War on Drugs: The Siphon

As a criminal defense attorney based out of Tulsa, OK I have seen first hand the money that the War on Drugs siphons away from our schools, healthcare, and other much more important programs. Oklahoma’s archaic drug laws cost this state millions, if not billions, of dollars per year. From the money that we pay officers to arrest non-violent drug offenders to the money we pay public defenders and other court appointed attorneys to represent these individuals to the money that it costs to incarcerate these non-violet offenders… this is the siphon. Most offenders charged with drug crimes are not gang or cartel members they are simply people with a problem yet we continue to incarcerate them at tax payer expense. These individuals are generally guilty of nothing more than simple possession and of making poor life decisions. Yet we lock them up at a staggering cost to the public and provide no treatment to try and battle the addiction that led them to prison. This stance insures that the person will most likely reoffend when they are released into the public in worse shape than when they went into prison.
The war on drugs takes money from education, road work and many other essential programs in the state of Oklahoma and around the country. If we were to decriminalize drugs, or at least make simple possession only a ticket and a fine, the siphon would end and our state would be better off financially than ever before.