Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jul 2005
Source: Monitor, The (McAllen, TX)
Copyright: 2005 The Monitor
Author: Kirk Muse
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


To the editor:

Major kudos to Larry Seguin for his outstanding letter ("U. S. addicted to 
the war on drugs," July 5).

Our drug war habit keeps getting more and more expensive. In 1969, our 
federal drug enforcement budget was $65 million. Last year it was $19.2 
billion. (These figures don't include the cost of incarceration nor the 
state and local costs). The $19.2 billion is more than a 295-fold increase.

In 1969, coffee sold for 25 cents a cup. If the price of coffee had 
increased at the same rate as our drug war budget, coffee would now sell 
for almost $75 a cup. More than $75 with sales tax.

What have we received for our so-called investment? Nothing. Illegal drugs 
are just as available today as they were in 1969. Our drug war addiction is 
a habit we cannot afford.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz. 
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