"Drug Bless America"

Tyler Durden's picture

America’s and the world’s appetite for drugs is insatiable. Billions upon billions of dollars have been spent on both the consumption of illicit drugs and fighting the war on drugs.

At first glance as an investor, you probably don’t think this affects you (that is, if you don’t use or sell drugs). But a closer look will reveal the enormous economic impact that the war on drugs has on America. Prepare yourself for some very alarming numbers.

Since 1971, the United States has spent $1,000,000,000,000 on the war on drugs. If you have a hard time reading that enormous number, it’s 1 TRILLION dollars! There are an estimated 500,000 inmates incarcerated for drug related charges. At an annual cost of $25,000 per inmate, that equates to $12.6 billion a year. America spends 58% less money to educate a child than it does to keep an inmate behind bars. The next generation (who will be future consumers) is suffering and is being heavily disadvantaged.

On the consumption side, the numbers are just as incredible. The estimated annual value of the cocaine market is $88 billion. For Heroine, it is $55 billion. The average cocaine addict will spend $25,000 per year to fuel their habit and the average heroine addict will spend $18,000.

These massive sums of money could be spent on much more productive things. The USA has been struggling financially for years now, to the point where a major city like Detroit had to declare bankruptcy. The enormous amount of money that is spent untaxed on drugs is mind boggling, and the large majority of it goes out of the country. Can you imagine if these wasted dollars could be used to fuel its growth or pay back its astronomical debt?

The first step of rehab is to admit there is a problem. Spending over a trillion dollars and incarcerating hundreds of thousands is definitely that. The next step is finding a way to solve it – we’re open to ideas.


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Source: rehabs.com

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max2205's picture

Hey what do you want, it's helping out the GDP....right?


I only bang hookers when I'm high....double GDP booster. 

Pooper Popper's picture

Omar:Alright! Alright, big man? You wanna make some big bucks? Lets see how tough you are. Do you know something 'bout cocaine?

Tony Montana: You kidding me or what?


You know what capitalism is? Getting fucked!

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Those are some crazy numbers, but he lost me in a couple places. I don't think there should be a department of education, or the fed govt in charge of 'educating' our kids. Or that the problem with all this is that it isn't taxed. This almost reads like a primer for when we join Europe and start counting this shit as part of our GDP. Also, the biggest reason all that shit is so expensive is that it's illegal. It's not that difficult to make, they make literally tons o it down there, it's just difficult to get it into the US, you you are paying a several hundred % markup on what it was cost just because its illegal. Looks at how much these guys are already losing just because marijuana is illegal in a few states. But we will keep fighting, and losing, this 'war' because its too profitable for certain highly places people and corporations to stop. And I hope the cartels send our elected officials some nice gifts around the holidays for keeping prohibition I place and making their businesses so profitable.

Think Like A Crook's picture

Yes, this is stupid.

 "America spends 58% less money to educate a child than it does to keep an inmate behind bars"...what education?  You mean indoctrination, right? 

But it's for the kids...so they will grow up, follow orders and be good little debt slaves all the while fretting over their "credit score"

Ignatius's picture

The phony "War on Drugs" (and "terror") due to its outsized profits is funding our enslavement.

yellowsub's picture

Your use of "it's" vs "its" only proves that.

+1 for not spelling ridiculous as rediculous, also "redonkolous" would have been acceptable too.

ZerOhead's picture

Only drugs can adequately explain Washington's policies in Iraq.

I mean how else can you explain that in Iraq... we find ourselves allied against our new allies in Syria with our old Iranian enemies?


post turtle saver's picture

In GOD We Trust

(Gold Oil Drugs)

Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

As a quick side story to how fucked up and corrupt the USA is. My wife's best friend has a younger sibling who is a veteran. He did two tours in Afghanistan. Nice guy, little slow, but knows how to fix everything under the sun.

Anyway he got a job working for J&J in Delaware. He works with dozens and dozens of other veterans who have been hired by J&J since their return home. Guess what they do. Work the line mixing the poppy seeds from the fields of Afghanistan into oxy's for the pharmaceutical companies. When he told me the story my jaw literally hit the floor.

countupir's picture

Why so surprised?  Someone has to do it.  Equal work for equal pay.  Oh, you thought the CIA wouldn't let a big corp in on their cash crop?  Let me let you in on something that might equally shock you; the CIA doesn't pay taxes or bribe politicians, J&J does.  Now shoot politicians, ok this is something the CIA might end up doing from time to time.

Now what would be shocking is if J&J are the only pharm in town getting in on that sweet .GOV sanctioned action.

General Decline's picture

The war in Afghanistan was never about terrorism.

Signed - Mr. Obvious

rubiconsolutions's picture

There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution” -Aldous Huxley, 1961 

The_Dude's picture

One's already here....Devil's Breath....scary shit...


