by David Downs
The Associated Press, using Freedom of Information Act requests, figured out the tab for America's War on Drugs this week, and checked to see if the war has met any of its goals. The answer: After 40 years and $1 trillion, the War on Drugs has failed.
Among the highlights:
$33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"-style messages to America's youth and other prevention programs. High school students report the same rates of illegal drug use as they did in 1970, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses have "risen steadily" since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 last year.
$121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.
$450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.
Nice work, AP.