Wasted Tax Dollars
Ignoring basic economic principles, along with empirical evidence that highly-funded law enforcement and interdiction strategies have failed to reduce drug use and drug availability, drug war advocates continue to demand more money for the same failed policies. They want to keep wasting your tax dollars on a losing battle.
Despite the United States’ enormous financial commitment to fighting the war on drugs with well-equipped drug taskforces, mass incarceration, abstinence-only drug education and dishonest anti-drug advertising, the demand for drugs in the United States remains constant. Worse, the drug war has created enormous public health costs by limiting the availability of harm reduction programs that could quell overdose and infectious disease transmission rates.
Just as disheartening as the fiscal costs of fighting a failed drug war are the opportunity costs. Think of the impact all that drug war funding could have if instead of financing the arrest and incarceration of millions of people each year, we made drug treatment more widely available, improved social service and education programs, or simply gave the money back to taxpayers.
DPA consistently lobbies Congress to stop funding failed drug war programs that are ineffective at best, and often actively harmful. We are working to dismantle wasteful drug law enforcement programs like the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, which funds hundreds of regional drug taskforces that are notorious for wasting taxpayer dollars and fostering corruption. DPA is also the leading voice calling for the Office of National Drug Control Policy to cut funding for enforcement and devote more resources to treatment and other health approaches to drug use.