More Americans are imprisoned on drug charges than what Western Europe (with a bigger population) locks up for all offenses. This unprecedented mass incarceration has imposed an emormous burden on US taxpayers.

The federal government faces multi-trillion dollar budget deficits and warns of reductions in social services, education, and the environment. The federal anti-drug budget, however, will increase by 4.7% this fiscal year to $12.468 billion dollars.

From 1984 to 1996, California built 21 new prisons, and 1 new university. California state government expenditures on prisons increased 30% from 1987 to 1995, while spending on higher education decreased by 18%. This trend is echoed in every state of the nation.

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