In 1971, president Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs that was supposed to end the scourge of addiction by drastically expanding the net of imprisonable drug offenses and imposing extremely harsh sentences on anyone involved in the drug trade, including small time dealers and users. Last year, the war on drugs, which has so far cost the taxpayer $1 trillion give or take, reached its 40th birthday ? but with little cause to celebrate. The drug problem is more or less what it ever was, and the so-called war has wreaked havoc on the most vulnerable communities it was supposed to rescue, while dealing a particularly devastating blow to women and children.
© Guardian News & Media Ltd