After the origins of the war on drugs were revealed in chapter one, chapter two uncovers the consequences of prioritizing anti-drug laws. From 1985 to 2000 there was an explosion in the number of federal inmates and drug offenders occupied two-thirds of the population in prison. Even though the number of inmates was at an all time high, law-enforcement continually targeted drug offenders substantially. Police officers used various tactics for finding illegal drugs that I believe are outrageous and should be illegal. The DEA trains officers to use these tactics on a large scale despite only finding drugs in five percent of their operations. Pretext traffic stops and the stop and frisk rule can make anyone a target of drug-law enforcement activity.
The idea that police officers spend their time chasing drug offenders instead of criminals that are a bigger threat to society is scary, but I don’t think it’s really their decision.Police officers are pressured by agencies and the federal government to make a large number of drug arrests. The author explains that money is the reason for this demand in making drugs their first concern. Huge cash grants from the federal government were given to agencies willing to make drug-law enforcement a top priority. The millions of dollars being given out caused agencies to compete for cash, in consequence escalating the demand for drug arrests. Agencies were also granted authority to keep the vast majority of cash and assets they seize when waging the drug war. After law-enforcement agencies proved that their motivation is money, they began using drug busts to confiscate cash in pursuit of increasing the size of their budgets.
Once someone is caught with drugs and become a convicted felon, they also become a second-class citizen to society. The facts and statistics disclosed by the author gives the impression that the war on drugs is just another generator of revenue for our government, that also potentially ruins the lives of millions of people.