The War On Drugs Cannot Be Won

If you like this post, please share it with the Facebook button above. Thanks – TREE

My name is Tree Trujillo and I’m asking for your vote in the 2012 Presidential Election.
I probably won’t be winning any national party conventions, so just write me in on your ballot.

In my first act as President of the United States I will Legalize all drugs!

Yes, you heard me right. ALL DRUGS! LEGAL!

The reality is, the War on Drugs is f#cking stupid. We need to wake up and realize, THE WAR ON DRUGS CANNOT BE WON.

Apparently I am not alone in this epiphany. A CNN poll reported that 74% of American voters believe that the drug war is failing.

But how can we possibly be failing?

We are talking about a war that consumes an estimated $54.14 billion dollars per year of tax payer money, which is, incidentally, almost enough to pay for universal health care. That’s $1,716.77 each and every second of 2011. This war exacts an estimated $70 billion a year from consumers, is responsible for nearly 50% of the Americans in jail, occupies an estimated 50% of the trial time of our judiciary, and takes the time of 400,000 policemen. And things are getting worse, not better.

Wow, where are we going wrong? How can we be losing this war?

Michael said it best…

“We cannot win the War on Drugs because the enemy — is us — the American family.” – The Drug Czar Michael Douglas, Traffic

We make rigid laws to protect ourselves from ourselves, but why aren’t they working? Let´s do a quick comparison. The Netherlands has some of the most liberal drug laws in the world and we have the toughest. How do we stack up…

Cannabis use (ever used):

19% in the Netherlands
41% in the U.S.

Cocaine use (ever used):

2.6% in the Netherlands
14.7% in the U.S.

Heroin addicts as a percentage of population:

160 per 100,000 in the Netherlands
430 per 100,000 in the U.S.

Murder rate as a percentage of population:

1.8 per 100,000 in the Netherlands
8.22 per 100,000 in the U.S.

Incarceration rate as a percentage of population:
73 per 100,000 in the Netherlands
645 per 100,000 in the U.S.

Per capita spending on drug-related law enforcement:
$27 per capita in the Netherlands
$81 per capita in the U.S.

It’s embarrassing how bad we suck. We have 5% of the worlds population yet we consume 60% of the world´s illegal drugs. Something is wrong people.

The truth is, this is not a hard problem to fix. It just requires that we let go of the fear that binds us to this predicament.

As President of the United States, here is exactly how I will solve the drug problem.

1) I will legalize all drugs immediately. The production, sale, and use of drugs will be regulated like alcohol and tobacco.

Note: The only way to eliminate the violence of the drug trade is full legalization. How many alcohol bootleggers do you see shooting up the streets these days?

2) I will make it illegal for companies to advertise drugs, period.

3)All drug sales will be heavily taxed and 100% of the revenue will go to FREE drug rehabilitation and to job training for recovering addicts.

Note: the Clinton administration ordered a major cocaine study by the Rand Drug Policy Research Center that concluded treatment is the cheapest and fastest way to massively reduce drug use and demand.

4) I will immediately release all non-violent drug offenders from jail and put them into drug treatment programs. According to the American Corrections Association, this will save an estimated $6,186,127,675 per year. I will put 100% of that savings toward law enforcement and incarceration of real, violent criminals.

Note: 1.5 million Americans are arrested for drug offenses every year. Roughly 700,000 of those people are arrested for marijuana and 500,000 are imprisoned. That is beyond ridiculous. It’s INSANE.

5) I will immediately reallocate the governments $54.14 billion dollar drug war budget as follows…

40%to an aggressive preventative drug education campaign, specifically targeted toward youth. If we spent this amount of money on preventative education, we would all but eradicate the drug culture in 5-10 years.

30% to building viable and sustainable economic opportunities in poor neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the US. When people have hope and opportunity, they will usually choose that over joining a gang and being killed in a drive-by shooting.

