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Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate

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Share links: drugwar, massincarceration, and majority. This article was written by Timeshifter. See charts and maps. See: Drug War, mandatory minimum sentencing, handguns.
US incarceration rate timeline

Let us not forget about the astronomical increase in the number of correctional officers, too. 469,500 in 2012. See: Correctional Officers : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. US incarceration peaked in 2008.


See: Number incarcerated in the USA peaked in 2008. And: Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA. And: Cost of U.S. drug war.

Incarceration Nation.. By Fareed Zakaria, Time magazine, April 02, 2012. "America's War on Drugs Drives High Incarceration Rates."

Drug war + Trickle-down Reaganomics, = mass incarceration and mass control.
See article: Trickle-down economics plus drug war.
The majority of people incarcerated in prisons and jails in the USA are in due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations. Wikipedia: Drug-related crime. The number of inmates in the USA has increased almost 5 times over since 1980. The USA has the highest incarceration rate of any nation b c (except for the tiny country of the Seychelles). Compare incarceration rates worldwide. The cost of the U.S. drug war is at least 1.5 trillion dollars. Cannabis is safer! Share link.

People in prisons and jails for drug-related crime Edit

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See also: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate.

489,000 in 2013 (see chart below). For drug offenses alone.

Does not count drug-related burglary, robbery, murder, etc. to get drug money, defend turf, etc..

How it happened Edit

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Chart below covers prison inmates only. See also: timeline combining prison and jail inmates.

State and federal prison incarceration rate timeline with highlights

Chart source: The Score: Why Prisons Thrive Even When Budgets Shrink. In The Nation. By Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert, September 24, 2014. Quote below from article (emphasis added):

Explosion in incarcerations since the 1980s. Under the "war on drugs," aggressive policing drove up the percentage of those in state prisons for drug offenses from 6.4 percent in 1980 to 22 percent in 1990. More minor drug charges made it easier for prosecutors to push felony charges by citing a defendant’s prior record. These convictions triggered harsh sentences under new guidelines like California’s "three strikes" law, passed during the same period. The enforcement of these punitive new laws was, and remains, racist: according to the ACLU, black people are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, though they are equally likely to use. This, in turn, makes black people vulnerable to the rest of the criminal-justice system.

See also: commons:File:U.S. incarceration rates 1925 onwards.png.

The drug war is a big cause of the high US incarceration rate. Also, the rest of the developed world has much lower rates of handgun ownership, and much lower murder rates. They never reached the levels of violence the USA did due to handguns and drug war. So they never had the clamoring of the far-right National Rifle Association (NRA) demanding mandatory minimum sentencing. Canada and Europe have long had much lower incarceration rates, better healthcare, and far fewer and shorter sentences for marijuana offenses.

Drug-related crime Edit

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See also: Drug war charts and maps. And: Brutality and the drug war.

Emphasis added to the quotes.

  • Prisons & Drug Offenders | Drug War Facts.
  • Drugs and Crime Facts. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics: "In 2004, 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. In 2002 about a quarter of convicted property and drug offenders in local jails had committed their crimes to get money for drugs, compared to 5% of violent and public order offenders. Among state prisoners in 2004 the pattern was similar, with property (30%) and drug offenders (26%) more likely to commit their crimes for drug money than violent (10%) and public-order offenders (7%). In federal prisons property offenders (11%) were less than half as likely as drug offenders (25%) to report drug money as a motive in their offenses."

Drug-related homicides Edit

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U.S. statistics for drug-related homicides are very inadequate.

Why Statistics on Drug-Related Crime are Difficult To Interpret: Homicide as an Example. ... The FBI does not include as drug-related a murder that occurs during a robbery or a burglary committed by someone under the influence of drugs or a murder that occurs during a robbery committed to obtain money to buy drugs. In these cases, the homicide is recorded by its relationship to the most serious offense only, and robbery and burglary are more serious than drug trafficking in the FBI offense classification and in most State laws. Thus, current FBI homicide information may not categorize a large number of drug-related murders as so related.
  • Drugs and Crime Facts. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Has drug-related homicide chart from 1987-2007, with rates of 3.9% to 7.4% for drug-related homicides. "The Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that in 2007, 3.9% of the 14,831 homicides in which circumstances were known were narcotics related. Murders that occurred specifically during a narcotics felony, such as drug trafficking or manufacturing, are considered drug related."
  • OPED: War Won't Solve the Drug Problem. July 15, 1999. Washington Post. By Rob Stewart, of the Drug Policy Foundation. "In 1988, just over half of the murders in the city [New York City] were 'drug-related.' But once the researchers examined the circumstances of the murders, they discovered that the clear majority, 74 percent, were results of the drug trade, not drug use (14 percent) or the need to get money for drugs (4 percent)."

Parole violations and drugs Edit

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16.1% of parole violators returned to state prisons in 1997 for drug related violations; for failing drug tests, possession of drugs, failing to report for drug testing, failing to report for alcohol or drug treatment. Info is from Table 21 (below) of the PDF for this report: Trends in State Parole, 1990-2000. NCJ 184735. October 2001. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

U.S. parole revocation reasons. 1997 stats
See image info.

