Looking for more data to support your variance motions in drug cases? The Pew Charitable Trusts has you covered. In a study publicized last month, Pew examined "whether state drug imprisonment rates are linked to the nature and extent of state drug problems," and found "no statistically significant relationship between states’ drug offender imprisonment rates and three measures of drug problems: rates of illicit use, overdose deaths, and arrests." As Pew notes, these findings reinforce other research casting "doubt on the theory that stiffer prison terms deter drug use and related crime."
Great stuff here, with lots of citations (and links) to research in support of the argument that prison is not an effective drug-control strategy.