The War on Drugs

analytical Essay
1522 words
1522 words

Despite an estimated $1 trillion spent by the United States on the “War on Drugs”, statistics from the US Department of Justice (2010) has confirmed that the usage of drugs has not changed over the past 10 years. Approximately $350 billion is spent per year on the “war on drugs”, only $7 billion is spent on prevention programs by the federal government. The war on drugs is more heavily focused on how to fight crime, instead of how to prevent it. Crime prevention methods may not be immediate, but it is the most efficient and effective long-term. Not only is the war on drugs costly, it is also ineffective at reducing or eliminating trade and usage. The “War on Drugs” campaign has been unsuccessful in preventing the illegal drug trade. As a result, the campaign has managed to marginalize and impoverish the participating societies, causing social and economic harm. By pointing out the failures of this campaign this paper will explain how alternatives can lead to a more successful outcome.

Conventional “War on Drug” policies are hurting communities. With more severe penalties to drug users, more incarceration rates in the United States are occurring. Statistics have shown that the United States houses 25% of the world’s prisoners where 1 in 3 are involved in drug trade (International Centre for Science in Drug Policy). In the United States, the policies of drug prohibition were meant to implement an idea of becoming “tougher on crime” to decrease usage. Unfortunately, the high rate of incarceration has shown that the objective of the war on drugs campaign has been unsuccessful. The government suggests that by removing and punishing the drug users in communities, that the drug trafficking would also be eliminated. With the drug...

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International Centre for Science in Drug Policy - ICSDP. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. .

O'Grady, William. Crime in Canadian Context: Debates and Controversies. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford UP, 2007. 13-14, 169. Print.

Ojmarrh, Mitchell. "INEFFECTIVENESS, FINANCIAL WASTE, AND UNFAIRNESS: THE LEGACY OF THE WAR ON DRUGS." Journal of Crime & Justice (2009). 1-19. Print.

Whitmore, Allison M. "The Need to Know: Why Multiple State Drug Possession Offenses Should Not Automatically Amount to an Aggravated Felony." New England Journal on Criminal & Civil Confinement 36.2 (2010): 359-79. Print.

Willis, Katie. "Measuring the Effectiveness of Drug Law Enforcement." Trends & Issues in Crime & Criminal Justice 406 (2011): 1-7. Print.

Witt, Jon. Soc: A Matter of Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. 397- 412 Print. Canadian Edition.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the "war on drugs" campaign has not effectively managed the illegal drug trade and trafficking in the united states, and has cost the nation tremendous amounts of money.
  • Analyzes how the us "war on drugs" campaign has been unsuccessful in preventing the illegal drug trade, causing social and economic harm.
  • Explains carroll, john, ben-zadok efraim, and mccue clifford's "evaluation of efficiency in crime control and crime prevention programs."
  • Describes o'grady, william, ojmarrh, mitchell, willis, katie, and witt, jon.
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