Since the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, incarceration rates have skyrocketed. As of June 2015, a staggering 48.6% of inmates in federal prison were sentenced for drug offences. Nearly half of federal inmates are in prison for non-violent crime (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2015). Even more unnerving, Black Americans are 37.5% of the entire federal prison population; Black Americans (non-Hispanic) are only 13.2% of the entire American population as of the 2010 U.S. Census (United States Census Bureau, 2015). The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, however, indicates that the use of drugs are similar across all races. Two-thirds of drug users in the United States are white or Hispanic with Pacific Islanders and mixed race using drugs at the highest rates (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013). How can a race that consists of just 13% of the entire population represent 83% of crack cocaine offences—even after efforts to reduce the racial disparities as a result of the war on drugs? Black Americans are shockingly over-represented in American prisons and jails. White Americans, as per the 2010 U.S. Census, are the majority population at 77% (United States Census Bureau, 2015). However, not shockingly so, White Americans are only 59% of the federal prison population (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2015). One would assume prison population rates would be similar to the population rates of the nation, but as we can see that is not the case. I will analyse the American War on Drugs and the racial disparities found within the crack cocaine laws to argue that the American Government has breached the social contract by unfairly and arbitrarily implementing and enforcing the law against Black Americans, leaving ...
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... the government itself. While it is an unwritten agreement, we the people have volunteered to be governed through consent. We have voted in representatives to make decisions on our behalf that should protect our rights and contribute to our preservation. In return, we abide by the rules for an orderly political society, or we accept the punishment. However, what if one party fails to uphold their part of the bargain?
Throughout this dissertation I will argue and assert that the United States government has breached the social contract by arbitrarily enforcing laws and not contributing to the preservation of property and mankind by failing to protect the rights of Black Americans and stripping them of their freedom from arbitrary and absolute power by analysing the effects of the war on drugs. The outline of the following dissertation and the argument is as follows.
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- The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 was policy pushed into legislation on the heels of public outcry over the death of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias. The basketball star, who two days earlier was drafted 2nd overall in the NBA draft, died of cocaine intoxication. Ten years prior, President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” in America. He hoped that propaganda and social encouragement would move America to change its perception on drugs. Going so far to ask influential figures like Elvis Presley, who later died of drug overdose, to help create a drug free America (Deborah J.... [tags: War On Drugs, Drug Abuse, Legislation, Death]
1680 words (4.8 pages)
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1056 words (3 pages)
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726 words (2.1 pages)
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2045 words (5.8 pages)
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746 words (2.1 pages)
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1244 words (3.6 pages)
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1054 words (3 pages)
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1783 words (5.1 pages)
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