LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - America's war on drugs in now 45 years old.
Taxpayers have contributed one trillion dollars to the effort over that time, settling in now at about $55 billion a year. Yet America remains the world's top consumer of illicit drugs.
The courts are clogged by drug cases - a third of all district court caseloads. A quarter of Americans in jail are locked up for drugs. The crackdown on opioids has led now to an epidemic of heroin overdoses.
Seems like the more we spend on this war, the less we accomplish. Clearly, it is time to change tactics. Lessen the demand and the supply will be cut. Spend more of the money on treatment.
Money will be saved in the long run - some estimates are for every dollar spent on treatment, $7 is saved in social costs. Shifting focus may be the catalyst needed to end the war.