The war on drugs is America’s longest war. It has been 40-plus years since Nixon launched our modern “war on drugs” and yet drugs are as plentiful as ever. While the idea that we can have a “drug-free society” is laughable, the disastrous consequences of our drug war are dead serious. While it might not be obvious, the war on drugs touches and destroys so many of the issues we care about and the values we hold. Below are 10 collateral consequences of the drug war and reasons we need to find an exit strategy from this unwinnable war.
1. Racial Injustice
The war on drugs is built on racial injustice. Despite roughly equal
rates of drug use and sales, African-American men are arrested at 13
times the rate of white men on drug charges in the U.S. -- with rates of
up to 57 times in some states. African Americans and Latinos together
make up 29 percent of the total U.S. population, but more than 75
percent of drug law violators in state and federal prisons.