There is no doubt about it. We are losing the “war” on drugs. Last year, 2007, almost 2 million people were arrested on drug charges according to the FBI. Almost 1 million of those arrested were arrested for offenses involving marijuana. Of those nearly 1 million arrested for marijuana related offenses, 89% were arrested for mere possession of marijuana. There are severe consequences for an arrest for possession of marijuana including drivers license revocation, job loss, professional licensing revocations, governmental aid revocations and more. Additionally, an arrest requires a defense in court. In the United States, the government has spent billions on the war on drugs which has created the additional expense of prosecuting all of the increased arrests. According to the FBI, 20% of the inmates in State prisons are there for drug related offenses. Jacksonville has seen a dramatic increase in drug related arrests for 2008 due to increases in police presence in high drug areas. The drugs business is a big business for all involved including the government. As a matter of fact, First Coast News 12 has just reported that a Jacksonville man entered a McDonald’s and attempted to pay for his meal with marijuana! The McDonald’s employee called 911 and the man was arrested. Just add him to the 89% statistic…and its going up by the hour.