Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland called the war on drugs “a miserable failure” in a radio interview Friday and acknowledged that it has disproportionately hurt “young minority men.”
The interview was with Dean Becker for his radio program “Cultural Baggage” on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston. Becker is also a speaker for the marijuana legalization group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. He applauded McClelland for moving away from “the old law enforcement paradigm on drugs,” telling the Houston Press that McClelland “wants to end the war on drugs, too.”
In the interview, McClelland discussed how the money spent convicted non-violent drug offenders would be better spent on drug treatment and prevention programs. It takes $50,000 to $60,000 per year to house one inmate in a Texas prison.
“Most of us understand, we do believe, those of us that are law enforcement executives, that the war on drugs, the 1980 drug policies, was a miserable failure,” McClelland said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
To listen to the full interview, go here and click on the Friday, Dec. 5 episode of Cultural Baggage.