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  • The Human and Fiscal Toll of America's Drug War: One State's Experience

    This article examines New Jersey‘s unique experience in waging its own war on illegal narcotics. Our approach is chronological. Specifically, we examine three distinct periods of the war—the initial stage from 1986 to 1987, when the architecture of this war was established; the period from 1987 to 1995, when the war was in full gear and problems like racial profiling and prison crowding began to surface; and the period from 1996 to present, when efforts to ameliorate some of the most negative outcomes of the drug war were undertaken. These efforts include, most recently, an effort by Governor Chris Christie—who has declared the drug war "a failure"—to dramatically change the state‘s approach to dealing with addicted offenders. We consider the consequences of these events, and review current efforts to change the course of the state‘s drug war.