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posted by azrael on Friday July 11 2014, @02:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-rethink dept.

A report at Alternet gives some context to the amount spent by the U.S. on its drug policy.

  • 1,100 - The number of Americans that die each year due to violent crime caused by the drug war
  • $51 billion - The amount that the U.S. government spends each year on the war on drugs
  • 61 percent - The percentage of individuals targeted by drug-related SWAT raids who are people of color
  • 82 percent - The number of Americans who believe that the government is losing the War on Drugs
  • 18 months - The age of Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, a recent American casualty of the drug war

The article goes into further details on the number, including:

On May 28, a team of police officers raided the Phonesavanh's home, with the mistaken belief that the residents were involved with drugs. As they entered, they tossed a flashbang grenade that landed directly in the crib of baby Bou Bou, which exploded within point-blank range - critically injuring him.

In a harrowing article, his mother, Alecia, described seeing "a singed crib" and "a pool of blood", and later being informed by medics: "There's still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs". Alecia said that the sole silver lining to this story is that it may "make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the war on drugs".

Fortunately, Bou Bou has been making a gradual recovery, but his family is relying on donations to support their living and medical costs.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by metamonkey on Friday July 11 2014, @03:32PM

    by metamonkey (3174) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:32PM (#67632)

    Given that Nixon started the DEA and the War on Drugs to drive a wedge between the underclass of blacks and the white middle class in the response to the unity of these groups in the civil rights struggle and anti-war efforts, I'd say the War on Drugs has been massively successful. Generations of blacks have grown up impoverished, in destroyed communities, without fathers in a never-ending cycle. Non-violent teenagers who make mistakes with drugs wind up with felony records and relegated to second class citizens, and lose their ability to vote. In prison they become hardened criminals and become violent repeat offenders on the outside. The tax dollars of a terrified white middle class has been funneled to the private prisons and the weapons and tactical equipment manufacturers. The massive profits from the drug trade have turned Mexico and other South American countries into blood-drenched narco states, destabilizing their governments and driving their honest and hardworking citizens to flee across the border to escape the violence, thereby providing cheap and easily controlled labor for agribusiness and construction interests.

    All-in-all, mission accomplished.

    Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @04:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @04:00PM (#67659)

    Given your first and last sentences, it is rather disappointing to see your comment modded positively.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:45PM (#67784)

      > Given your first and last sentences, it is rather disappointing to see your comment modded positively.

      It is a common error to see intent in results.

      What really happened is negligence in not correcting the problem because the people most hurt by the policies had the least say in changing the policies. That's the non-judgmental way of saying that it didn't get fixed because the rich whites in charge just didn't care about or even really notice what happened to the poor brown people.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday July 11 2014, @07:55PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday July 11 2014, @07:55PM (#67787) Journal

      Positively correct on the (ugly) reality rather.