From Innocent Bystanders: Developing Countries and the War on Drugs, a few facts and figures for the costs of prohibition:

  • The Mexican government is spending $9bn per year fighting drug trafficking, more than three times the amount that the US spends, relative to GDP
  • In 2006, the Colombian government was spending 6% of its GDP on defense, compared to 5% on health. [The US under Obama spends 13.5% on defense, compared to 16.5% on healthcare, the UK spends 6.3% on defense, and 16.3% on healthcare]
  • 3/4 of U.S. national expenditures on drugs are spent on apprehending and punishing dealers and users. Treatment expenditures account for, at most, one-sixth of total federal expenditures.

More soon…