Jimmy Carter: End The War on Drugs

Lee Jin-man / AP Photo

Former President Jimmy Carter is seconding the report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy that earlier this month declared the war on drugs a failure and called for a new approach. Instead of following Carter's lead and decriminalizing small amounts of Marijuana and using treatment over prison, Carter says in a New York Times op-ed, President Ronald Reagan began a “futile” campaign to stop drug imports that resulted in an enormous expenditure of resources, increased drug-related violence, and the skyrocketing of the U.S. prison population. “Not only has this excessive punishment destroyed the lives of millions of young people and their families (disproportionately minorities), but it is wreaking havoc on state and local budgets,” says Carter. “Maybe the increased tax burden on wealthy citizens necessary to pay for the war on drugs will help to bring about a reform of America’s drug policies. At least the recommendations of the Global Commission will give some cover to political leaders who wish to do what is right.”