Analysis Porter (2012) shows how unsuccessful the United States’ war on drugs has been. The pure numbers show this, in that the cost of obtaining drugs is now cheaper than it has ever been. He states that one gram of pure cocaine is $177.26, which is 74 percent cheaper than this same gram of cocaine was 30 years ago. That drugs are cheaper than they ever have been before would imply that they are not as scarce as they were 30 years ago, which means, in turn, that the four decade long war on drugs has failed, according to Porter (2012). Porter (2012) does acknowledge that there have been isolated successes – such as isolated drug seizures, and isolated captured drug kingpins, for example, but that these isolated successes are put against the blood and the treasure that the United States government has used to obtain them, and the successes are far outweighed by the resources that are used to fuel them. Branson (2012) concurs with this basic analysis. He states that the prohibition on drugs has a parallel with the prohibition against alcohol in the 1920s. Just as during this period, when there was more drunkenness, and more crime, along with an expansion of the government, so the current war on drugs has resulted in the same. Drug use has not abated, and drug-related crime is rampant. Moreover, just as there was widespread anger at the federal government during prohibition, so there is now anger at the government with regards to the drug trade.
As Branson (2012) puts its, since 1971, the
United States has spent $1 trillion on drug enforcement, and the only thing that we have to show for it is a burgeoning prison population – 2.3 million are behind bars, half a million for drug-related offenses (London). This is the largest prison population in the industrialized world. Branson (2012) further states that if the drug trade were a country, its economy would be in the top 20 in the entire world – the illegal drug trade around the globe is worth more than $320 billion. Moreover, of the 230 million illegal drug users throughout the world, Branson (2012) states that 90% of them are not problematic. Branson (2012) further states that the United States is missing out on some $46.7 billion in tax revenue, and, if they legalized drugs, they would not be spending some $41 billion a year, which is what is spent enforcing drug laws. This analysis is concurred with by Mendoza (2010). According to Mendoza (2010), the U.S. drug trade is a failure, and that the United States drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske has conceded that the strategy has not worked. He states that the drug war has not been successful, and that the problems of drugs and the crime associated with it has been magnified in the past forty years, and intensified, as opposed to dying down. President Obama, says Mendoza (2010), has also implicitly acknowledged that the war on drugs has been a failure, stating that, in the future, drug use will be treated as more of a public health issue, and that the focus going forward would be on prevention and treatment. Mendoza (2010) states that there also hidden costs to the war on drugs, including a justice system which is overburdened, a health care system that is also taxed, and environmental destruction. Conclusion The United States should probably admit defeat in the “