What has been America's longest and most unsuccessful war? If you answered Vietnam or World War II you would be incorrect. America has been waging a war since 1972 that is still going on as we speak, the "War on Drugs". It was this year that Nixon appointed a National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse and despite its recommendations to decriminalize marijuana Nixon still declared, in his own words, a "War on Drugs." This war brought upon harsher penalties, set up multiple anti-drug commissions, and eventually set strict mandatory sentences for drug offenses among numerous other efforts to stop drug traffic and drug use within our boarders. Since then the cost of this war has risen every year, and last year cost us close to $9 billion. All most all of this money comes from our, the tax payers, pocket, most of which I am proposing could be better spent. On top of this money is the high cost to keep the massive influx of prisoners incarcerated as a result of these harsh penalties. This effort has also made it illegal to cultivate hemp, which has many practical uses. Although some very good things have happened as a result of this war many bad things such increases in crime and corruption and people's lives, in my opinion, being wrongfully ruined. This essay is not pro-marijuana or pro-drug, rather I am proposing a different approach to this war which would save our country billions of dollars that could be better spent improving any number of things and would even open new jobs, be profitable, among numerous other advantages.
My approach to the drug problem takes a similar approach to that of the Netherlands, which separates drugs into hard and soft drugs. Soft-drugs would include the currently legal alcohol and nicotine and would also add marijuana in this category of potentially harmful, but legal drugs. Currently marijuana is classified in the hardest of all the drug categories as a schedule I drug, falling in the same category as heroin.