Because its politicians decided that smoking pot and feeling good is a sin.
The war on drugs has cost us around a trillion dollars in total waste over the course of the past 40 years. Of course, that is not adjusted for inflation, so really its probably more like 5 trillion.
Over the past 40 years we have spent:
$20 billion to fight the drug gangs
$33 billion in marketing “Just Say No”
$49 billion for law enforcement along America’s borders
$121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders
$450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone.
So, that breaks down to 673 billion dollars over 40 years on just federal drug program expenditures, with estimates of upwards of a trillion total dollars spent combating the evil weed that makes people feel good.
However, just throwing numbers around doesn’t really provide us with a clear picture of just how much we have squandered trying to keep people from enjoying themselves. So allow me to demonstrate with a few figures.
$1 trillion dollars can buy enough resources to:
Build 30 times the number of buildings Walt Disney Corp. owns and operates. So not just 30 brand spanking new Walt Disney Worlds, but 30 brand spanking new Disney Worlds, Disney Lands, Disney Tokyos, etc.. etc.. Imagine if the US had 50 new theme parks on the scale of Disney World, one in each State.
Build 370 Wynn Resorts.
Build 850 Cowboy Stadiums.
Build 6,802 mansions identical to Bill Gate’s mansion.
Build 500,000 $2 million dollar mansions.
Build 3,333,333 million homes at $300,000 each – which constitutes the number of housing units in the entire city of Los Angeles. So in other words, the US could have built itself another metropolitan city on a titanic scale for the cost of the war on drugs.
Build 5,208,333 Ferrari Californias
Build 33,333,333 loaded Chevy Camaros (one for every 9.2 people in America).
Build 757,002,271 Sharp AQUOS 46″ LCD TVs (over 2 TVs for every person in America)
Build 1,333,333,333 $750 notebook computers (1 for every person in China).
Produce 200,000,000,000 McDonald’s value meals, enough to feed the population of America a meal a day for two years.
So what did we get for all our spending? Nothing.
If the purpose of the war on drugs is to stop the evil pot smokers from “causing harm to society” in some capacity, then why are these figures so high?
The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — “an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction” — cost the United States $215 billion a year.
If the war on drugs actually prevented a strain on the healthcare system, legal system, lost productivity, and environmental damage as the prohibition advocates claim, then how in the hell are we still suffering $215 billion a year in loss?
So really what the prohibition advocates are saying is that we should continue the war on drugs at the cost of 50 Walt Disney World resorts while additionally incurring a loss of $215 billion from drug use that is going to happen anyways no matter if drugs are illegal or not?
Further, I have to question the loss figures put out by the Justice Department. 215 billion because people are smoking pot and snorting some coke? Please, give me a break. When was the last time you saw a pot addict running around destroying property and ending up in the emergency room?
All those things I listed do not exist today because money was taken from the private sector through coercive means and spent by government in a phony war waged against the American public. These aren’t foreign occupiers invading our towns and smoking pot in the streets, these are American citizens!
Reason’s Nick Gillespie talked with LEAP’s Executive Director Neill Franklin, a retired major in the Maryland State Police. As Franklin explains, he was one of the most bellicose drug warriors around until a comrade was killed during an undercover operation. The best way, argues Franklin, we can pay tribute to his fallen friend – and all the other people whose lives have been laid waste by a war on drugs that has caused far more bad than good – is to turn away from prohibition and embrace regulation and control similar to that used for alcohol.
Praise Mao, and may the moral fabrik of Amerika support you in your quest for self-destruction.