Recreational drug regulation is more beneficial to The United States' economic situation than that of its current policy; prohibition. As of 2010, prohibition has cost taxpayers approximately $10 billion annually, and the cost is rising (Porter, 2012). Current prohibition is based on the theory that users should be arrested because they are harming society, therefore lawenforcent and government can intervene (Keel, 2012). There are four costs associated with the criminal-justice system and its "war on drugs" process that are outlined by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA, 2012):
• The costs of anti-drug law enforcement agencies
• the costs of the lawyers involved in prosecution and public defense;
• the costs of court time and resources
• the costs of imprisonment and rehabilitation in custody. An in-depth investigation in the US spending on the drug war was spearheaded by the Lewin Group in 2009. The Lewin Group identifies $22.5 billion of expenses for prisons and court costs for drug-related charges as well as for DEA and other 'supply reduction' programs. Defelonization of simple use or possession of drugs offers huge potential for cost savings in almost every jurisdiction.
This is all the more true in jurisdictions that have severe mandatory sentences for some drugs and for jurisdictions that currently treat marijuana possession as a felony. The current practices and policies of prohibition" fail as a drug control strategy; It subjects ordinary citizens to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment for what they do in their own dwelling. In trying to enforce the drug laws, the government violates the fundamental rights of privacy and personal autonomy that are guaranteed by our Constitution," and are only increasing the financial burden of non-users and healthy communities alike. Bob DuPont, former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, made it clear in a report that "Criminal penalties have clearly failed to prevent widespread use of marijuana... Law and health are two entirely separate issues"( ). when an individual veers outside the norms and partakes in criminal activity the federal government via law informant intervene to address this behavior. As it stands, marijuana has become high income yield crop of several states. Some as high as the top five, generating 36 million thru the black and market illegal trade (Porter, 2012). California politicians estimate $15 million in marijuana sales last year and they believe that a new regulatory tax could push revenues into the billions. All while elevating the $8 million spent on prosecution and border security. After one closely examines the cost- benefit relationship of the government fueled societal war on