A new study published this week reports that all illegal drugs, including marijuana, have become more potent and less expensive over the past twenty years. Despite billions and billions of dollars spent on investigations, arrests and imprisonment, the War on Drugs is an unmitigated disaster and has backfired in a major way.

According to the study, funded by the anti-prohibition International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, as marijuana seizures have gone up, prices have gone down, and pot is more potent than ever. The study says that cannabis seizures in the US increased by 465 percent between 1990 and 2009; despite this, the price of cannabis (adjusted for inflation) decreased by 86 percent over the same period, and its average potency increased by 161 percent.

Efforts to control the global illegal drug market have clearly failed, writes Dr. Evan Wood, co-author of the study. He states, “We should look to implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.”

Drug control efforts have been unsuccessful at reducing drug-related harms, and pot prisoners are suffering mandatory-minimum sentences while prison-lobby groups fight efforts to enact effective marijuana legislation – the study claims, “This research has been denied by those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.”

Maybe the DEA and federal government weren’t prepared for this Through the Looking Glass outcome of the War on Drugs, but it’s time they acknowledge the truth and end prohibition. Pot is only going to get stronger, better and more affordable. Which is as it should be.