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Basic Facts About the War on Drugs

16. Would "legalization" cost more than it saves?

No. The best analysis done to date by any Federal official shows that "legalization" of the now illegal drugs would result in a net $37 Billion annual savings. This estimate is considered conservative. That is, it is likely that the savings would be more.

Federal Financial Analysis of Legalization of Drugs

This Federal financial analysis of legalization comes from Theodore R. Vallance, Former chief of the Planning Branch of the National Institutes of Mental Health. His main professional effort for many years was directed at just this sort of analysis. The analysis was published in the 7-10-95 issue of National Review.

Reductions (in millions of $)           From            To              Saving  
Law Enforcement                        13,203          3,300           9,903
*Interdiction costs                     2,200           0               2,200
*International anti-drug                768             384             384
*OCDETF (Organized Crime & Drug         399             40              359
          Enforcement Task Force)
ONDCP (the "drug czar")                  69              17              52
Victims of Crime                        842             210             632
Incarceration                           4,434           887             3,547
Crime careers                           13,976          2,679           11,297
Subtotal                                                                28,374
Less increase in prevention research and service                        (3,572)
Less increase in treatment research and service                         (2,802)
Subtotal                                                                22,000
Plus net income from drug taxes                                         15,000
Total                                                                   37,000

*1993 Figures.

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