|East County Magazine|
A new FBI report released on Monday shows that there is a drug arrest every 19 seconds in the United States. That’s right, three people a minute, 180 people an hour, 4,320 people a day.
A group of police and judges who have been campaigning to legalize and regulate drugs pointed to the figures showing more than 1.6 million drug arrests in 2010 as evidence that the War On Drugs — really a war on U.S. citizens — is a failure that can never be won.
“Since the declaration of the ‘war on drugs’ 40 years ago we’ve arrested tens of millions of people in an effort to reduce drug use,” said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “The fact that cops had to spend time arresting another 1.6 million of our fellow citizens last year shows that it simply hasn’t worked.
|Neill Franklin, LEAP: “In the current economy we simply cannot afford to keep arresting three people every minute in the failed ‘war on drugs’|
”In the current economy we simply cannot afford to keep arresting three people every minute in the failed ‘war on drugs,’ ” Franklin said. “If we legalized and taxed drugs, we could not only create new revenue in addition to the money we’d save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users, but we’d make society safer by bankrupting the cartels and groups who control the currently illegal marketplace.”
Today’s FBI report, which can be accessed by clicking here, shows that 81.9 percent of all drug arrests in 2010 were for possession only, and 45.8 percent of all drug arrests were for possession of marijuana.
A separate Department of Justice report released last month showed that Mexican drug cartels are currently operating in more than a thousand cities in the United States, whereas two years ago there were in just 230 U.S. cities.
Meanwhile, a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report released earlier this month shows that nearly one in 10 Americans admit to regularly using illegal drugs.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the War On Drugs and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence.