Is the War on Drugs Being at All Effective

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Having spent over $400 billion over the course of the American drug prohibition, it’s sensible to ask the question, “Are we making any progress?” Shockingly, the answer from experts on both sides of the issue seems to be the same; a resounding “no”. It is clear at this point that the War on Drugs has ultimately failed, however the consequences of pursuing the issue have left North America in a disastrous state, with many economic as well as social issues. With people spending approximately three times as much money buying drugs as the government spends fighting against them, how can this war possibly be won when the government has to spend so much money combating in opposition to it? On top of the ridiculous cost of all the factors of the war, the availability of the illegal drugs complicates things even more. The War on Drugs in America is a failure for a multitude of reasons. The first reason the United Sates “War on Drugs” is proving to be a failure is the fact that illegal narcotics are becoming more and more cheaper while their potency continues to increase. Agencies such as the DEA and Border Patrol are failing to decrease the flow of drugs into the United States. Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to enforce these agencies, common statistics, such that the United States remains the #1 Nation for illegal drug use, proves that the money is simply being wasted. Cocaine, heroin, and marijuana have become cheaper and stronger over the past two decades, despite increases in drug seizures by authorities fighting the illegal drug markets. A study showed that between 1990 and 2007, the average purity of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana increased by 60, 11, and 160 percent (respectively). The lower prices and higher pu... ... middle of paper ... ...ts push to eliminate drugs, the higher drug prices become to compensate for greater risks, leading to larger profits for traffickers who avoid being punished. This is why larger gangs often benefit from a tough War on Drugs, especially when the government is targeting small time dealers and not the major gangs. A more aggressive war on drugs only leads to dealers to respond with higher levels of corruption and violence. Large profits for dealers who avoid getting caught and penalized only encourage them to attempt to bribe/intimate police, along with politicians and anyone else who’s involved in the War on Drugs. When they refuse, they are simply threatened with violence and then must begin to fear for their lives, along with those of their family. Focusing large-scale traffickers rather than small-fry dealers could eliminate many problems tied to the War on Drugs.

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