Politics

The war on drugs didn’t work…

Broadly speaking, the status quo isn’t working. By 2019, the federal government was spending $34.6 billion annually on attempts to control drug use. More than $1 trillion has been directly spent on war on drugs initiatives in the past four decades… A 2018 study published in the journal Science found that overdose death rates have increased exponentially and “along a remarkably smooth trajectory” in the past 40 years.

Today, half a million people across the US are incarcerated for drug-related offenses – including the 49 percent of inmates in federal prison – yet more than 60,000 people still die of overdoses each year, and predatory rehab centers increasingly pop up to prey on vulnerable people and their families. These negative effects were a feature, not a bug, says Hakique Virani, a doctor and addictions specialist at the University of Alberta in Canada. Drug laws “were never set out to help people stop using substances,” he says. “What they were set out to do was exclude people with certain characteristics.” Those who are marginalized because of their race, class, sexuality or other factors bear the overwhelming burden of criminal drug policy, he says, “in spite of the fact that substance use rates are equivalent across demographics, including racial demographics.”

Original Article (Popular Science):
The war on drugs didn’t work. Oregon’s plan might.
Artwork Fair Use: Krd

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