The War On Drugs And Drugs

2027 Words Nov 11th, 2015 9 Pages
James Gombas
10/4/15
Political Economic Thought
When President Richard Nixon called for increased federal spending in an attempt to curb the number of drug users and the sale and importation of illicit narcotics the war on drugs began in earnest. The war on drugs has also played a major role in politics as well as having a significant impact on the economy. While there are many arguments in favor for the war on drugs and an equal number of arguments against it I will attempt to show an unbiased look at the war on drugs and drug prohibition and how it has affected society as a whole.
Since 1971 the United States government has spent $1,000,000,000,000 on the war on drugs. This is a staggering number and shows how much money is spent on attempting to curb the use of illegal drugs. Not only is the war on drugs costly the policies surrounding it also lead to other problems. When Ronald Reagan became president he expanded the war on drugs which led to a massive increase in the number of people incarcerated for nonviolent drugs crimes. In 1980 there were 50,000 people incarcerated for nonviolent drug crimes. By 1997 that number reached 400,000. The cost of incarcerating these nonviolent drug offenders exceeds $34.5 million per day. The lost productivity and labor by those incarcerated is valued around $40 billion annually. The economy as a whole has not benefitted from the war on drugs however some sectors of the economy have seen growth. With increased spending on…

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