Marijuana Initiative Challenges
Costly, Bloody Drug War
In support of California's initiative to legalize marijuana
By Tom Hayden
Progressive America Rising via Huffington Post
I support the November ballot initiative because our country's long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.
People are dying.
Nearly 30,000 people have been killed around our southern border since the Mexican government, with massive American support, escalated its wars against the cartels in 2006.
There were over 112,000 drug overdose deaths in the US between 1999 and 2005 alone.
And the drug consumption continues. It's an unwinnable war.
California leads America and America leads the world in mass incarceration. Nearly 25 percent of the world's inmates are locked up in American institutions, the largest percentage of them on drug-related offenses. In 1980, there were some 40,000 Americans in prison on drug charges, today there are an estimated 500,000 at any given time.
It's an unaffordable war as well.