DrugSense Email Fundraiser Index

20 April 2010

The Price of the Drug War

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$714 billion. That's the current federal deficit. An unbelievable number driven by many factors, including the "War on Drugs." Decades of drug war spending have pushed the annual cost of prohibition to almost $50 billion. If you wonder what drives your tax dollars, you need look no further than "The Federal, State, and Local Price of the Drug War" from Drug War Facts.* Prisons, wiretap devices, aviation units, media campaigns ... they all add up; we can no longer afford them. Here's a sample:

  • $48.7 billion in 2008 - Cost of drug prohibition. "...legalizing drugs would save roughly $48.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. $33.1 billion of this savings would accrue to state and local governments, while $15.6 billion would accrue to the federal government. Approximately $13.7 billion of the savings would results from legalization of marijuana, $22.3 billion from legalization of cocaine and heroin, and $12.8 from legalization of other drugs."
    Source: Miron, Jeffrey A., PhD, "The Budgetary Implications of Drug Prohibition" (February 2010).

  • $6.2 billion in 2007 - Imprison drug offenders. "... the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 253,300 inmates for drug offenses in 2007. That means states spent approximately $17.1 million per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6.2 billion per year.
    Source: American Correctional Association, "2006 Directory of Adult and Juvenile Correctional Departments, Institutions, Agencies and Probation and Parole Authorities" (2006). Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Prisoners in 2007" (December 2008).

  • $1.4 billion in 2009 - Lost California revenue. "... the revenue effect of the bill [AB 390 to impose a fee of fifty dollars per ounce on the retail sale of marijuana in California] is an estimated total annual revenue gain of $1.4 billion, as follows: $990 million from the proposed $50 per ounce levy on retail sales of marijuana [and] $392 million in sales tax revenues."
    Source: Waltz, Debra A., "State Board of Equalization Staff Legislative Bill Analysis," California State Board of Equalization, California Assembly, Bill No: AB 390 (July 2009)

If you agree that deficit spending on a futile drug war must stop, then you need to support organizations that are bringing about real change. DrugSense is one of them. We host websites from Drug War Facts* to the Reefer Madness Museum to the Drug Truth Network -- We're helping to get the word out worldwide. We're a full service media-focused organization that serves the community for drug policy change.

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We need your help RIGHT NOW! A generous supporter has challenged us to raise $25,000 from supporters just like you. In fact, this challenge effectively doubles your contribution, allowing your support to go even further.

Donating is quick, easy, and secure. Just visit http://www.drugsense.org/donate. Plus, because DrugSense is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, your contribution is tax deductible, something you'll appreciate on the next April 15th.

You can also make your check or money order payable to DrugSense and mail it to:

14252 Culver Dr #328
Irvine, CA 92604-0326

Or you can donate toll free by calling 1-800-266-5759.

If you're fed up with how the government spends your tax dollars, why not help change the policies that drive that spending? Contribute today to ending the expensive drug war AND reducing the federal deficit.

Mark Greer
Executive Director

* You can find more about "The Federal, State, and Local Price of the Drug War" from Drug War Facts here http://mapinc.org/url/8Xg6AK9z.