Protesters cheered speakers who charged the war drains dollars from drug treatment and rehab.
Preckwinkle said putting non-violent drug possessors in county jail costs $150 a day.
"That's 45-50 thousand dollars a year is what it costs us to keep somebody in jail," said Preckwinkle. "We need to invest in treatment, education, and job skills training."
"The war on drugs has been unequal, unjust, and has failed. Since the war on drugs began, we've seen a rise in drug cartels, a rise in crime, and a rise in addiction," Pfleger said. "We've seen disproportionate arrests of African-Americans, as has been noted earlier, eight times more in Cook County than whites."
A study at Roosevelt University ranks Illinois tops in disparity among blacks and whites imprisoned for drug possession.