30% to building viable and sustainable economic opportunities in the poor drug producing countries of the world. (Afghanistan, Mexico, Colombia, etc).

Note: Currently in the U.S. financial aid package to Colombia, 78% of the funds go to military operations as opposed to economic and social projects. We need to understand that military violence will not deter a man from joining a drug cartel to feed his family.

As a matter of fact, the US Defense Department funded a two year study which found that the use of the armed forces to interdict drugs coming into the United States would have minimal or no effect on cocaine traffic and might, in fact, raise the profits of drug cartels and manufacturers. Nevermind the untold suffering that this military war wreaks on innocent civilians.

In conclusion, I believe that my plan will dramatically reduce the drug and violence problem in a few short years. What do we have to lose by trying something new? We already know the Drug War is a disaster. We can solve this problem through education, treatment, and economic opportunity. It’s really not that complicated right? It just requires thinking about the problem with our brain instead of reacting with more violence.

If you believe in me, I’m asking for your vote. (Simko, you’re my best friend so you have to vote for me. You don’t have a choice.)

If you don’t believe in me, I’d love to hear your suggestion on how to solve the drug problem. What would you do different to END THE WAR? I want to know. Write your thoughts in the comments field below. If you receive Sprinter Life via email, click here to comment

Final Note: My plan outlined above is a simple solution for solving the drug problem and ending the war. But understand, some wars are not meant to be won. There are far too many powerful people making way too much money who will never allow this problem to be solved. The American media would have you believe that the U.S. and Mexico are in this big fight against drugs. That’s bullshit. Most people in the US don’t even realize that Mexico’s president, Felipe Caldéron, isn’t fighting drug trafficking. He is fighting for CONTROL of drug trafficking. Caldéron is in bed with the Sinaloa Cartel and they are using the military to take out the competition, the rival cartels. This has caused horrible spill over into counties like Guatelmala, learn more here. As for the U.S., we have a long history of using the drug war as an excuse to mettle in the affairs of Central and South American countries. It gives us a lot of leverage and control. And don’t even get me started on the money being made by the military in this war.

The drug problem is solvable, but that really isn’t the problem, is it? 

“No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” – P. J. O’Rourke

Related Sprinter Life Posts:
La Paz Baja – The Drug War in Mexico
Good Bye Mexico – How dangerous is Mexico?
The Drug War Spills Into Guatemala


  1. Stevie, Tree, and Kiki says:

    You got my vote, baby! I´m already picking out my inaugural dress. -Stevie, Future First Lady of the U.S.

  2. you had me with the opening photo. I had no idea you grew. We'll talk offline about how you can pay for my vote.

  3. trickshot says:

    Well written. A long time ago, and even today, it's been stated that the use of cannabis will lead to the use of harder drugs. Bullshit, the only thing that pot ever led me to was the refrigerator and listening to Pink Floyd and The Alan Parsons Project ooze out of the stereo. 😉

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sprinter Life has my vote. Very well written. Why we continue to do the same thing decade after decade is baffling. You are right, we must try new ideas. Better ideas. Your plan, although radical in most people's eyes, sounds like it would be better than what we are doing now.

  5. I agree. It's the dumb shit people do on drugs that make them scary to me, but those people end up in jail anyways. In CA at least if you are caught doing anything (nonviolent)illegal and drugs are involve the send you to state funded rehab typically for 90 plus days depending on the offense. The problem is 90days really isn't enough. Legalizing drugs and having real professionals and a system that actually works would do wonder! But I do think parents who are taking drugs & raising kids are a danger so rules should monitor that. What drives me crazy are people who think legalizing drugs means everyone is going to use them. Which isn't true. I don't do drugs because I've seen multiple times how it can destroy someone. Like an evil monster devouring someone's soul from the inside out until they're all sucked dry. That's why I don't do drugs. Having them be illegal has nothing to do with it.

  6. wow, I knew you guys were far out there, but this is way, way out in left field. legalizing all drugs would be a complete nightmare. You DO NOT have my vote.

