Controversial Marijuana Facts: Is The U.S. Wasting Taxpayer’s Money? [Opinion]

The amount of money, time, and resources the U.S. government spends on the war on drugs each year is ridiculous.

While there is no denying some drugs can destroy a community, marijuana really shouldn’t be on that list. The truth is we’ve reached a point where more and more states are making the decision to legalize marijuana. And yet, for some reason, the U.S. federal government still thinks they are justified to set aside a massive reserve of money for fighting the war against marijuana.

Does the U.S. government waste money fighting marijuana? [Image by azure1/ShutterStock]

Now, there’s no denying there are things we just don’t know about marijuana. The strict laws and regulations against marijuana – especially in the United States – tends to make it difficult for scientists to conduct the necessary research and studies for us to learn more.

We do, however, know a lot. In fact, there are some known and somewhat controversial facts about marijuana that no one wants to talk about. Why does no one want to talk about these controversial facts? Well, for starters, it is because they are controversial. You mix that in with the fact that many of the controversial facts only seem to strengthen why marijuana should be legal – and thus you have the reason no one wants to talk about it.

I, however, do want to talk about these controversial marijuana facts. Why? Well, because I think the U.S. government spending so much money, time, and resources on fighting marijuana is ridiculous.

Exactly How Much Money Is The U.S. Government Wasting On Fighting Marijuana?

Taxpayer’s money – your money – serves a lot of different purposes. It helps fight the war on drugs, and it helps fight criminal activities. The U.S. government funnels this money – again, your money – to a number of different private prison companies and law enforcement organizations. The question we really should be asking is simple – is the U.S. government doing a good job spending the taxpayer’s money?

Marijuana leaf on coins. [Image by underworld/ShutterStock] recently released a report that does a pretty exceptional job of breaking down just how much money the U.S. government is wasting in an attempt to fight the war on drugs. I would like to take a closer look at some of the findings in the report.

Drug Control

When I learned exactly how much money the U.S. government spent on “drug control” each year, it knocked me off my feet. Since 2008 – in the last eight years and two months – the United States has spent a grand total of $213,489,400,000 on drug control.

Yes, you read that correctly. In eight years and two months, they’ve spent just shy of $213.5 billion – your taxpaying dollars – on drug control. According to the report on, this ridiculous amount of money went towards “National Drug Control Strategy efforts.”

In case you are wondering what that means, it means the U.S. government spent $213.5 billion taxpayer dollars on law enforcement drug prevention, drug treatment, and drug trafficking. Give the ridiculous amount of money that is, why is it that we haven’t won the war against drugs yet?

Personally, I think a large part of the problem is the billions of dollars the U.S. government wastes fighting marijuana. Marijuana isn’t the drug that’s killing people and destroying communities. So, why are they wasting so much of our money every year fighting against it?

What Else Could We Have Spent That Money On?

Did you know $213.5 billion could have paid for 21,348,940 years of college tuition instead? While this calculation was made using a tuition cost of $10,000 per year (and I know some college tuition costs more and some costs less), that’s 21 million years of college the money could have paid for instead.

Or, $213.5 billion could be used to purchase 2,134,894 houses for low-income families. That’s a little more than 2.1 million houses with an average cost of $100,000 per house.

Marijuana on top of some money. [Image by Doug Shutter/ShutterStock]

Again, I have to ask, why are we wasting all of this money on fighting drugs?

Is The War On Drugs Even Making Any Progress?

In the last few years, the war on drugs has been in pretty hot water. You would think – logically anyway – that the amount of money needed to fight the way on drugs would go down as we moved forward with the fight. But, that isn’t the case at all. In the last few years – during Obama’s presidency – the amount of money the U.S. government has used to spend on drug control has doubled. We are only two months into 2017, and they’ve already wasted $31 billion!

What exactly is our government spending all of that money on? More importantly, what is the amount of money needed going up each year? If the money was being effectively spent, shouldn’t they need less of it instead of more?

Every Inmate Costs You Heavily

Did you know that you pay roughly $30,000 per year for every federal inmate in prison on a drug-related charge? With nearly 100,000 federal inmates in prison because of a drug-related charge – that’s nearly $30 billion the government is spending just on putting these individuals in prison every year.

Instead of paying for those 100,000 federal inmates that $30 billion could have paid for 3 million years of college or 300,000 of the $100,000 houses for low-income families. That $30 billion could also be used to pay the electric bill of 221 million Americans, according to Cheat Sheet.

By this point, I sincerely hope you have opened your eyes to how much money the U.S. government is wasting fighting the war on drugs. If a drug like marijuana were legalized, the government would spend less money fighting drugs, and maybe they could make some real progress.

More to the point, I think someone needs to do some investigating and confirm every penny of that money is actually being spent on drug control. Why exactly does the government need more and more money each year to continue to fight this war?

Please share your thoughts with me on this in the comment’s section found down below.

[Featured Image by ShutterstockProfessional/ShutterStock]

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