Withdrawing from the Drug War

The U.S. now incarcerates more people than any other country, largely as a result of soaring drug convictions, with a disproportionate number of African-American and Hispanic prisoners.

The war on drugs has enabled drug cartels to reap higher profits than ever and transform entire communities in Latin America into fiefdoms. Drug money is corrupting democratic governments and law-enforcement institutions around the world. Drug-related violence has consumed untold numbers of victims in Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, the U.S., and Mexico. The Swiss re-examined their government’s drug policies with a pragmatic eye. Health professionals took the lead in a campaign to press the government to shift its focus from arresting and punishing drug users toward public-health policies that are based on scientific evidence of what works.

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