War On Drugs Essay

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The War on Drugs:

America’s Unjust War on The Underprivileged

Alan Rodriguez

Sociology 346

Since the 1970’s the United States has been waging an ever expanding and seemingly never ending war on drugs. The United States has spent trillions of dollars to rid the streets of illegal drugs, but too little effect. On the contrary drug use is higher today than during the 70’s when the drug war was officially declared by the Nixon Administration. Not only has the war on drugs failed to limit the drug trade, it has also damaged the black and Latino community. Women and lower class citizens have also been affected by our drug policies. The war on drugs is rooted in racist ideology and as consequence has disproportionately affected lower class communities of color. This war on drugs will continue until the people decide to take action towards a better and more reasonable policy.
The war on drugs has taken top priority for many police department due to policies introduced by the Reagan administration. As a consequence of this renewed fervor against drug use lower class citizens have faced the grunt of Reagan’s war. When the war on drugs started drug use was down and most communities didn’t really care about it, even police departments were against it. Parenti states that police argued that the war on drugs (WOD) would drain resources from serious crimes. So the Reagan Administration helped pass the Byrne program, which gave police departments, millions of dollars, military equipment, and training if they made the WOD their priority. Departments soon began to compete for the money, which resulted in the quick militarization of police. The war on drugs also expanded due to the Reagan administration’s policy of allowing police dep...

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...they decriminalized drug use and instead have focused on rehabilitation, as a result their drug use rate has dropped, crime has fallen, and HV transmission has fallen.
The evidence shows that rehabilitation is a better option than our current tough on drugs approach, but too many people benefit from the war on drugs for there to be meaningful change. The biggest proponents of the war on drugs are private prisons, guards and police unions. Private prisons need bodies to fill their prisons and the war on drugs provides their biggest source. Prison guards benefit because it gives them job stability by keeping a constant stream of prisoners. Police benefit due the previously mentioned Byrne program, which helps with funding. For this reason the guard and police unions were one of the biggest contributors against California’s recent attempt to decriminalize marijuana.
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