Recreational drug use has been controversial for years. Government has deemed the use of certain drugs to be dangerous, addictive, costly, and fatal. Governmental agencies have passed laws to make drugs illegal and then have focused a great deal of attention and money trying to prohibit the use of these drugs, and many people support these sanctions because they view the illegality of drugs to be the main protection against the destruction of our society (Trebach, n.d.). Restricting behavior doesn’t generally stop people from engaging in that behavior; prohibition tends to result in people finding more creative ways to obtain and use drugs. However, just knowing that trying to control people’s behavior by criminalizing drug use does not work still leaves us looking for a solution, so what other options exist? This paper will discuss the pros and cons about one option: decriminalizing drugs.
The War on Drugs is believed to help with many problems in today’s society such as realizing the rise of crime rates and the uprooting of violent offenders and drug kingpin. Michelle Alexander explains that the War on Drugs is a new way to control society much like how Jim Crow did after the Civil War. There are many misconceptions about the War on Drugs; commonly people believe that it’s helping society with getting rid of those who are dangerous to the general public. The War on Drugs is similar to Jim Crow by hiding the real intention behind Mass Incarceration of people of color. The War on Drugs is used to take away rights of those who get incarcerated. When they plead guilty, they will lose their right to vote and have to check application
Hall, Wayne. "What are the policy lessons of National Alcohol Prohibition in the United States, 1920-1933?" Addiction, July 2010: p1164-1173.
Thornton examines the understood belief that alcohol prohibition failed. The examples he uses apply to drug prohibition and any other government attempt to control and restrict consumer habits. Thornton first discusses the history of prohibition laws, mainly focusing on American implementation of prohibitionist policies. He follows up with the theoretical bases upon which prohibition advocates rely, and thoroughly exposes them as false. After investigating the history and theory of prohibition, Thornton exposes the effects of such policies on the potency of illicit drugs. He explains how prohibition unavoidably creates incentives for producers to increase the potency of drugs and alcohol products distributed through black
Every 19 seconds there is a drug arrest in the United States. (Drug War Statistics) On July 17th, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. Drug abuse, according to the president, was "public enemy number one". Now, a little more than four decades later the U.S. has the largest incarceration rate in the world, with 51% of those in jail for non-violent drug offenses. The U.S. now spends $51,000,000,000 annually enforcing drug laws, and yet drug addiction rates have remained constant since the 1970’s with about 1.3% of the population being addicted to drugs (Groff). Prohibition does not work. It did not work in the 1930’s with alcohol and it does not work with illegal drugs now. It is extremely expensive and fails to reduce drug use and addiction. It is ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst.
The 1920s was a period of time known as the Prohibition, in which alcohol was outlawed. The reason for this was that alcohol was thought to have created a wide variety of social ills. Workers were less productive, some addicts spent much of their money on fueling their drunkenness, and families were torn apart. In addition, alcohol was known to cause various health problems such as liver failure and sclerosis. The outlawing of alcohol, however, did far more harm than good. Criminal gangs were formed and murder rates soared as crime lords started bootlegging. These issues caused prohibition to be repealed mere years after it was enacted. Following prohibition, it was seen that many people could, in-fact, use alcohol responsibly and in moderation. The prohibition era provides a very relevant lesson for the present day. Drugs are outlawed, and because of this gangs can use them to fund themselves, resulting in a proliferation of violence. The excuses for their outlawing is the same as well: they can cause addiction and health issues if used unwisely. If they were to be legalized, there would be a decline in crime, the prison population, and the amount of funding needed for the police force. The drugs in question which are referred to in this paper illegal ones such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, heroin, methamphetamine, morphine, shrooms, and oxycontin. All of these drugs should be legalized and regulated, just as alcohol is today, in order to mend the societal and moral problems caused by outlawing them.
Under Reagan and Bush's term, heavy mandatory minimum prison sentences were introduced. These lengthy mandatory minimum sentences were part of the new state and federal laws that affected drug offenders that would distinguish between major dealers or petty users. The “war on drugs” had led to the expansion of the US prison population to “unprecedented levels.” “Under President Reagan's campaign, annual drug arrests inside the United States doubled from 569,000 in 1977 to 1'155'000 in 1988; moreover, just 3/4 of these arrests were just for the “mere” possession of drugs, inclu...
The prohibitionist national policy towards drugs in U.S has been extremely contentious in the present times. After decades of the stance that costs billions how many each year, the paltry achievements and the countless negative externalities have led to a clamor for alternative policies instead of a “War on Drugs”.
Research shows that the U.S. hosts the highest incarceration rate among all nations in the world with 40 percent of the arrested inmates having been convicted for non-violent drug crimes. The federal government has spent billions for drug control while only a pi...
A typical contention about either decriminalization or legitimization is that if drugs are authorized, misconduct will be affected generously. In his article, Toward a Policy on Drugs, Elliot Currie demonstrates that there are solid connections between of crime and drug dependence. As Currie focuses out, crime rate is influenced essentially by utilizing drugs. Both drug pharmacists and
Concerned authorities have focused essentially on criminalization and punishment, to find remedies to the ever-increasing prevalent drug problem. In the name of drug reducing policies, authorities endorse more corrective and expensive drug control methods and officials approve stricter new drug war policies, violating numerous human rights. Regardless of or perhaps because of these efforts, UN agencies estimate the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry at $US400 billion, or the equivalent of roughly eight per cent of total international trade (Riley 1998). This trade has increased organized/unorganized crime, corrupted authorities and police officials, raised violence, disrupted economic markets, increased risk of diseases an...
A “drug-free society” has never existed, and probably will never exist, regardless of the many drug laws in place. Over the past 100 years, the government has made numerous efforts to control access to certain drugs that are too dangerous or too likely to produce dependence. Many refer to the development of drug laws as a “war on drugs,” because of the vast growth of expenditures and wide range of drugs now controlled. The concept of a “war on drugs” reflects the perspective that some drugs are evil and war must be conducted against the substances
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.