Pubdate: Mon, 07 Feb 2011
Source: Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY)
Copyright: 2011 Richard Barton
Author: Richard Barton


To the Editor:

On border trafficking, kudos to Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Bill
Owens for wasting more of our tax dollars on the futile war on drugs -
$3 billion in taxpayers' money has been spent in 2011 and we have 11
months to go. At that rate, another $37 billion will be wasted this
year on trying to stop the flow of drugs into the United States of

Added to that will be the cost of prosecution and incarceration of the
"criminals" who get caught. With only five percent of the world's
population, the United States of America has 20 percent of the world
prison population, 60 percent of which are drug offenders.

Amir Varick Amma spent an additional five years in the New York prison
system because he was caught smoking a joint; this only cost the New
York taxpayer an additional $250,000. Multiply that $250,000 times 60
percent of the two million prisoners equals $300 billion spent to
incarcerate drug offenders.

Added to that is the burden on the social welfare system if the
prisoner has a family. So $340 billion, actually a lot more, and they
can't even keep the drugs out of the prisons.

Most of the time I see the world failure attached to the present drug
policy, but that is not true. Not if the real idea is to destroy your
rights as a citizen, create crime, militarize the police force and
support the only growth business left in this country: prisons.

Richard Barton

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