What has the War on Drugs Actually Accomplished?

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It doesn’t take many statistics to underline the abysmal failure that is the “War on Drugs” in the U.S. On the heels of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards threatening to pull collegiate sports programs and TOPS funding, one statistic that stands out is that imprisoning a marijuana offender for one year costs vastly more than what a single TOPS scholarship costs the state. Oil prices at near all time lows are forcing Louisiana legislators to consider other sources of revenue for the state, and cutting education and healthcare is always the knee-jerk reaction in Baton Rouge.

According to a Time article from September of 2015, Colorado raised $70 million dollars in it’s last fiscal year, which accounted for nearly double the revenue than alcohol in the tourist heavy economy. “Colorado’s data indicated that the 10% retail tax on marijuana and 15% excise tax for large wholesale weed has been fruitful.”

Despite attempts to frighten the public into believing that marijuana legalization would increase use among teenagers, Pulitzer-winning publication “The Guardian” posted an article stating that legalization has not caused an increase in underage use, and that numbers for 8th graders, the youngest age group in the study, experimenting with the drug has actually decreased.

“The authors (of the study) speculate that the older students’ views on the drug may already have been fixed before medical legalization, but that those who were younger were less likely to view it as recreational once medicinal use was authorized.”

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