In the U.S. today, perhaps one-third of murders are related to contract enforcement and competition over dealing territory .
About 1.2 million suspected drug offenders are arrested each year in the U.S., most of them for simple possession or petty sale . Currently in the U.S., police spend one-half their time on drug- related crimes. The court system is on the verge of collapse because of the proliferation of drug cases, which-because they are criminal cases-have priority over civil cases. Six out of ten federal inmates are in prison on drug charges. Probably another two of the ten are there on prohibition- related offenses. There is a crisis in prison crowding (forty states are under court order to reduce overcrowding), with the result that violent criminals--including child molesters, multiple rapists, and kidnappers--are often released early. This is reinforced by mandatory sentencing laws. Consensual drug offenses are not only treated as the moral equivalent of murder, rape, or kidnapping: they are given harsher punishment. Youths are sent to prison for life for selling drugs, while murderers were eligible for early parole for good behavior . As one example, Florida punishes "simple rape" by a maximum prison term of 15 years, second-degree murder with no mandatory minimum and a maximum of life in prison , first degree murder (where the death penalty is not imposed) with a mandatory minimum penalty of 25 years, after which one is eligible for parole, but trafficking in cocaine is punished with life imprisonment "without the possibility of parole."
 Steven B. Duke and Albert C. Gross, America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic Crusade Against Drugs, Putnam, New York, 1993.
 Examples may be found in Steven Wisotsky, Beyond the War on Drugs, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, New York, 1990.
 John Powell and Ellen Hershenov, "Hostage to the Drug War: The National Purse, The Constitution, and the Black Community," University of California at Davis Law Review, 24, 1991.
 David B. Kopel, "Prison Blues: How America's Foolish Sentencing Policies Endanger Public Safety," Policy Analysis No. 208, Cato Institute, Washington, D.C., May 17, 1994.
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