America’s War on Drugs: A Rolling Stone Forum
Rolling Stone
Aug 16, 2001


On August 16, 2001, Rolling Stone Magazine delved into the issue of drug policy with its feature story entitled, America’s War on Drugs.” The article documents perspectives from lawmakers, CEOs, police chiefs, academics and artists.

“Since 1968, the United States has spent increasing amounts of taxpayers’ money – more than $40 billion last year – trying to stop drug use through the criminal-justice system. Three-fourths of federal anti-drug money goes to police, prisons, border patrol and interdiction efforts in countries like Colombia. Only one-fourth goes to prevention and treatment. Thirty years after war was declared, there are no fewer drug addicts but more people in prison for drug crimes than ever before. Half a million of America’s 2 million prisoners are locked away for drugs, and 700,000 people are arrested each year for marijuana possession alone. 

“In 2001, a record seventy-four percent of Americans say they believe the Drug War is failing. The majority say drug addiction should be approached as a disease, not a crime. In these pages, we asked lawmakers, scientists, police and law-enforcement officials, prominent journalists, musicians, academics, business leaders and authors to contribute to a newly energized debate about the future of American drug policy.”

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