War on Drugs

In: Other Topics

Submitted By somasu
Words 4953
Pages 20
America's War on Drugs: Policy and Problems

In this paper I will evaluate America's War on Drugs. More specifically, I will outline our nation's general drug history and look critically at how Congress has influenced our current ineffective drug policy. Through this analysis I hope to show that drug prohibition policies in the United States, for the most part, have failed. Additionally, I will highlight and evaluate the influences acting on individual legislators' decisions to continue support for these ineffective policies as a more general demonstration of Congress' role in the formation of our nation's drug policy strategy. Finally, I will conclude this analysis by outlining the changes I feel necessary for future progress to be made. Primary among these changes are a general promotion of drug education and the elimination of our current system's many de-legitimating hypocrisies.

However, before the specific outcomes of Congressional influence and policy impact can be evaluated it becomes important to first review the general history and current situation of drugs today. Our present drug laws were first enacted at the beginning of the century. At the time, recreational use of narcotics was not a major social issue. The first regulatory legislation was for the purpose of standardizing the manufacturing and purity of pharmaceutical products. Shortly after, the first criminal laws were enacted which addressed opium products and cocaine. Although some states had prohibited the recreational use of marijuana, there was no federal criminal legislation until 1937. By contrast, the use of alcohol and its legality was a major social issue in United States in the early 20th century. This temperance movement culminated in the prohibition of alcohol from 1920 to 1933. Recreational drug use, particularly heroin, became more prevalent among the urban poor during the…...

Similar Documents

The War on Drugs

...United States Prison System: The War on Drugs                  The United States of America is no longer the home of the free. It is the home of the locked up and caged. How can this nation embrace the concept of freedom when over 2.4 million of its citizens are locked up in prison? How can Americans have the nerve to utter the words, “racial equality” when over 10% of all African-American men is incarcerated? How can we take pride in a nation that locks up its citizens that suffer from the disease of addiction?  This should be an embarrassment to all Americans. The criminal justice system must be reformed and surrender the “War on Drugs.” According to the June 2008 Bureau of Justice Summary, Americans make up only four and a half percent of the world’s population yet boasts twenty-two percent of the world’s incarcerated population. According to the same report, the American Criminal Justice System imprisons six times more of its population than other free nations such as Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, and Italy. America incarcerates ten times more of its population than Japan, France, and Finland. We have the highest rate of incarceration in the world, much higher than China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea whom we consider fascias police states. The 2009 statistics reported in the Prison Index showed that one third of African-American men will serve time in prison at some point in their life. The Bureau of Justice statistics reported, “The number of inmates in...

Words: 2315 - Pages: 10

The War on Drugs

...The War on Drugs: What is America Fighting For? Sandra Gailer COM/172 September 25, 2013 + The War on Drugs: What is America Fighting For? With the number of arrests having more than tripled in the past 25 years, and billions of dollars spent annually to fund the war on drugs, the United States (U.S.) should consider decriminalizing and regulating illegal drugs to reduce the number of people incarcerated and produce tax revenue from distribution. Since it was first declared by President Nixon in 1971 (Drug Policy Alliance, n.d.) the drug war proves to be causing America more harm than good. With no end in sight, the government should not be focusing on drug prevention but rather drug policy reformation. The US has been funding the war on drugs for decades. Although the intentions behind declaring the war are to help Americans, the reality is the war continues to be causing more harm than good. America has spent at least $1 trillion dollars on the war so far (Drug Policy Alliance, n.d.). In 2010 alone, the federal government spent over $15 billion dollars funding the war, that is at a rate of about $500 per second (Drug War Clock, n.d.). With the amount of debt increasing over a billion dollars every day, our government should be directing efforts towards creating revenue instead of continuing to spend money and increasing taxes. One way to accomplish generating revenue would be if some of the drugs that are considered illegal were decriminalized and regulated by the......

Words: 1187 - Pages: 5

Drug Wars

...The Mexican Drug War is an armed conflict taking place between rival drug cartels, with the objective of overthrowing the government of Mexico. According to a recent report by the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center, 6 cartels, 129 midlevel organizations and 606 local groups engage in drug-trafficking activities in the binational region. Money is very affiliated in the Drug wars in Mexico. The cartels have bought many weapons and have paid so many individuals to kill thousands of people. These drug wars are based on who has more money and the most power. Money as well as drugs is moved all around the world. The more money that each cartel has the most power it has. The drug war in Juárez started when the Sinaloa cartel which originated in the Pacific state of the same name began trying to force in on the Juárez cartel's turf (Monica Campbell, 2008). These Cartels began a war among each other to gain power over each other’s territory. President Felipe Calderon responded by sending 3,000 soldiers and federal police officers. Yet the narcotraffickers, with their immense fund of high-powered weaponry, haven't shied from taking them on. And have been trying to buy them off: the cartels have infiltrated virtually every law-enforcement institution in the country, from local police departments to the Mexican attorney general's office. The result has been the increase of violence, growing more public and more impressive by the day (Monica Campbell, 2008). In early...

