After 40 years, the United States’ war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives. Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread, according to a Fox News report issued last year.

The waste of taxpayer dollars is staggering, and the cost of human lives is truly depressing. The Fox news report listed these drug war failures:

  • $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the United States spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking moved to Mexico — and the violence along with it.
  • $49 billion for law enforcement along America’s borders to cut off the flow of illegal drugs. This year, 25 million Americans will use illicit drugs, about 10 million more than in 1970, with the bulk of those drugs imported from Mexico.
  • $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.

The current presidents of the U.S. and Mexico still support a hard-line approach to drug use, but a recent report issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes the past-presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Columbia, recommends that governments explore legalizing and regulating drugs, to block profits to drug cartels.

“It’s astounding that the U.S. Government is wasting precious taxpayer dollars on an ill-conceived drug war formulated decades ago,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “The current administration requested $1.7 billion for useless drug-prevention programs, an 8% increase from 2011.”

“The so-called war on drugs has utterly failed,” said Tobin. “It’s time to adopt a more progressive policy that decriminalizes non-violent drug use.”

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