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updated: 6/17/2011 5:40 PM

Preckwinkle calls for end to drug war

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Associated Press

The Cook County Board president has declared the decades-long war on drug a failure.

Toni Preckwinkle, speaking during a Chicago rally Friday, says the effort has resulted in the incarceration of millions of nonviolent offenders, most of whom are black or Latino. She says the cost of the war on drugs is too great to continue.

According to Preckwinkle, it costs nearly $150 a day to detain people in Cook County jail. She said the money would be better served being invested in treatment, education and job-skills training.

Hundreds gathered to denounce the war on drugs 40 years after it was declared by then-President Richard Nixon.

A Roosevelt University study out this week indicates Illinois leads the nation in incarcerating a greater percentage of blacks for drug crimes than whites.