By Harvey Morris - The US spends $1,400 a -second in the war on drugs, according to a recent -Harvard study, while the savings and revenue that could be generated by legalising narcotics would equal a 10th of Barack Obama's -fiscal stimulus plan.
With neighbouring Mexico descending towards the -status of a narco-state and with US jails crammed with small-time drug offenders, experts in the field have launched a debate on whether a 40-year crackdown, and the more than $1,000bn (£716bn €773bn) that has been spent on it, has had any impact on -narcotics abuse or on the violent trade that feeds it.
Government ministers and officials gathered in Vienna for the highest-level international conference in 10 years on the drugs question last week issued a declaration re-affirming a commitment to combating narco-trafficking.
But differences emerged at the United Nations' Commission on Narcotic Drugs over whether the emphasis should be on prevention or cure.
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