There's a war being waged in our country. A war with no definable boundaries or enemies. A war that claims a victim every minute. The drug war. With controversial legislature pending in states all across the country, there are few people without an opinion. As time progresses though, more and more people are showing their support for a smarter way of drug control, empathizing a less strong-arm approach to measure. Others hold onto the ideal that drugs are still taboo, a poison on society that must be eradicated. Evidence has shown that increased expenditures and devotion of manpower to the drug war will be ineffectual, and that the best path that this country can take is a more health oriented view.
America has a jail population of (insert jail pop here). Of these, (insert jail pop of non-vio drug offenders here) are incarcerated for the nonviolent possession of a controlled substance. These people are incarcerated for choosing to do something to themselves that the government didn't deem appropriate. There was no crime committed against anyone, except for the accused. The government has taken it into it's hands to control an aspect of it's citizens lives that it has no right encroaching on, and it's doing a very poor job of it. In the drug sense, we are actually one of the harshest countries in the world. We ruin the lives of a significant portion of our population in a vain attempt at a "drug-free nation". .
Other countries have chosen different routes, with significantly different results. Many countries in Europe have adopted a less harsh view on their drug laws, and have done well. In these countries, drug use is treated as a health problem, and not as a social issue. Drugs are widely tolerated in small amounts, and for the people who do have a problem, and who are dealt with, they are treated for possible addiction or psychological problems. The vast majority of people are able to deal with their own drug use responsibly, and don't need a big brother watching every pill they take, every plant they grow, or every aspect of their personal life.