I’ve long believed that the so-called War on Drugs does much more harm than good.

The good folks at Drug Policy Central have come up with a War on Drugs Clock. The amounts reset on January 1 of each year.  The numbers below are are cumulative from the first of the year only!



Arrests for drug law violations this year are expected to exceed the 1,663,582 arrests of 2009. Law enforcement made more arrests for drug abuse violations (an estimated 1.6 million arrests, or 13.0 percent of the total number of arrests) than for any other offense in 2009.

Someone is arrested for violating a drug law every 19 seconds.

Source: Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Police arrested an estimated 858,408 persons for cannabis violations in 2009. Of those charged with cannabis violations, approximately 89 percent were charged with possession only. An American is arrested for violating cannabis laws every 30 seconds.

Source: Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Since December 31, 1995, the U.S. prison population has grown an average of 43,266 inmates per year. About 25 per cent are sentenced for drug law violations.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics


Our jails are getting fuller (a good thing for the for-profit private prison industry being pushed through in state after state) , the costs of the so-called War on Drugs is out of control, and many guilty of nothing more than smoking a joint see their lives destroyed.

I believe the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana could help turn a number of states’ troubled economies around, including Florida, where I live.  But that’s just one of the many reasons to end the war on drugs.

I’ve interviewed a few people from LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) a number of times on my show because they hit the nail right on the proverbial head.  I invited them on again today, as they were in the news…

You may recall that the White House and YouTube held a “Your Interview With the President” event on Monday.   People submitted video questions, and the public voted on them. Unfortunately, the topic that received the most votes, and the actual question that had the second highest number number of votes, was completely ignored.

The question was submitted by former LAPD  Deputy Chief, Stephen Downing –

It’s time that this very important issue be debated and discussed, not ignored or laughed off as the President did the last couple of times it came up at similar events.  So, this morning, I had a lengthy discussion about it with LEAP co-founder Peter Christ.

In the wake of yesterday’s discussions about Occupy Wall Street, I invited my friend Jesse LaGreca back on the show to discuss where the movement is headed. I suggest you listen to the whole thing, but he agrees with me that we need to occupy the ballot box, big time!