America’s longest conflict has been a failure.

As declarations of conflict go, it was fairly low key. On June 17, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon held a information briefing within the West Wing of the White House. In his normal darkish swimsuit and striped tie, talking comfortably from notes, the president branded Americans’ rising tide of drug abuse “public enemy number one.” He continued: “In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive. … This will be a worldwide offensive. … It will be government-wide … and it will be nationwide.” To fund this new conflict, Nixon declared, he would ask Congress to applicable a minimal of $350 million. (In 1969, when Nixon first took the oath of workplace, the nation’s complete federal drug finances was simply $81 million.) Fifty years later, the United States has expended roughly one trillion dollars waging conflict on unlawful medicine.

That cash has purchased some 30 million arrests and hundreds of thousands of imprisonments. Today, practically 500,000 Americans are incarcerated for drug offenses; the federal authorities expends properly over $9 million day-after-day, greater than $three billion a yr, simply to lock up drug offenders. States and localities, mixed, pay far more. Black Americans are nearly six occasions as doubtless as White Americans to have been incarcerated on drug prices, whilst White and Black Americans use unlawful medicine at across the identical charge. The War on Drugs — a civil conflict waged by U.S. authorities towards the tens of hundreds of thousands of Americans — is one other of America’s “longest wars,” wherein the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel stays dim. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

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