Humankind will likely destroy itself ...just a question of how.

TheAntiGov's picture

I noticed the pot price is tied to the oil price.

Rootin' for Putin's picture

If the cartels insisted in being paid in Renminbi then Obummer would push the button under the desk to release the drones.

IridiumRebel's picture

Decriminalize the shit...and I am a recovering addict. United States of Prison needs to chill.

logicalman's picture

I'm a recovering nicotine addict.

Nasty drug, nicotine.

Tried most things, only N got me.

IridiumRebel's picture

I've done everything but inject heroin which is prolly why I'm still alive....thank God I hate needles. Nicotine was as tough as any to quit.

notquantumdum's picture

I never have and never will voluntarily use H, but once in a hospital, just before I went under for some surgery, I was able to experience fentanyl for about 2 minutes before I was unconscious (I asked the anesthesiologist to tell me what drugs he was administering before the surgery).

Shortly after he injected the fentanyl, I remember thinking, very distinctly, "Oh!  So THAT'S WHY people become addicted to heroin!"

It felt sort of like a slow motion, warm-all-over, constantly building but never really peaking, total body orgasm, for lack of a better way to describe it.  And, fentanyl is supposed to be less euphoric than heroin despite being may times more powerful by weight:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl

Trust me.  Don't ever try H or any of the other related opioids unless you want to have a very high probability of your personal survival rate dropping to zero.

monkeyshine's picture

On a long enough time line, everyone's survival rate drops to zero...

El Vaquero's picture

Yessir, nicotine is tough to kick.  I've been on e-cigs for quite a while.  I'm sure they're bad for me, but not nearly as bad as tobacco. 


OT:  I went into a local e-cig shop today and the owner was in there.  First time he had been there when I was.  He had a Springfield XD tactical chambered in .45ACPl on his hip.  I showed him that I was carrying an XD in 357 SIG, then told him that I like it when I walk in to a local shop and see the owner with a gun on his hip.  He told me that most of the other e-cig shops had been robbed before, but not his.  Oddly enough, neither of us shot each other and we didn't shoot any innocent bystanders either.  We talked and joked, and *ghasp* got along!  Our evil guns didn't have the effect of making us want to kill each other.  Imagine that.

Abitdodgie's picture

Try to stop smoking meth thats hard.

studfinder's picture

I've heard that about meth.  A cop told me its one of the worst drugs he's seen (when it comes to addiction). 


Haven't tried anything.  Pot,coke,heroin...  dark chocolate is my addiction ...and porno.

NeedtoSecede's picture

El Vaq,

I wonder who gave you the red arrow, and why?  I see your experiences and your opinions in your post, but some miserable troll was "offended" enough to give you a down arrow. WTF?

+1 for Springfield XDs

OldPhart's picture

Fuck it. 

I'm sticking to my cigs and booze.  Never liked the taste of mary jane (tastes like smoking alfalfa, which I've also tried).  Other drugs had no interest for me... just not my thing, if it's yours have at it but do it without hurting anyone else.

We're all going to die anyway, pick your poison.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"The estimated annual value of the cocaine market is $88 billion. For Heroine, it is $55 billion."

And all just to support the CIA's black budget income needs.

FeralSerf's picture

I would have guessed that more than $55 billion was spent on them.


heroine [her-oh-in]
a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.
the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.

ebworthen's picture

I smoked and snorted my share back in the day.

Damn Cocaine was too expensive, and enjoyable. 

Couple hours and you just wanted more, then more.

$20 of pot would last me weeks, and made me relaxed, hungry, and horny.  I drank less beer and booze, and stayed at home. 

Pot should be legal; it is not a "gateway" drug anymore than e-cigarettes are a "gateway" to smoking cigarettes.  Dumbest thing I ever heard.

nmewn's picture

Oh, shit, drug stories ;-)

For myself, I didn't like coke, did it cuz everyone else did it. Good times till dawn but the hangover (combined with alcohol and everything else will make you talk to God the next day...lol). I was always a downer guy. Ludes, seconal etc.

Pot should be decriminalized in my opinion, not legalized, so the state doesn't grow larger and other arms/branches because of the revenue...never a good thing if you think about it.

Also, if I would have never smoked pot I never would have met people who did heroin or coke or acid etc...so, there is some truth to the gateway thing.

Sayin, been there...pot by itself is nothing.

logicalman's picture

Pot brought me into contact with psychedelics.

For me, that was a good thing.

Cathartes Aura's picture

for some minds, plants hold much information.

particularly when approached with respect.

prains's picture

really a couple well chilled Fat Tire IPA's and life is good. No lung rot, can still evade capture with some form of fitness......its' all about perspective.

