Skip to main content

View Diary: The Human cost of the Drug War (9 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Do you know where you got your (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnotherProgressive

    $228 billion per year on the federal prison system figure from?  Most of the time I hear it in the $50 to $60 billion a year range which would equate to roughly $25,000 to $30,000 per year per inmate.  A quick internet search re-enforced my memory but one internet site does not a fact make.

    I'm pro-legalization and would favor the states making their own decisions on which drugs to legalize or keep prohibited but I really want an honest discussion as possible and your $228 billion figure is far different than what I've heard.

    In addition, it's probably poor logic to assume that just because x percent of all offenders are in prison for drug offenses that if we legalized pot all across the nation that x percent of the prison costs would disappear.  Yes, costs could go down but not nearly by the same percentage as those incarcerated for drug offenses.

    Keep up the fight though!

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:18:45 PM PST

    •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      The 228 Billion figure comes not only from actual incarceration but the entire system, police, corrections, and judiciary.

      http://dailybail.com/...

      In addition, it's probably poor logic to assume that just because x percent of all offenders are in prison for drug offenses that if we legalized pot all across the nation that x percent of the prison costs would disappear.  Yes, costs could go down but not nearly by the same percentage as those incarcerated for drug offenses.
      Not necessarily, remember these are non violent drug offenses, if you let people go and eliminate the drug charge from their records then they wouldn't have that stigma on them anymore of being an offender. That means they can find jobs and have normal lives again. And of course you'll have the people who will go back to prison. But I think a large amount of them will not. As for costs, look at how much we spend on enforcement, court costs alone for marijuana.

      There's no guarantee sure but Colorado and Washington are the great experiment, if prison populations and costs end up going down because of decriminalization like I think I will I'll be right, if not then I will concede the point.

      •  Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my post (0+ / 0-)

        I do think that costs will go down with the legalization of pot.  However, let's examine either prison costs or police costs.   If you eliminate all arrests for pot possession or distribution and let's say in that particular state that those arrests accounted for 20 percent of the arrests or 20 percent of the days in jail, I don't think you will see a 20 percent reduction in either police costs or prison costs.

        You would have to go into a whole analysis about fixed costs versus variable costs of each of these systems which is not conducive to a comment on a website.  After time these bureaucracies may adjust and not see a need for as many positions due to the decreased work load due to fewer drug busts but that would be a longer term issue.

        Hopefully, in the mean time, the cops can focus more on rape, murder, burglaries or perhaps drunk driving.  But we shall see how it plays out.  I just hope CO and WA don't mess it up.  I don't favor handing the pot trade over to big business and would rather have either the government or specially created non-profit agencies put in charge of the trade.  The "profits" from the trade would be poured back into drug education and drug rehab.

        Pot, no matter how benign it is, shouldn't merely be treated like tennis rackets and sold in an open market.  The genie is out of the bottle for alcohol but it doesn't mean we need to make the same mistake for pot.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:14:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site