The Ongoing Failure Of The US War On Drugs In One Map

We have covered how the U.S. war on drugs, which began in 1971, has been a catastrophic failure and is ultimately unwinnable.

A map and corresponding research from the 2013 World Drug Report from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) illustrates this point. 

The report states that North America accounted for 69% of global herb seizures in 2011, and yet the availability of marijuana in the U.S. appears to have increased.

The U.S. attributes the increase to continually high levels of production in Mexico as well as increased domestic cannabis cultivation.  


The UNODC notes that 2009 was the first year ever that the amount seized in the U.S. exceeded the amount seized by the Mexican authorities. This suggests that not only is the U.S. curbing the flow of marijuana from Mexico, but it also faces increased production at home.

In the last decade, cartels have conquered Mexico and infiltrated so deeply into the U.S. that in February Sinaloa kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was named Chicago’s first Public Enemy No.1 since Al Capone.

The UNODC map corresponds with this map from  the Justice Department’s National Drug Threat Assessment 2011:


America’s stringent drug laws — outside of Colorado and Washington — have also catalyzed an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in addition to a dangerous spike in the use of meth and fake weed.

They have also packed U.S. prisons — Lousiana is the prison capital of the world — and created an prison-industrial complex that is out of control.

Looking at the numbers, it’s almost as if we intentionally brought these problems upon ourselves

Nevertheless, the fact  that Colorado and Washington state are first places in the world to completely legalise marijuana provides a way forward.

The top advisor to incoming Mexican president Peña Nieto said that the weed legalization in Colorado and Washington “changes the rules of the game” in the war on drugs as it turns America’s crusade against weed on its head.

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