  7. mamatuyas says:

    You have my vote. I have no doubt you'd do MUCH MUCH better than any President we've had so far.
    I completely agree with you on legalizing drugs. The data you shared tells the truth. Education works. Sharing resources so that everyone has a decent chance at a fulfilling life works. Prohibition, "war," and incarceration do not.

  8. YES, i will vote for you

  9. says:

    Very well spoken Tree. the war on drugs is failing miserably. Although I'm Canadian, it's obviously a topic that affects us here. In BC, where our "bud" is world famous, it has spawned many gang wars and shootings even in broad daylight (we're not used to that!!). All the stuff is getting being flown by helicopter to the states and from there to Mexico in exchange for harder stuff that comes back north. And the cycle continues.

    Having been to The Netherlands, although they have their own share of problems, it seems their system is at least more functional than what we have here in north and south america. Something to learn from.

  10. Tanya Diaz says:

    Tree has my vote!

  11. Anonymous says:

    that was a really interesting blog post. keep it coming. you guys write about real stuff and we love it.

  12. Mike Kurilich says:

    Tree for President in 2012!

    Excellent argument and one I've heard over and over again the last 35 years of my life.

    How many US and Int'l drug warloards are funding
    DC lobbyists to keep that WOD game intact I wonder? Hmmm…

  13. Melissa says:

    You have my vote!!! I think its the BEST Idea ever!!!

  14. Mr. Concerned says:

    Mr. Tree,
    With all due respect, this is a very dangerous idea. We would see dramtic spikes in violence, theft, drug use and addiction.

    Perhaps you should stick to writing posts about extreme sports?

    – Mr. Concerned

  15. Monica Kelly says:

    as I said before should run for president!
    When I first arrived in Colorado, I had 1600 conspiracy vids (not conspiracy THEORIES!) on my computer. My family here disowned me pretty much when I would tell them things I had learned. The video about an x cia agent telling about the Reagan administrations war on drugs, as he was flying Ollie fucking north to columbia for cocaine!!! This guy, the cia agent, documented his flights and cargo on both ends because they were trying to kill him after his first knowledge of the cargo he was carrying. I wish I didnt dump my videos, I had to quit learning to keep peace here..pretty fucked up!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think learning to spell the word "dramatic" is of utmost importance. Ideas are dangerous, Mr.Tree. I would prefer you to end this silly free-thought business. Common sense is a very dangerous practice. What will all those law enforcement agents do if they are not fighting the war on drugs? Protect our constitutional rights? Ha! So far, you seem to be running on a Libertarian platform. I will vote for you Mr.Tree, if you take out that nose piercing. Have some respect for yourself.

  17. Ruin Running says:

    The Netherlands sound like a bunch boring people….

  18. The Big Mozey says:

    Wel said tree.
    You got my vote!
    John D. Wilson

  19. Tatiana Katarina says:


  20. Pinda Hall says:

    Tree for President!

  21. Tom Dossey says:

    your blog is so funny. I just found it through a friend. I spent 2 hours reading previous posts last night. What a life you two lead. And I love your presidential bid. Hope you win. Tom

  22. Anonymous says:

    I will agree that some of the tactics being used in the drug war are ineffectual and misplaced. I often read about cases where government agents barge into an individual's house (and sometimes the wrong house!) to arrest an individual drug user whose only crime was to ingest an illegal drug, while drug lords who are bringing millions of dollars worth of drugs into our country are ignored. I believe that we need to focus more on educating children on the dangers of drugs and keeping the drug dealers from bringing the drugs into the country in the first place. I am more concerned with drug dealers who sell the drugs than the person who buys them, and I am more concerned about people who are under the influence of drugs such as PCP than those who are smoking pot in the privacy of their own home. However, just because some of the effort may be misplaced, that does not mean we should throw in the towel and make all currently illegal drugs legal. Re-focus our efforts, yes. Eliminate our efforts, no.

