Since the founding of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1973, 15 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana.
That is more people than live in California's 25 largest cities millions more than live in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Illinois.
The DEA has led an aggressive national law enforcement effort that results in a marijuana arrest every 38 seconds, propelling the U.S. to become the biggest incarcerator on the planet, housing one out of four of the world's prisoners.Despite mass arrests, incarceration and the tearing apart of millions of families, the war rages on with no end in sight.
Since the DEA's founding, approximately 90% of youth have described marijuana as easy to get in annual federal surveys.It is easier for young Americans to buy marijuana than it is to buy alcohol or prescription drugs which are legally regulated and controlled.
Is there any reason to think that millions more arrests with costs running into the billions will win the marijuana war?
Last week every former U.S. DEA head came out against Proposition 19 which would end possession arrests and allow local jurisdictions in California to make marijuana legal. No surprise that drug enforcement bureaucrats want to defend their marijuana enforcement budgets.They even oppose medical marijuana for people suffering and dying.But, more important for the voter, this is an opportunity to look at the big picture.Voters should ask themselves:
Has the marijuana war, with more than 800,000 arrests each year, worked?
Will more arrests stop marijuana?