Sting has called on America to stop battling drugs
The singer made the claims in a blog on website The Huffington Post. He insists too much effort and money is put into imprisoning those who smoke the illegal substance, when the cash would be better used elsewhere.
Sting suggested the money could help to tackle poverty and global warming, adding people who smoke marijuana rarely harm anyone but themselves. "For years, the Drug War has been used as a pretext to lock people in prison for exorbitant lengths of time - people whose `crimes` never hurt another human being, people who already lived at the margins of society, whose voices were the faintest and whose power was the least," he wrote. "Meanwhile, resources to fight genuine crime - violent crime - have been significantly diminished."
Sting alleges the so-called War On Drugs in the country has failed, and may even be harming the rest of society. He claims police are so set on battlingdrugs users other crimes, such as violent assaults, are going undetected.
"The War on Drugs has failed - but it`s worse than that," he wrote. "It is actively harming our society. Violent crime is thriving in the shadows to which the drug trade has been consigned. People who genuinely need help can`t get it. Neither can people who need medical marijuana to treat terrible diseases. We are spending billions, filling up our prisons with non-violent offenders and sacrificing our liberties."
He added he is supporting the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) group, which wants people put in prison for drug offences which weren-t violent to be released.
A spokesperson for DARE, which teaches kids in schools how to stay clear of drugs, said: "He should stick to singing and not meddle in matters he doesn`t understand. We do not need pop stars coming out and making irresponsible statements like that."
The U.S. Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) hasn`t commented, with a representative saying their thoughts have been published in a booklet called Speaking Out Against Drug Legalisation. The publication states American drug use has dropped by a third over the last 20 years.