On this day, June 17, in 1971, the nation's War on Drugs is said to have begun.
President Richard Nixon named drug abuse "public enemy number one in the United States." His first drug-fighting annual budget was $100 million. Now it's $15.1 billion, more than 30 times more even when adjusted for inflation.
In four decades, the U.S. government has spent more than $1 trillion dollars fighting the drug war.
Despite the marketing campaigns, a crackdown on smuggling, the arrest of tens of millions of people and the deaths of hundreds of thousands more, the demand for drugs remains high in the United States.
Drug abuse costs the nation in other ways. According to the Justice Department, the nation loses $215 million a year, worker productivity, not to mention adding to an overburdened judicial system and a stressed health care system.
-- Scott McCabe