Clearly we are losing the drug war. We've spent over $1 TRILLION on this war since the 70's, and continue to spend about $20 billion per year domestically in this losing cause. The estimated costs of drug abuse to our nation every year is around $300 billion. We spend $25,000 - $50,000 per year per inmate in our prison system. PER INMATE! Our prison population is over 1 million and we are running neck-and-neck with Russia for the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita of our population in prison. Drugs are swelling our prisons with fresh inmates, many of them guilty of possession not dealing. Fighting the problem in the United States has overwhelmed the criminal justice system. What the American Bar Association called "extraordinary" efforts to arrest and prosecute drug offenders have not controlled the drug problem, but have overburdened the police, the courts, the prisons, and the probation system. Three quarters of a million people are arrested each year on drug charges. More than 400,000 Americans are in prison on drug charges, an eightfold increase from the 50,000 incarcerated in 1980. Over the last decade, despite spending more than $25 billion on drug-control programs overseas, more illicit drugs are available in the United States, and at cheaper prices, than ever before. In this country, commerce in illegal drugs is estimated to be a $150 billion-a-year industry. The U.N. estimates illegal drugs account for 10 percent of the world's trade - all tax-free. Much of the $20 billion a year in direct drug war costs have not been added to the budget, but taken out of other programs: immigrant assistance, the Economic Development Administration, public housing subsidies, and juvenile justice. Almost every U.S. official who has thought about the problem at all has concluded that it is impossible to interdict drugs crossing the U.S. border. The U.S. coast line is 90,000 miles long, and 600 vessels, 700 private aircraft, 1,200 commercial flights, 20,000 containers, 25,000 motor vehicles, and 800,000 people enter the country each day. As the Bush administration acknowledged, though without drawing the obvious conclusion: "Every time we disrupt or close a particular trafficking route, we have found that traffickers resort to other smuggling tactics that are even more difficult to detect." So I'm sick of drugs. I'm sick of the costs to society and to our economy. I'm sick of reading about innocent people, often little children, who are murdered by addicts. I'm sick of reading about prison over-crowding as a result of drugs. I'm sick of hearing of friends and occasionally neighbors having their houses broken into by addicts looking for stuff to steal then sell to pay for their habits (A crack addict typically needs $1,000 a week.) I have a close relative whose family has been torn apart by drugs. So what's the solution? There are strident opponents of the current system who argue that we need to stop fighting the war in terms of interdiction and overseas intervention, which clearly aren't working, and instead fight in on the domestic front with more treatment and education. I submit that we can treat and educate all we want, but it will only serve to staunch the wound, not eliminate the bleeding. I propose that enough is enough. Let's make it a capital punishment to deal drugs. If you deal drugs, you die. Simple as that. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Forget the $1 million execution costs for lethal injection. Malaysia keeps things very cheap by hanging their drug dealers. China shoots its dealers in the back of the head with a single bullet - then charges the family for the bullet. I am NOT advocating executing addicts. That's another issue. I'm saying let's go after the bastards who deal the drugs to the addicts. Let's make them pay with their lives. Will it work? Many may say that Malaysia still has a drug problem despite its harsh stance. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't work here. Efforts up till now have obviously been proven futile. So I ask, what do we have to lose other than a few drug dealers who won't peddle their filth anymore?