  23. Carolyn says:

    we don't have the right to do anything we want with our body. Can I walk down the street naked? Can I say what I want anywhere I want? (if you said "yes" to the last question, try yelling "hijack" on a plane and get back to me.) The point is, we can't do anything we want with our body. If drugs ever become legal, be prepared to see me walk around topless – after all, men can do it. Which is more harmful – me walking around with no shirt or me shooting up with crack? I'll be damned if people are allowed to shoot up with drugs and I have to wear a top on a blazing hot day in the summer!

  24. Anonymous says:

    will outdoorplay be distributing any new products, say, from Colombia???

  25. Michael Lorenzo says:

    You love to make all the calls and now you want to be prez. Well I don't want the job so I guess you are an obsessive compulsive and i know you run a smooth trip. You get my vote. It would be in my best interests if my homie is prez.

    Your fucking killing the trip around the world. Miss you man. O have a freaking baby man all the cool kids are doing it. This way we can all go on a trip with the kids. Peace out. See you k. Salt lake.

  26. Ok, you get a very enthusiastic vote out of me. However, as president, you will need to hire a fact checker to confirm your claims. Surprisingly, the Netherlands rang 2nd in the world for liberal drug policy just behind Portugal; nevertheless, your argument is essentially still valid and can actually be strengthened by including portugals statistics. Read here:

    Good luck and keep your light burning. You have a lot of support behind you.

    See you two on the 10th! Yippeee!

  27. weareallmadeoflove says:

    This is what Niel has always been saying- maybe he can be VP? 😛 But yes, you have our vote, unanimously. Unfortunately, I think as soon as you got into the Oval Office they would tranquilise you and subject you to Clockwork Orange type torture until you are brainwashed enough to do what they want. Or clone you. Either way, the powers that be will have their way.. so maybe I don't vote for you.. better you be running around the world edumacating all of us about this and doing your bit than having the illuminati inject you with reptilian dna.

    Ya know what I mean 😉
    xoxox LOVE YOU GUYS!

  28. You definitely have my vote. One of the most frustrating parts of my work is watching parents who love their kids, lose them because of addiction to shit. shit shit that folks have died making, producing, transporting….. Wanna get clean? Sure, put your name on the waiting list, start going to AA meetings and we will call you when a tx slot opens up in 3-4 months…. ya, sorry about those nasty withdrawal symptoms. We will help you once your slot opens up. NICE. Legalize. Tax. Quit locking folks up for non violent drug crimes. Accessible and effective TX.

  29. Anonymous says:

    You're right that drugs have to be de-criminalized, but you're wrong if you think that it's a simple solution. The transition is going to be a bit rough as the criminal organizations who currently supply the drugs turn to other forms of crime like extortion and kidnapping, prostitution etc.

  30. Go for it Tree!! I got ur back!! The person who commented on spelling the word dramatic. I just had to say what the F#$% does it matter??. The Point is this thing has to be a” we” thing. Selflessness has to be in the equation.I have been an opponent of drug legalization for years.Give the non-violent drug offenders a chance to change (and not just methadone Which damages your body worse than heroin) but the Govm’t can get it dirt cheap… Someone has to do something and I will start with LOVE… Great writing Tree YOU GO BOY!!

  31. Very well written!

  32. To all the people that think Tree’s idea is bad… Find a semi-open minded police officer and propose the idea to him/her. You may be surprised at the answer.

  33. Your arguments fail at logic. Your tired ,”the war on drugs is evil” rhetoric is off-base from the reality of things. All your “programs” would do is get people high and just shift the method that the bad guys get their money. Also, if pot is just such a natural and harmless thing, then where do you get the audacity to force 500,000 poor, innocent jailed pot users to go thru drug rehab?

  34. It’s been 4 years since Tree wrote this post and nothing has changed. The link below is to a great article edifying all that was said above, and clearly explaining the ‘blowback’ we Americans suffer from our poor drug policy.

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