Argument: The War on Drugs is not working

Issue Report: War on Drugs


“A no-win ‘war on drugs’.” Los Angeles Times. February 28, 2009: “It has been nearly 40 years since President Nixon began the “war on drugs” in 1971. Its objective from the outset was to suppress the manufacture, distribution and consumption of illicit drugs. By all of those measures — and by common agreement — the multibillion-dollar effort has been a failure. Supply is plentiful, distribution sophisticated and consumption steady. Today, there is rare consensus among policymakers, law enforcement leaders and healthcare professionals: Our drug policy, they concede, is not working.”

Jack Cafferty. “Commentary: War on drugs is insane.” CNN. March 31, 2009: “So how’s this war on drugs going? Someone described insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. That’s a perfect description of the war on drugs.”

President Obama said in 2004: “The war on drugs is an utter failure.”[1]