El Vaquero's picture

I'll give a qualified disagreement that pot is not a gateway drug.  The qualification?  You have to hang around with people who do/sell hader drugs in order to buy pot in many instances, and thus are more likely to be exposed to those drugs when purchasing/smoking pot.  On top of that, pot is considered to be pure fucking evil by government laws, and if you look at your average person that trusts (or did trust) the government, and that government treats cocaine less severely than pot (cocaine has been deemed to have legatimite medical uses, pot has not, according to fed gov,) how bad can the other drugs be, in the eyes of your average person? In other words, it is the prohibition of pot that makes it more likely that somebody who smokes a lot of it will have opportunities and temptations to try drugs that actually are worse for them. 


But yeah, if people were allowed to grow a few plants in their back yard and smoke out, I think they'd ask for the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream rather than the heroine or meth. 

OldPhart's picture

Drug dealer two doors down has been in the neighborhood for 12 years.

Sells weed, whole neighborhood knows.  No one on this street has ratted him out.

Though a couple of weeks ago I had six sheriff's cruisers in my yard and driveway when they came to my house to bust him.  Luckily for us all, they realized they had the wrong house before they kicked in the door.

And where I sit I have a .45 with 7 full magazines with frangible shells, a loaded 12 gauge, and a .357 with eight speed-loaders...kicking in my door would have killed at least three officers and myself, possibly my wife also.

Apparently one of his customers didn't like the asking price and turned him in (whatever happened to haggling?)


you enjoy myself's picture

the "gateway" argument has always been absurd.  i always counter that its like arguing that HS football is a "gateway" to the NFL.  of course a hardcore heroin junkie has almost certainly smoked pot earlier in life.

ebworthen's picture

Agree.  They probably had unprotected non-monogamous sex and ate some fatty foods along the way too.  ;-)

I can't abide fallacious correlations.

Chuck Walla's picture

I have to disagree on the gateway drug thing. Every dead junkie I ever knew started that way. Nobody just jumps to junk, not even the girl friend witnout a few tokes. My pal I got hep c from blew his head off just 2 years back. Dead at 58, the pain just hurt so bad. I just got my HCV cured, now it's just cirrhosis to manage. Everybody else is dead or soon will be. No, it's gateway alright. Everything I've seen tells me so.


mt paul's picture

milk is a gate way liquid

every alcoholic started at moms breast

nmewn's picture

Statist=Tax it! Capitalist=Trade it! Keynesian=Consume It!

q99x2's picture

Caught this article just as I'm headed out the door to AA. The q99x2...we don't drink alcohol. I never told them at the meetings that I'm from another planet. I think they've figured it out though. Anyhow, Like putin said about the nuclear shield being not for protection from Iran, The Bankers troops aren't in Afghanistan to protect anything except Kerry's and the Queen's poppy fields. Mercenaries are they.

FeralSerf's picture

The Constitution did NOT give the federal government the power to criminalize drug sale or consumption.

See the 10th Amendment.

cynicalskeptic's picture

The Constitution also did NOT give the Federal Government the power to ........ fill in the innumerable blanks.  

Keep in mind that ALL powers not specifically given to the Federal Government were reserved for STATES.   bwahaaaaaaaaaaa........

FeralSerf's picture

Not ALL powers:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Cathartes Aura's picture

corporations exist for profits.

there is much profiteering in criminalizing things, and policing cultures tends to increase over time, as new laws are added.

Ghordius's picture

not only corporations have to profit. intelligence agencies also feel the urge to make a buck, from time to time, mostly so that they can fund their blackest ops

see Afghanistan's poppy fields

FeralSerf's picture

They don't call the CIA "The Company" for nothing.

Cathartes Aura's picture

"intelligence agencies" are part of a larger criminal enForce, and making "a buck" via providing the "illegal substances" assists the for-profit prison systems, helps the argument to over-arm the local police-drones with "old" MIC leftover manufactured weaponry, not to mention giving volunteer uniformed soldiers something to do when spending a decade in

afghanistan's poppy fields.

it's all part of their system, none of this is compart-mentalised, if one truly opens the mind.

Think Like A Crook's picture

The government always wants to tax the shit out of you and throw money at the perceived problem, without ever asking, why in the hell do people feel the need to escape so bad anyway?

We all know it's big business and about control.

Sathington Willougby's picture


It's self evident Amercuh is on drugs, they seem to really believe there's two parties.

They also bleeve our troops protect freedom.

They bleeve votes count.

They bleeve "scientific opinion" climate change threatens all.

The bleeve peak oil.

They bleeve overpopulation.

They bleeve wampum.

They bleeve all sorts of nonsense disseminated from a criminal cartel. 

Things they don't believe:

The golden rule.

Mind your own damn business.

Don't steal.

Don't kill.

Don't lie.

Don't spy.


My cuntry tis of thee.