Anticipating the release of drug use survey results that usually come out in August and September, the Marijuana Policy Project has assembled some nifty graphs that remind us of the long-term picture. "From 1991 to 2000," says MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia, "marijuana arrests more than doubled, and what happened? Daily marijuana use by high school seniors tripled, the number of new users increased, and marijuana availability didn't change."
Going back further, MPP juxtaposes Richard Nixon's 1972 declaration that "we are winning this war [on drugs]" with a 2003 statement by drug czar John Walters: "This survey shows that when we push back against the drug problem, it gets smaller." MPP notes that "at the time of this  statement, the number of new marijuana users among youths under 18 was over 10 percent higher than at the time of Nixon's 1972 statement. Marijuana availability and daily marijuana use among 12th graders were unchanged from 1975 (the earliest figures available), despite a tripling of marijuana arrests since the early 1970s."