Sentence length causes huge incarceration rate Edit

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American Exception. Inmate Count in US Dwarfs Other Nations'. April 22, 2008. New York Times. Page 1, section A, front page. Archive. From the article (emphasis added):

Still, it is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes American prison policy. Indeed, the mere number of sentences imposed here would not place the United States at the top of the incarceration lists. If lists were compiled based on annual admissions to prison per capita, several European countries would outpace the United States. But American prison stays are much longer, so the total incarceration rate is higher. ... "Rises and falls in Canada's crime rate have closely paralleled America's for 40 years," Mr. Tonry wrote last year. "But its imprisonment rate has remained stable."
Incarceration rates worldwide

See sourcing here. See charts and maps. Go here for latest incarceration rates for many nations. See Wikipedia list. See this category. Share link. See: Number incarcerated in the USA peaked in 2008.


US incarceration timeline

November Coalition graph. Some Congressmen and police who prosecuted the War on Drugs now believe it caused a large increase in the United States incarceration rate. See Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and larger chart with sources. See template. Incarceration peaked in 2008.


Mandatory Minimum sentences or truth in sentencing Edit

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See also: Drug War, mandatory minimum sentencing, NRA, and guns.
Some people don't know that the National Rifle Association had a large part in causing the huge increase in the U.S. incarceration rate. The NRA strongly lobbied state-by-state for mandatory minimum sentences (also known as "Truth in Sentencing"), and "Two and Three Strikes" laws. Mandatory-minimum sentences are the root cause of the astronomical US incarceration rate according to a New York Times article. The majority of people incarcerated in the U.S. are in prison or jail due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations. For more info see National Rifle Association and mandatory minimum sentencing. See template.

See Wikipedia: Mandatory sentencing. See also this page. Mandatory Minimum sentencing is often used for non-violent crimes such as drug possession. It is a modern-day way to create concentration camps for drug-using "undesirables." Sentences that usually do not allow parole until at least around 80% of the sentence served. Federal laws, and most states, have mandatory minimums. The majority of U.S. prisoners are in due to the drug war in some way or another.

See Wikipedia: War on Drugs, and Wikipedia: Sentencing Reform Act.

Life for pot Edit

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See main article: USA. Life for pot. See also: Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA.
Jeff Mizanskey 2015 Sep 1

Jeff Mizanskey 2015 Sep 1

Cannabis arrests Edit

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See: Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA.
U.S. cannabis arrests by year

More info, sources, data table.

Nixon and Reagan. War on Drugs Edit

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Nancy and Ronald 6 Wilson 6 Reagan 6 riding the drug war Beast in 1986. Note Nancy's "Just Say NO" sign. Larger image.
Just Say No. Nancy and Ronald Reagan 2

Republican evil, Democrat complicity, corporatist control: The Drug-War Industrial Complex.

Drug War Invented by Nixon to Extend His Power. By Fintan O'Toole. Aug. 13, 1999. Irish Times.

In June 1971 Richard Nixon declared a "War on Drugs."

Nixon victory stance
Tricky Dick Nixon (above) has won his drug war! The Prison-Industrial Complex. Corporatist Dictatorship. A Nixonian "enemies list" that almost everyone is on at some time.

Papa Bush's massive drug war escalation Edit

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Reagan, and propaganda of incarceration nations Edit

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Ronald Reagan, 1980 campaign speech 1: "Leading medical researchers are coming to the conclusion that marijuana, pot, grass, whatever you want to call it, is probably the most dangerous drug in the United States, and we haven't begun to find out all of the ill effects, but they are permanent ill effects. The loss of memory for example."
See quote at 1 minute 7 seconds into this video clip narrated by Woody Harrelson.
U.S. incarceration timeline 4

Obama helping turn around the Reagan-Bush War on Pot, mandatory minimums, and mass incarceration. See: US incarceration peaked in 2008.

Propaganda of incarceration nations. Reaganism is about drug war, code-word racism, hate radio, mass incarceration, and above all, trickle-down economics (Reaganomics).

Drug war + Trickle-down Reaganomics, = mass incarceration and mass control.
See article: Trickle-down economics plus drug war.
Just Say No. Nancy and Ronald Reagan 2

Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan of the USA. The "Just Say No" campaign.

Stalin and child

Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union.

S.A. brownshirt

S.A. brownshirts in Nazi Germany.

See Wikimedia Commons: Category:Government propaganda. Note the "glorious mission" or "glorious war" nature of much propaganda. Like the Republican-led Holy War, the "War on Drugs". See Wikipedia: War on Drugs. It is really a war on some drug users. This particular glorious war was reinvigorated by the cult leaders, Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The B-movie actor Ronald (6) Wilson (6) Reagan (6) is still worshiped like a God (or idol) by some segments of the Republican Party. "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." - Jean Giraudoux. French diplomat, dramatist, and novelist (1882 - 1944).

