Economics of Drug Policy and the Drug War

36. Economics - Data - 2008 - 4-11-10

(Costs of Juvenile Justice System) "Approximately 93,000 young people are held in juvenile justice facilities across the United States.1 Seventy percent of these youth are held in state-funded, post adjudication, residential facilities, at an average cost of $240.99 per day per youth.2"

Justice Policy Institute, "The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense," (Washington, DC: May 2009), p. 1.

37. Mexican Marijuana Imports to the US

"• Mexican DTOs’ gross revenues from moving marijuana across the border into the United States and selling it to wholesalers is likely less than $2 billion, and our preferred estimate is closer to $1.5 billion. This figure does not include revenue from DTO production and distribution in the United States, which is extremely difficult to estimate with existing data.
"• The ubiquitous claim that 60 percent of Mexican DTO export revenues come from U.S. marijuana consumption (Fainaru and Booth, 2009; Yes on 19, undated) should not be taken seriously. No publicly available source verifies or explains this figure and subsequent analyses revealed great uncertainty about the estimate (GAO, 2007). Our analysis— though preliminary on this point—suggests that 15–26 percent is a more credible range of the share of drug export revenues attributable to marijuana."

Kilmer, Beau; Caulkins, Jonathan P.; Bond, Brittany M.; and Reuter, Peter H., "Reducing Drug Trafficking Revenues and Violence in Mexico: Would Legalizing Marijuana in California Help?" International Programs and Drug Policy Research Center (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, October 2010), p. 3.

38. Treatment - 3-16-10

"Domestic enforcement costs 4 times as much as treatment for a given amount of user reduction, 7 times as much for consumption reduction, and 15 times as much for societal cost reduction."

Rydell, C.P. & Everingham, S.S., Controlling Cocaine, Prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the United States Army (Santa Monica, CA: Drug Policy Research Center, RAND Corporation, 1994), p. xvi.

39. Drug-Related Public Expenditures in the EU


"Economic analysis can be an important tool for policy evaluation, although the limited information available on drug-related public expenditure in Europe represents a major obstacle and makes comparison between countries difficult. For the 16 countries that have produced estimates since 2002, drug-related public expenditure ranges from 0.01% to 0.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP). From the information available, it appears that the largest share of drug-related public expenditure is allocated to drug supply reduction activities (Figure 4.4).
"Public expenditure on supply reduction includes, among other things, expenditure on drug-law offenders in prisons. The EMCDDA calculated a range of estimates, where the low estimate considers only those prisoners who have been sentenced for a drug-law offence and the high estimate also includes pre-trial prisoners who may be sentenced for a drug-law offence. Applying these criteria, European countries spent an estimated 0.03% of GDP, or EUR 3.7 billion, on drug-law offenders in prison in 2010. Including pre-trial prisoners, the estimate rises to 0.05% of GDP or EUR 5.9 billion."

European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, "European Drug Report 2014: Trends and Developments" (Lisbon, Portugal: EMCDDA, 2014), p. 70.

40. Drug Control Expenditures Through the 1990s

"The most recent figures available from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) indicate that, in 1999, federal expenditures on control of illegal drugs surpassed $17 billion; combined expenditures by federal, state, and local governments exceeded $30 billion. What is more, the nation's so-called 'drug war' is a protracted one. The country has spent roughly this amount annually throughout the 1990s."

National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, "Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don't Know Keeps Hurting Us" (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), p. 1.