War on drugs a failure, many say

CHICAGO, June 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. war on drugs is a failure and has resulted in the jailing of millions of non-violent offenders, mostly blacks and Latinos, some officials say.

"The sad thing about the war on the drugs is that most people know it has failed," the Rev. Alexander Sharp of Protestants for the Common Good said in a Chicago Tribune report Saturday. "They just don't have the courage to say so, and that is why we are so grateful to have Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle with us here. She is willing to speak the truth, a leader with courage."


Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County commissioners in Chicago, blasted the war against drugs Friday, 40 years to the day after former President Richard Nixon launched it.

"Rather than invest in detaining people in the Cook County Jail at almost $150 a day … we need to invest in treatment, education and job-skills training. That's the only way … we are going to reduce crime and stabilize our communities," Preckwinkle said.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy agreed with some of Preckwinkle's statements.

"It's been so twisted up that law enforcement looks at narcotics as the crime, when it's not," McCarthy said. "It's the cause of the crime. So, we've had this wrong for a long time in law enforcement."


A Los Angeles Times report said the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a report earlier this month in which the 19-member board recommended that governments "end the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs and do no harm to others."

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