Democrats and Republicans alike support the "War on Drugs." Federal, state, and local police make more than a million drug arrests yearly. Drug cases clog the courts. More than 60% of federal prison cells and about 30% of state prison cells hold drug offenders. No-knock drug raiders nullify the Fourth Amendment every day. Yet illicit drugs continue to pour onto the market, and they are readily available throughout the land. Looks like another failed policy. But politicians say more money will win the war. For fiscal 1996, President Clinton has requested a record $14.6 billion for this exercise in futility. State and local government will also spend huge sums. Who benefits? Posturing politicians and puritanical zealots, of course, but also the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs Service, Coast Guard, FBI, and the rest of the drug warriors. Police love the drug war, because the forfeiture laws it inspired allow them to seize and keep private property with impunity. Corrupt cops get fabulous bribes, and corruption therefore runs rampant.
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