just one type and I’d even support decriminalizing user quantities and taxing it. However, there are many other drugs that are much more hazardous to individual health. Separate marijuana from the “drug cloud” and perhaps the message would be better perceived. When the average person hears “legalize drugs” they don’t think of marijuana first, they think of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine then they think of marijuana and they dismiss the idea quickly.

    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2000. Yes, including heroin, meth, cocaine, everything. Even Fox News says it is a resounding success:

    As the prime minister of Portugal put it “It was a very hard change to make at the time because the drug issue involves lots of prejudices. You just need to rid yourselves of prejudice and take an intelligent approach.”

    Now, having said that, I’d be happy if they started with decriminalizing marijuana. Why marijuana is illegal when tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol are legal is a mystery to me. Well, not really, they made marijuana illegal back when it was the drug of choice of blacks and Mexicans. It is illegal because of racism.

    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IK- I read your link and I have read other sources similar. It has some credence in my mind at least. But we are nowhere close in this country to that line of thinking. I think if they just stuck to cannabis they’d make more progress and maybe win over some on the fence.

    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Which is it? Are you against legalizing all drugs because “there are many other drugs that are much more hazardous to individual health”? Or are you against legalizing all drugs because “we are nowhere close in this country to that line of thinking”?

    And I already agreed with you. Let’s start with marijuana. We can worry about other drugs later. I’m a moderate, so I believe in moderation. Slow improvement is better than no improvement.

    For some good reading on this, see — it also has good references at the end. You might also enjoy which discusses the public perception issue and how to deal with that.

    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink