First, The Drug War, By the Numbers offers a pair of graphs on spending and arrests. We saw massive cuts in spending during the Clinton years. Unfortunately, this included cuts in spending on demand reduction.
Next, This Is Your War on Drugs offers their editorial analysis of the issue:
What would a fact-based drug policy look like? It would put considerably more money into treatment, the method proven to best reduce use. It would likely leave in place the prohibition on “hard” drugs, but make enforcement fair (no more traffickers rolling on hapless girlfriends to cut a deal. No more Tulias). And it would likely decriminalize but tightly regulate marijuana, which study after study shows is less dangerous or addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, has undeniable medicinal properties, and isn’t a gateway drug to anything harder than Doritos.
Finally, The Patriot’s Guide to Legalization, investigates several big questions related to pot policy in a pretty sober manner:
On virtually every subject related to cannabis (an inclusive term that refers to both the sativa and indica varieties of the marijuana plant, as well as hashish, bhang, and other derivatives), the evidence is ambiguous. Sometimes even mysterious. So let’s start with the obvious question.
DOES DECRIMINALIZING CANNABIS HAVE ANY EFFECT AT ALL? It’s remarkably hard to tell—in part because drug use is faddish. Cannabis use among teens in the United States, for example, went down sharply in the ’80s, bounced back in the early ’90s, and has declined moderately since. Nobody really knows why.
Slate V visits the serious business of a medical marijuana expo: