DAVID SIMON: The people most affected . . . are black and brown and poor. It's the abandoned inner cores of our urban areas. . . . (E)conomically, we don't need those people. The American economy doesn't need them. So, as long as they stay in their ghettos, and they only kill each other, we're willing to pay a police presence to keep them out of our America. And to let them fight over scraps, which is what the drug war, effectively, is. . . (S)ince we basically have become a market-based culture and it's what we know, and it's what's led us to this sad denouement, I think we're going to follow market-based logic, right to the bitter end.
BILL MOYERS: Which says?
DAVID SIMON: If you don't need 'em, why extend yourself? Why seriously assess what you're doing to your poorest and most vulnerable citizens? There's no profit to be had in doing anything other than marginalizing them and discarding them.
I would decriminalize drugs in a heartbeat. I would put all the interdiction money, all the incarceration money, all the enforcement money, all of the pretrial, all the prep, all of that cash, I would hurl it, as fast as I could, into drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the equivalent of the urban CCC, if it was New Deal-type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome, where we're basically treating our underclass. The drug war is a war on the underclass now. That's all it is. It has no other meaning.