Cost of Mass Incarceration Higher Than You Think

It's easy to calculate the cost of mass incarceration in terms of government spending. That's around $80 billion a year. But add in all of the lost economic benefits and other factors and the true cost, according to a new study, is over $1 trillion. … [Read more...]

Kincaid Goes Full-On Reefer Madness

Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media is one of the most consistently buffoonish wingnuts we have. In his latest column, he criticizes a House vote to make it easier for military vets suffering from PTSD to get access to marijuana. He says that will turn them into "psychotic potheads." … [Read more...]

O’Reilly, Bolling Ignore Racist Drug Enforcement

Bill O'Reilly and Eric Bolling offer up the usual right-wing inanity on the drug war and our criminal justice system in order to claim that black people are incarcerated at many times the rate of white people because they do and sell more drugs than white people. … [Read more...]

Bill O’Reilly Doesn’t Know What Words Mean

Bill O'Reilly loves nothing more than getting himself worked up into a lather and pointing fingers all over the place. Did you know that it's Obama's fault that people use hard drugs? I didn't either. And do you know why it's his fault? Because he apparently knows what words mean. … [Read more...]

SCOTUS Rejects Challenge to Marijuana Legalization Laws

This is very interesting. The Supreme Court on Monday denied cert in a case filed by several states challenging the legalization of marijuana in neighboring states, saying that legalization increased the flow of pot into their own states and required them to expend more resources to fight it. … [Read more...]

Another Welfare Drug Testing Regime Fails Badly

Here's yet another example of a Republican-controlled legislature passing a law requiring that people on public assistance get drug tested and the number of applicants failing the test is extremely low, lower than the average population by a wide margin. And it ends up costing more money than it saves. … [Read more...]

Cruz: Border Wall Can Fix Drug Problem in New Hampshire

Ted Cruz, apparently under the false impression that Mexico is the source of all of America's drug problems, told an audience at a campaign rally in New Hampshire that building a wall between the United States and Mexico would fix that state's drug problems. Because as everyone knows, demand will magically dry up and there will be no supply if you cut off one source of the product. … [Read more...]

How the War on Drugs Creates Law Enforcement Corruption

Two recent stories reveal one of the negative effects of the war on drugs that is rarely discussed, the fact that it causes massive corruption in our law enforcement agencies. A highly decorated Texas police officer has been revealed by court documents to be a member of a Mexican drug cartel and has been involved in moving cocaine and securing police equipment for the cartel. … [Read more...]

No Carly Fiorina, Pot is Not More Dangerous Than Alcohol

During the second Republican presidential debate last week, Carly Fiorina strongly implied that marijuana use is more dangerous than alcohol. "We are misleading young people when we tell them that marijuana is just like having beer. It's not," she said. And she's right, but in the opposite way she's thinking. In reality, smoking marijuana is better by every measure than drinking alcohol (though I very rarely do either one). … [Read more...]

Christie’s Doubletalk on Marijuana

One of the few interesting and substantive exchanges during the second Republican presidential debate was over the subject of marijuana and whether federal anti-drug laws should be enforced in those states that have legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use. Rand Paul's position was completely coherent -- leave the states alone, end the drug war and treat it as a health problem, not a criminal one. Chris Christie came nowhere close to a coherent position. … [Read more...]

Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Increase Teen Use

Well here's a shock. You know all that fear-mongering by the moral busybodies in opposition to decriminalizing either medical marijuana or all marijuana, the one about how teens will become mindless pot zombies? Turns out it's completely untrue. What a surprise. … [Read more...]

Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs. Again.

A recent study confirms what has long been known, that black people and white people use drugs at very similar rates. Blacks use marijuana at a slightly higher rate than whites, but whites are more likely to use cocaine (except crack), heroin and hallucinogenic drugs. This chart shows it all: … [Read more...]