Words: 440 - Pages: 2

War on Drugs

...War on Drugs 1 Running Head: WAR on DRUGS: EFFECTS of DRUGS War on Drugs: Effects of Drugs Matthew Boone Camden County College War on Drugs 2 Abstract This paper will attempt to explore the effects of the War on Drugs by showing the way drugs have effects on people and been classified. This researcher will show how effects of drugs plays a major factor in today’s society. It will explore the cost of incarceration that play apart of today’s economy and how it has increased since the War on Drugs. This paper will also explore the term drug interdiction and how it has affected the War on Drugs. Drug interdiction is the process of confiscating illegal drugs from traffickers smuggling drugs into the United States borders. War on Drugs 3 War on Drugs Drugs have been around for years, being used for their medicinal uses, for their hallucination affects and other reasons. The same drugs are still being used today. Some argue that certain drugs should be legal considering that they are mainly plant based and therefore natural. The problem with it is people are learning ways to modify and condense the chemicals that are producing the affects wanted and making the affects stronger. Drugs are also being combined to create new drinks and drugs to be used, known as designer drugs. These new combinations can become lethal due to the drugs being condensed to intensify the effects. The United States has been fighting a war on drugs for over 100 years. ......

Words: 2701 - Pages: 11

Drug War

...The Drug War: Will It Ever Stop? INTRODUCTION The United States and Mexico share a border that stretches 2,000 miles. The border is a product of the clash of the British and Spanish Empires. It is a place of lawlessness and violence. Drug cartels have used the border to smuggle illegal drugs into the United States for years. The United States market for drugs is a multibillion dollar a year industry. 90% of the illegal drugs that are smuggled into America come through our southern borders. As a nation we consume over 50% of the worlds illegal drugs, which exemplify the problem that America has with drug consumption. The demand for illegal drugs in the US allows drug cartels in Mexico to make billions of dollars by smuggling Marijuana, and Methamphetamines through the US/Mexican Border. Efforts to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the US have been unsuccessful. Drug Cartels use various methods in the transportation of their merchandise. Such methods include using underground tunnels, semi trucks, automobiles, and humans to transport these illegal drugs. Only 3 to 8 percent of the drugs that are smuggled from Latin America into the United States is confiscated, which is a very discouraging number. Our border patrol and DEA need to do a better job securing our borders and preventing the flow of such harmful drugs into America. There are a reported 7 cartels that operate in Mexico; the biggest players in the drug trade between Mexico and the US are the Tijuana, Juarez,......

Words: 2571 - Pages: 11

War on Drugs

...The War on Drugs Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice CRJ530 Abstract Are we winning the war on drugs? Like many of you answering this particular question I would have to say “NO.” Let’s face it the drug use among teens appears to be increasing. During the Clinton administration he faced fierce criticism for his early drug policy decisions, and he responded by proposing new funding and a new director for drug war programs. Concern about teen drug use is the result of reports such as the University of Michigan's annual survey of drug use among eighth, 10th, and 12th grade students. According to the survey, adolescents were more likely to use drugs - particularly marijuana - in 1995 than they were in 1992, the last year of the Bush administration. Indeed, there appears to have been a steady increase in reported teen drug use and in other drug use indicators since then President Clinton took office. However, the president's critics had savaged him for this increase, his drug policies and - above all - his failure to criticize drug use. After all, he is known as the president that “didn’t inhale.” The damage the "War on Drugs" has done to our society is already far greater than most of us know. It is a National Tragedy that may take generations to heal. Our failure to act quickly and responsibly by educating ourselves and our neighbors while taking a strong political stand in opposition to this war will only lead to further erosions of our way of life. Several years ago...

Words: 1349 - Pages: 6

War on Drugs

...The War on Drugs ShaLisa R. McCray COM/172 April 17, 2013 Nick Boden The War on Drugs Recreational drug use is the use of a drug, whether illegal or legal, with the intention of creating or enhancing the recreational experience. Many of the drugs used recreationally were intended to be used medically, to stimulate the mind, or to aide in military combat. Once the government realized the effect the drugs had on people they began to initiate regulations to control the substances they introduce the people to. As the government fought harder to control drug abuse by enacting more regulatory policies, the more people began to use and abuse drugs, inciting a war across the nation. The “War on Drugs” is the term the federal government uses to refer to their efforts to stop the import, manufacturing, sale, and se of illegal drugs in the United States. The term is not used reference to any particular policy or target but instead refers as a whole to the series of antidrug initiatives directed towards ending drug abuse. On November 27, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the International Committee on Narcotics which was accountable for coordinating executive branch antidrug efforts. This initiated what the New York Times labeled “a new war on narcotic addiction at the local, national, and international level”. During a press conference on June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon labeled illegal drugs as “public enemy number one in the......

