ABOUT THIS SITE: OVERVIEW
As we define "the drug war," it does NOT include education, prevention or treatment.
The drug war has attempted to co-opt these important tools and made them less effective. 
Money is being spent in ways that are up to 23 times less effective than available alternatives. We are making remarkably bad investment decisions. 
For details, see: Drug War Defined
The drug war has good intentions which we all share; everyone would like to minimize drug abuse and the devastation it can bring. But policy makers cannot continue to avoid accountability for miserable results simply by repeating their good intentions.
A well informed public is essential to a democracy. But the public has been more misinformed than well informed about drug policy.  A major goal of DPFT is to help promote the open debate and discussion that will help to correct that problem.
In 2002, DPFT helped the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University to organize its international conference on drug policy, Moving Beyond the "War on Drugs." For two days, experts and officials from around the world presented the facts and a variety of possible improvements.
This site draws on those insights and those of hundreds of other highly respected and well informed people who are severe critics of the drug war.
See: Voices For Reform and Public Letter
The scientific information and basic assumptions that drive the criticism often directly contradict "conventional wisdom" and political rhetoric that generate irrational fears of reasonable change. The facts about drugs, addicts and addiction are quite different from what the public has been led to believe.
See: Science Versus Mythology and Change
Analysts regularly warn that special interests who derive power, profits and employment from the continuation of the drug war are a major force against change.  Public awareness of the enormity of the problem is low.
See: Follow The Money
The Fundamental Argument
In broad terms, many critics would present this framework of four basic statements :
* The drug war has been a grotesque failure.  It has provided no significant benefits. Rather than stopping the problem of drug abuse from growing worse, it may well have contributed to making it worse.
See: Drug War Failure
* The unintended side effects of the drug war have caused massive damage.  This includes increased risks for our young, the death of thousands of totally innocent victims and added misery for hundreds of millions more.
See: Moral Dilemma
* Reasonable alternatives exist  that would eliminate a huge portion of the damage now being caused by the drug war. Greater citizen involvement and pressure will almost certainly be required to make these changes.
DPFT has speakers available across the state.
The U.S. has spent over a trillion dollars on the drug war since Richard Nixon coined the term. We spend billions more every year. All this money goes into someone’s pocket. Other people, bureaucracies and industries that do not get payments but are given favored treatment are also enriched.
Some vested interests are obvious such as the drug testing industry which likely would not exist outside a medical setting except for the war on drugs. Others are less apparent.
International banks earn millions laundering drug trafficking organizations’ cash.
The pharmaceutical industry earns billions because cannabis cannot compete with its products for pennies on the dollar.
Aircraft manufacturers make millions selling helicopters and other aircraft to the military and to foreign countries for use in drug interdiction operations.
Police departments compete for a multi-billion dollar pool of federal anti-drug grants.
Since enactment of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget has increased from $220 million in to $6.1 billion. The private prison industry has become extremely lucrative as has the business of selling products and services to prisons.
A much more comprehensive discussion of vested interests can be found on page 1 of this site in Drug War: How We Got Into This Mess and the Vested Interests That Keep Us Here, a slide show by Suzanne Wills. The slide show can also be found at https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D804696_126080_652346.
Suzanne has also produced a series of newsletters for the Dallas League Of Women Voters.
Click here for index by topic.