A report by the US Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center which calculates the financial cost of illicit drug use on American productivity, health and crime. The report found that the total cost of use in 2007 was $193 billion, with criminal justice system costs accounting for $56 billion of this figure.
A report which examines how the misuse of drugs has been framed as a security issue – a threat to humanity which is intended to justify the extraordinary measures of worldwide prohibition and a militarised war.
At the 2010 Harm Reduction Conference in Austin, Texas, Professor William Martin, from the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, discusses how current US and Mexican drug policies lead to highly inflated narcotics prices and consequently fuel crime and violence in both countries. He claims the extent of this instability means that Mexico is in danger of becoming a 'failed state'.
Daniel Robelo from the Drug Policy Alliance provides an historical overview of Mexico's illicit drug trade. He reveals the staggering profits made by the heads of Mexican cartels and the extent of their resources and power.
Dr Kathleen Staudt, Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso, describes how drug-related violence in Mexico has skyrocketed in recent years, in particular in CiudadJuárez, which is now the murder capital of the world. Staudt argues that the vast resources committed to law enforcement measures would be better employed in tackling the root causes of problematic drug use.
Former governor of New Mexico and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson highlights the number of arrests for drug possession made in America every year and the financial cost of this punitive approach to US taxpayers.