Words: 1611 - Pages: 7

War on Drugs

...Stephen Fletcher The War On Drugs: Our Most Costly Mistake The war on drugs has become a flashpoint of sorts on both sides of our border with Mexico. Thousands are being killed every year and drug use is still rampant. “Currently the government spends 51 billion dollars annually to try and curb the supply of drugs that have been pouring across the border for decades” (Powell). The only impact, in an economic sense, is actually an increase in price for the drugs while maintaining similar quantity demanded. It is clear that the United States is waging its war on the suppliers and distributors of the drugs more so than people who just possess the drugs, as evidenced by the decriminalization of the possession of marijuana in certain states. In short, the war on the supply side of drugs is wasting billions of taxpayer dollars as well as crippling future efforts to curb the effects of drug use in the United States. The United States was hoping to, metaphorically speaking, plug the hole in the dam that was holding drugs back from entering our country. Their main goal in waging a supply-side war was to decrease the quantity supplied rather than increase the price that drugs are being sold at. The war on drugs was started to make it more difficult for suppliers to smuggle their drugs into the country. In that respect, the United States succeeded. In the end though, their plan backfired because the demand for drugs is largely inelastic and by increasing the costs of producing......

Words: 620 - Pages: 3

War on Drugs

...presentation on the War on Drugs. Going into this presentation I assumed we would hear about how bad drugs are and how they need to find a way to do away with all the drugs there are out there. During the presentation I was very shocked at what information I was hearing. I am not sure if I understood them correctly, but what my friend and I both took away from the presentation was that the punishments for drugs should not be as severe. I understood them describing how no matter how many drugs or the amount you are caught with you will still be charged the same. They believe that should not be the case. They don’t feel it is right to charge someone who has very little amount of drugs the same they would charge someone who has a ton of drugs on them. Another statement they provided us with is how majority of the jail cells are filled with drug users instead of people who actually commit serious crimes that hurt others and we don’t have enough jail cells for them. Other points they stated were how they are against drug users being in jail for a short time without going to rehab so that when they get out of jail they aren’t still addicted and go right back to using drugs. They also feel that the drug world is so dangerous because drugs are so illegal. If drug punishments were not so strict they believe there would be a lot less injuries in the drug world. We were handed a packet during the presentation they pointed out that 2 of the top 6 harmful drugs are legal......

Words: 409 - Pages: 2

War on Drugs

...Importation of Drugs The War on Drugs has failed. If it were a business, it would have been shut down a long time ago. This is not what success looks like. The idea of eradicating drugs form the world by waging a war on those who use them is basically flawed. It does not reduce drug taking. The standard response is that we must continue on our course. Maybe if a few more people are arrested, or seize more shipments then the Government has achieved a victory. This is NOT true. It is like playing a game of Russian roulette. The government attacks one major supplier allowing for another to build up. The cycle is never ending. Where there is a demand there will always be a supply. We are not stopping drug supply because it moves. We could never get the resources to shut down the entire hemisphere. It is a simple as the law of supply and demand. No matter how many more billions of dollars are spent, or lives lost, history has proven that as long as there is a demand for drugs that there will be a supply for them. If alcoholism is supposed to be considered a public health issue then why is drug addiction considered a national security threat? The United States tends to declare war on things that it considers harmful or bad; for example the War on Cancer, The War on Drugs, War on Poverty, etc. Yes, you may be able to reduce poverty, prevent most terrorist attacks, cure many types of cancer, and even reduce crime rates but there is no clear end to any of these wars. The......

Words: 503 - Pages: 3

The War on Drug

...Rico has been flooded with drug addicts/users, traffickers, and smugglers. A problem that used to affect the low life and poor communities, now is growing and infecting civilization without any discretion of social class, ethnicity, and race. National Geographic has call Puerto Rico the Zombie Island, named after the increasing numbers of heroin and cocaine users on the streets. Puerto Rico is being used to export drug to the east coast, because Puerto Rico borders are less guarded than the Mexican border it makes it a strategic point for all shipments. Sadly, 20% of all drugs that enters the island stays here to supply for the local consumption. The streets have been flooded with these evil and desperation of these drug users have grown to the point of using horse anesthesia. These new drug is more powerful then methamphetamine and more devastating. The war on drugs The war on drug is a never ending fight, since the 70s when President Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs. The so called war on drugs was created to establish minimum sentences to drug offences and to allocate a bigger budget to the fight. In FY2007 an estimated amount of $193 billon was reported in losses in productivity, health care, and criminal justice for drug related issues. On 2003, $19 billion was spent on the war on drugs by the federal government alone, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In FY2011, the government invested around $168 billion on the war on terrorism and a......

