Professor Daniel Preston
16 October 2013
The international issue on narcotics and their domestic drug policies has been of great debate for decades. In this time, countries across the globe have joined the United States by declaring “war” on drugs. Today, their efforts are failing and result in many negative effects due to faulty policies caused by fact-deprived decisions. Increased efforts to enforce failing drug policy are proving costly. While the United States spends more than $51 trillion annually on the international war on drugsi, over 117 countries across the globe suffer from overcrowded prisonsii. This is due to an increase in arrests from nonviolent drug possession, making up 82% of U.S. arrests reported to the FBIiv, inflicting extra costs on countries. Despite these record numbers, global supply and purity of many narcotics have shown consistent increase in the past two decadesiii. The lost opportunity to save money is joined by that to improve public welfare. Forfeiting the ability to tax all cannabis purchases in the U.S. eliminates $46.7 billion in potential annual revenue. Over 200,000 students in the U.S. have lost federal aid eligibility due to drug convictioni. This causes lifelong financial issues due to a nonviolent crime, while over 70,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug war since 2006i highlight the worst impacts. Similarly, weak regulations on cannabis in Afghanistan allow terrorist groups, like al Qaeda, to grow nearly 24,000 hectares of cannabis annuallyiv. Revenue of nearly $411 billion from selling cannabis on the global black marketiii provides funding to fuel their international threat. Background
Current regulatory laws on cannabis find precedent in the 1920s and 1930s, when alcohol prohibition drove U.S. citizens to obtain doctor’s prescriptions for its “medicinal” use, which echoes medicinal marijuana trends todayiv. Most states do not have such a policy that allows...