Welcome to America Edit

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"Welcome to America, home to 5% of the world's people & 25% of the world's prisoners." NAACP, ACLU File Lawsuit Against City of Philadelphia for Rejecting Criminal Justice Reform Ad. Article by NAACP. Lawsuit filed October 19, 2011 during the period of the Occupy movement. Also see the ad banner article by Courthouse News Service. The drug war and prisons are big business, and a big part of how the 1% controls the 99%. See Facebook comments about the banner. The Republican Party leads the racist drug war.

Incarceration peaked in the USA in 2008. <<--See that article for sources, stats, and charts for the banner. Most inmates are incarcerated due to the drug war.

USA. 25% of world&#039;s prisoners 3

Image info. See billboard and stats.

USA and territories. 2,424,279 inmates in 2008. ...
In 2008 with less than 5% of world population the USA had over 2.4 million of 9.8 million world prisoners (b). See latest numbers and World Prison Population List. The majority of inmates in the USA are in due to the drug war. The number of inmates in the USA has increased almost 5 times over since 1980. It peaked in 2008.
Chart below is from a July 2000 report:
USA versus Europe

From this July 2000 report: Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug Offenders in the United States.

From the report: "Nearly one in four persons (23.7%) imprisoned in the United States is currently imprisoned for a drug offense. The number of persons behind bars for drug offenses (458,131) is roughly the same as the entire prison and jail population in 1980 (474,368)."

Cannabis is safer Edit

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See longer article: Cannabis is safer.

Mitt Romney in July 2012 in New Hampshire 2

Obama on medical marijuana and drugs
Above quote is from Sanjay Gupta interview of Obama on April 15, 2015. Interview aired on CNN on April 19, 2015. [51][52][53].

U.S. incarceration timeline 4

Obama helping turn around the Reagan-Bush War on Pot, mandatory minimums, and mass incarceration. See: US incarceration peaked in 2008.

Obama alone can not reschedule it Edit

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Obama alone can not reschedule marijuana. [57] [58][59][60].

Pot Matters: For Legalization, Set Your Sights on the Senate. 23 Mar 2016. By Jon Gettman. "it will be helpful, and indeed crucial, for advancing legalization for Democrats to take control of the Senate."

2016 election and marches Edit

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See public opinion polls over time about cannabis.

2016 Global Marijuana March and 420 events. Public opinion wins elections. So get out and march!

Register and vote for cannabis in 2016.
Republicans are busy filing retrograde drug bills across the land. Republicans want to put a conservative drug warrior on the Supreme Court to replace Antonin Scalia, and to reinvigorate their drug war. Supreme Court rejects conservative challenge to Colorado marijuana law from Republican states. 2.

USA Today: 11 states least likely to legalize marijuana. Republican states across the nation.

Marijuana in the South: A State-by-State Guide. Republicans created a THC-free south.

Drug-war mass incarceration Edit

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America&#039;s mass incarceration
See: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate. And: Drug War, mandatory minimum sentencing, handguns. And: US incarceration peaked in 2008. And: Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA. And: List of countries and U.S. states by incarceration rate.
See articles: Cannabis prisoners and Drug war cost charts, infographics..
The majority of people incarcerated in prisons and jails in the USA are in due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations. Wikipedia: Drug-related crime. The number of inmates in the USA has increased almost 5 times over since 1980. The USA has the highest incarceration rate of any nation b c (except for the tiny country of the Seychelles). Compare incarceration rates worldwide. The cost of the U.S. drug war is at least 1.5 trillion dollars. Cannabis is safer! Share link.

Canadian single-payer healthcare and Edit

Portuguese drug decriminalization Edit

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See: Portugal. Cannabis-related links.
Canadian single-payer healthcare, and Portuguese drug decriminalization. On ballot in 2016: ColoradoCare. 2. It would cover all residents and cost less than the current system. One primary payer, and no deductibles and no co-pays. See: Business people for Single-payer Healthcare. Fed up with uncontrollable costs of U.S. healthcare. Save trillions of dollars.
  • Canada has saved trillions of dollars by eliminating the middleman, the health insurance companies.
Canada's single-payer universal healthcare costs less per person than U.S. healthcare. 2.3.4.5.. For more countries and charts: 6.7.. And the USA has lower average life expectancy than the OECD average (OECD = developed economies). 8.. Click chart to enlarge:
Average total healthcare spending (public and private) per person for various developed nations

Healthcare cost by nation

Green love Edit

Return to top. The Global Marijuana March is the first Saturday in May. The first Saturday in May is also World Naked Gardening Day. [61]. But, be safe!

Republicans think they can spend an infinite amount of money (many trillions of dollars) on health-insurance-company-based healthcare, and have an infinite number of babies, to feed their appetite for endless ground wars, and for more inmates for more prisons for more drug war.
Population milestones
Green love
As with cannabis legalization Colorado leads the way.. More info. 2.3..
Colorado birth control
Facebook comments.

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