Essay about Drug Prohibition Of The United States

Essay about Drug Prohibition Of The United States

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Drug prohibition embodies the classic example of throwing money at a problem. The federal government spends roughly $16 billion to enforce drug laws every year, with little to no benefit. Miron has examined the association between violence and crime in the U.S. (as measured by the homicide rate) and the level enforcement during the prohibition of both drugs and alcohol (as measured by expenditures by the federal agencies in control of enforcing prohibition) (Figures 2 and 4), for the whole time period in which homicide rates are accessible on a national level. The conclusion is that an increase in government expenditures could correlate with an increase in laws that limit opportunities for the legal bypassing of prohibited goods, leading to the conception of black-markets. The government is then forced to respond with high levels of enforcement, and violence subsequently increases in reaction to the policies and enforcement. (Miron 2004, and Against Drug Prohibition)
Beyond the effects already discussed, there are other mechanisms, which might increase the level of violence under prohibition. As mentioned previously, increased enforcement of prohibition for a given size criminal justice budget results in the diminished enforcement against other crimes such as assault and battery, theft and rape. Therefore when the annual number of drug-related arrests increased from 200,000 to over 1.2 million from 1968 to 1992, with one-third of those being marijuana arrests (mostly for mere possession), it created a crowding out effect. (Figure 5) As prisons struggled to take in all of these drug-offenders, they were forced to make room by releasing other offenders early, including some violent offenders. (Against Drug Prohibition)
The alloca...

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...her informs us that different government action needs to be taken. As evident in this paper, our current policies are not working to deliver the desired result. This issue presents a means-end framework, where the end goal is vastly accepted. However, our means of attaining the end are flawed. Our end goal is to diminish drug use and production, which would greatly benefit society. Consequently, our means, prohibition, is causing an adverse effect than what was intended. Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the twentieth century, states, “One of the greatest mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results” (Milton Friedman, 2015). Friedman’s quote suitably summarizes the problems associated with Prohibition, the War on Drugs, and the strict enforcement of the laws in that they are simply not doing their intention.

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