Drug use has been an ongoing problem in our country for decades. The use of drugs has been the topic of many political controversies throughout many years. There has been arguments that are for legalizing drugs and the benefits associated with legalization. Also, there are some who are opposed to legalizing drugs and fear that it will create more problems than solve them. Conservatives and liberals often have different opinions for controversial topics such as “the war on drugs,” but it is necessary to analyze both sides in order to gain a full understanding of their beliefs and to decide in a change in policy is in order.
Before the mid 1900’s the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was formed to tax those making, importing or selling any derivative of opium or coca leaves. In the 1920s, doctors became aware of the highly addictive nature of opioids and started to avoid treating patients with them (Center, 2004). In 1924 heroin became illegal. However according to a history published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003, anesthesiologists opened "nerve block clinics" in the 1950s and 1960s to manage pain without having to resort to surgery (Meldrum, 2003). This push for treating pain without surgery was a major factor in the opioid epidemic we see today. In 2008 the overdose death rate was almost four times the rate in 1999, and the sales of prescription pain relievers in 2010 were four times higher than in 1999 (Paulozzi et al, 2011). The substance use disorder treatment admission rate is also greater than in 1999, with it having been six times higher in 2009. Chasing Heroin’s claims surrounding the fear of prescribing pain medications is accurate as you see an increase in public policies surrounding opiate use in the early 1900’s. The climbing rates of overdose deaths and the increased amount of people seeking addiction treatment suggests that the fear of prescription opiates was
Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty. "Drugs." The Reader's Companion to American History. Dec. 1 1991: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
In Ethan Nadelmann’s “Drug Decriminalization: Response” Nadelmann thoughtfully responds to a piece on drug decriminalization that says that alcohol prohibition was responsible for the drop in alcohol related hospitalizations during that period. Nadelmann counters with some data showing a similar drop at the same time in Britain, despite a lack of prohibition there. This kind of information will be used in my essay to dispel common myths of drug prohibition. Nadelmann is a credible source as his article was published in Science magazine, a scholarly periodical founded by Thomas Edison.
...cruited by French writer, Andre Malraux, a spy for France. Babel was tried by an NVDK troika, a commission of three persons who issued sentences, and was prosecuted for being a spy for the French, Austrians and Leon Trotsky. Babel was imprisoned in Butyrka Prison and was shot on January 27th 1940.
Bush's “war on drugs”, an extension to Reagon's former battle, had “crowded the courts, filled the prisons, corrupted law officers, compromised ... civil liberties, and criminalized substantial sectors of American society.” 1 In comparison to the leniency experienced in the late 1960s under Nixon where a “specific sub-culture of some 68,088 identifiable heroin addicts” who, subject to arrest for the possession of the heroin, and successfully convicted, were “sentenced to treatment at the federal hospital in Lexington, Kentucy.”2
The war on drugs began in the United States in 1971 when President Richard Nixon declared war. President Nixon increased the number of federal drug control agencies, increased mandatory sentences for drug offenders, and utilized no-knock warrants in attempt to get the problem under control. It has been over forty years since President Nixon declared a war on drugs. Did America win the war on drugs? Is it time to legalize illicit drugs in this country? What are other countries doing in reference to drugs? The author will examine the history of the war on drugs in this country, how other countries deal with drugs, list the positive and negative aspect of legalizing illicit drugs, and offer his opinion as to whether drugs should be decriminalized or not.
...anti-terrorist measures that often made Stalin extremely paranoid [imprisoning Kamenev and Zinoviev in 1935] because of counter-revolutionaries. Conquest argues that ‘there were other methods to suppress which would not kill people.’ However, Stalin had removed opposition, not suppressed, which suggests that if Stalin had not been ruthless and only suppressed opposition is regime would have been eliminated without a doubt and although his reconstructed society and his methods were the severest test, they had effectively persevered in removing opposition compared to previous tsars and communists.
I base my support of the decriminalization of all drugs on a principle of human rights, but the horror and frustration with which I voice this support is based on practicality. The most tangible effect of the unfortunately labeled "Drug War" in the United States is a prison population larger than Russia's and China's, and an inestimable death toll that rivals the number of American casualties from any given war, disease or catastrophe.
The “War on Drugs” is the name given to the battle of prohibition that the United States has been fighting for over forty years. And it has been America’s longest war. The “war” was officially declared by President Richard Nixon in the 1970’s due to the abuse of illegitimate drugs. Nixon claimed it as “public enemy number one” and enacted laws to fight the importation of narcotics. The United States’ War on Drugs began in response to cocaine trafficking in the late 1980’s. As the war continues to go on, winning it hardly seems feasible. As stated by NewsHour, the National Office of Drug Control Policy spends approximately nineteen billion dollars a year trying to stop the drug trade. The expenses shoot up, indirectly, through crime, hospital stays and such. However, people spend approximately three times as much money buying drugs as the government spends fighting against them. How can this war be won when the government has to spend so much money combating in opposition to it??
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 early ?60s. Because of the high cost of heroin and its uncertain purity, its use was associated with crime and frequent overdoses.
Many feel today we are loosing the war on drugs. People consider legalization unnecessary. They feel that it will increase the amount of drug use throughout the world. They state that in many cases, drug users who have quit quit because of trouble with the law. Legalization would eliminate the legal forces that discourage the users from using or selling drugs. They also say that by making drugs legal, the people who have never tried drugs for fear of getting caught by the law will have no reason to be afraid anymore and will become users (Potter 1998).