1. The War on Drugs costs the US billions of dollars a year.
money war on drugs infographic


Some estimates say that in the US (beyond just the federal government), we spend over $51 billion total on the Drug War. We’ve spent over a trillion dollars since the beginning of the War on Drugs, during Richard Nixon’s presidency.

war on drugs cost


2. The War on Drugs forces police to focus on nonviolent drug offenders, rather than on violent criminals.

3. 82% of all drug arrests are for possession only, according to the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

And a large number of them are for marijuana possession:



4. Drug arrests have significantly contributed to our growing, unsustainable incarceration rates.

1.55 million Americans were arrested in 2012 alone on nonviolent drug charges.

incarceration stats


5. Since it’s easy to make possession arrests, the War on Drugs has led to shoddy police work.

David Simon, creator of the show The Wire, explains how:

From the documentary The House I Live In.

6. The War on Drugs is racially biased.

Former DEA Agent and US Marshal Matthew Fogg explains:

7. Studies have found that treatment, not enforcement, is the best way to decrease drug abuse.

Treatment of drug abusers would also save us billions of dollars thanks to lower incarceration rates, lower recidivism, and increased employment among addicts. Former Boston Prosecutor John Amabile explains how drug policy should be treated as a health issue instead of a criminal issue:

8. If we legalized and then taxed illegal drugs at the same level as alcohol and tobacco, we could make $46.7 billion a year in tax revenues.

Colorado’s experiment with pot legalization is already earning them millions:

colorado legalization marijuana revenue


9. Ending the Drug War would go a long way towards stemming the AIDS epidemic.
aids and the drug war


10. Our Drug War is also fueling Drug Wars in a number of other countries — from Colombia to Afghanistan to Mexico.

Mexico’s Drug War alone has resulted in over 70,000 deaths since 2006. This is more than ten times the amount of Americans that have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

mexico drug war deaths