About the Drug War

Like alcohol Prohibition in the early 1900s, drug prohibition has not only failed its mission but has made its mission impossible.

The failures of prohibition are painfully obvious: wasted money, wasted lives and wasted opportunities. Determining what works best is less straightforward, but we have examples from all over the country and the world of policies that show progress and represent opportunities to improve.

Setting a new goal for drug policy is a start: the aim should be to reduce harm related to drugs – as well as harm caused by drug policies.

Some U.S. states and some countries are trying new approaches that move in this direction. Rather than setting a single model for success, we can look at these different policies for ideas as we work toward reform.

It’s time for new solutions grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

History of the Drug War
Learn about the early stages of drug prohibition, the drug hysteria of the 80s and 90s, and the current administration’s escalation of the failed war on drugs.

Drug War Statistics
Did you know the U.S. spends more than $51 billion on the war on drugs each year? Get the facts here.

Making Economic Sense
The drug war is responsible for hundreds of billions of wasted tax dollars and misallocated government spending. Learn why we need to end this wasteful government spending.

Local Solutions to the Drug War
Local jurisdictions have the opportunity to begin repairing the damage of the decades-long war on drugs and to develop and implement a more compassionate, and ultimately, more successful response.

The International Drug War
Drug production, trafficking and consumption affects every country in the world. Learn more about drug laws and drug enforcement around the world.