In the last fifteen years, the "War on Drugs" has led to a large increase in the incarceration of individuals due to drug use. Drug-related convictions have increased at a faster rate than convictions for violent crimes (Reid, 2000). The severity of the epidemic is obvious in California where 75% of incarcerated individuals are there due to drug-related convictions. As the drug problem worsens, police find themselves shifting their focus away from violent and serious property crimes. In addition, the influx of drug-related convicts has caused the parole rate for other inmates to increase, sending violent criminals away from prison prior to their sentenced release date. Obviously, illegal drugs carry a large economic and social burden to our society. Billions of dollars are spent annually on incarceration, prevention and rehabilitation for users.
Hampson '02, Katherine, "The Demand for Marijuana, Cocaine, and Heroin" (2002). Honors Projects. 28.