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During the 1960s, drugs represented youth rebellion and social and political dissent. The government rerouted scientific research to study the medical safety and efficacy of drugs.
In 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” He substantially increased the presence and size of federal drug agencies, and passed legislation like mandatory sentencing laws and unconstitutional warrants. Nixon even listed marijuana as a Schedule One drug, the most constrictive drug category. Over forty years later, the U.S is still waging a war on drugs, spending billions of dollars per year and creating major social issues.

A 2012 poll showed that 58% of Americans are in favor of decriminalization of drugs like Marijuana, as opposed to 12% back in 1969. [1] Many Americans feel that the war on drugs has failed, and that our police officers and other federal institutions could be making better use of their time, effort, and fiscal resources. The cost of this war on drugs has become so great. Not only does the war cost billions to enforce, but countless lives are lost as the cartels become more violent in their pursuit of power.

Aside from the violence and costly attempts of control that accompany drug trade, there are severe social implications of the U.S war on drugs. One of the major social topics today is that of Marijuana use and punishment in America. Since 1937, over 26 million Americans have been arrested for Marijuana use. [2] The effects and harms are still debated today, yet many people serve time in jails and prisons, waiting to be released with criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their life. Further, those incarcerated are represented by a disproportionate amount ...

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...e daily limit.
3 Grillo, Ioan. "Drug War No More." The New York Times.
4 Pilgrim, Sophie. "Cannabis Advocates Eye End to Prohibition as Colorado Trade Booms." France 24.
5 Serrano, Alfonso. "Jesus Would End the War on Drugs | Al Jazeera America."


With the opinion of the American people becoming more allowing of low-level drug use, and the successful monetary generation in states like Colorado, we are now seeing viable alternatives to spending billions of dollars in failed efforts to restrict drug use, unfair imprisonment of minorities, and a dependence of drug users on violent cartels. The opinions of society is ever-changing, and this will certainly have an effect on our drug laws an policies. It is apparent that the negative stigma surrounding recreational drug use -at least with marijuana- is slowly diminishing.
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