Words: 1281 - Pages: 6

War on Drugs

...New Type Of Politics Social Issue: War on Drugs America has been in the one of its longest wars since 1971. Not against another country’s but, against its self. It’s our public enemy number one, as declared by Richard M. Nixon, and is the war on drugs. Sadly, little effect has occurred. We spend nearly $51,000,000,000 dollars as a country on the war on drugs annually. In turn, drug use is still soaring high and money keeps getting spent. This needs to be fixed. The war on drugs has a great cause but, sadly it has little effect to back it up. It’s idea of making America better is awesome but, their plan of doing so is terrible. So far, we have the largest prison population but we have less than 5% of the world’s population. As you probably could have guessed, most of them have drug crimes as part of or as the prison sentence. A good bit of these drug crimes are harmless such as just the use of it alone. So, if you’re wondering where you’re tax dollars are going, most of it is going to keep these people in jail. So, the government is trying to stop drug use and drug related crimes. That sounds amazing but, sadly, teens report that illegal drugs are easier to obtain than controlled, legal, age-regulated alcohol. What does that mean you ask? It means that the drugs we have a war on are easy to give, get, and use and when your under 21, its way easier to get than alcohol which we have no problem with. So basically, we’re fighting a useless war. In fact, the only positive......

Words: 605 - Pages: 3

War on Drugs

...Anthony Peebles HIST 1302 Jared Ingram Never Ending War The United States has been involved in several wars and have declared itself the winner in most. There has been civil wars and world wars that have taken troops around the globe to defend democracy and freedom. America has stood up for those whose human and civil rights were threatened, we have supplied small armies with the funds, equipment, and intelligence needed to defeat the enemy. America has a great track record at defeating its enemy and making sure they don’t show their heads anymore, but since being declared an enemy publicly in 1971 this enemy continues to deliver major blows to America and its citizens. This enemy is not a nation of communist, an insane dictator, or a group of extremist, this enemy is drugs. The war on drugs has been the biggest and longest war in my lifetime. Although Richard Nixon is known for launching what we consider the modern day war on drugs, this war was started several years prior to Nixon becoming President of the United States. Some local laws against drugs where established as early as 1860. The first national law was the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. This act was to provide registration to all that dealt in the services of opium and coca leaves. Coca leaves once extracted provides the bases for cocaine. In this time cocaine was not illegal and was often prescribed by doctors to patients for ailments such as common headaches or colds. Unknowingly those patients became......

Words: 1136 - Pages: 5

War on Drugs

... War on Drugs and Prison Overcrowding  Thomas K Anderson University of Memphis Prison overcrowding has been a social phenomenon that has led to a variety of reforms. One of the major causes for overcrowding in the prison systems today began back in the early 1970’s, when President Nixon declared War on Drugs.  There were dramatic increases in the prison population in the 1980’s and 1990’s. These increases were projected due to trends of harsh punishments. Political leaders were influential in these trends as they created mandatory sentencing guidelines. Currently 50.1% of all offenders that are incarcerated in the Federal Prison System are due to drug offenses. That total accounts for 98,554 individuals, many of whom are serving time for a nonviolent offense or first time offenses. The second largest cause for overcrowding in the prison are immigration related crimes, which still only accounts for 10.6% or 20,862 of the individuals. In June of 1971, President Nixon declared a war on drugs, which did not go over too well because he and everyone else had differing views on how to handle the problems being created due to the increase of drug use. Because of the increasing of the prison population, a reform was created to offer treatment for drug abuse; of course this did not take place since it was a contradiction of current drug policies.  Unfortunately, the end result of Nixon’s plan did not stop the problem of drugs, but......

Words: 1267 - Pages: 6

War on Drugs

...War on drugs In the state of Arkansas as is all states when in comes down to this war on drug situation there is overcrowding in prison and in city and state jails. The questions are what do we do as law enforcement does to reduce the crowding of jails and prison behind drugs? In my few years of studying the criminal justice system and state and federal penal code systems, the war on drugs has put the state and federal penal code system in a massive strain and overcrowding. The overcrowding behind the war on drugs is a broad subject. Over the years there have been several different programs that have been implemented to stop the overcrowding behind the war on drugs. The wars on drugs have been an every struggle problem which persons of all walks of life have came in contact with. One thing America does know is that it does not matter if a person is rich or poor educated or not drugs will and have manifested in the life of the most prominent person. This war on drugs has caused a large part of the overcrowding in the penal code system, with this ongoing threats of overcrowding the war on drugs alone has cost American’s taxpayers money because of the tremendous need for new prison are needed to house new inmates because of this war on drugs. What is a solution one would ask? One would say that this question has been asked in all jurisdictions from the Federal to the State this has been an actual ongoing debate. A solution I would think would be a solution to the ongoing......

Words: 766 - Pages: 4