War on Drugs
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1073
- Category: Drugs
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Today’s Drug laws seem to do more harm than good. The so-called drug war hasn’t seemed to be as effective as it was intended to be. Its original intent lies in its name, to attack the drug problem in America. Nixon started the war on drugs in the late sixties to stop drug abuse at the source, the distributors. Another intention for the war on drugs was to show individuals taking part in this illegal activity that their participation would cause serious consequences. The government has taken drastic measures to keep drugs out of our nations streets, from attacking the frontline in The Columbian drug fields, to making numerous drug busts in urban cities across the United States.
However, these harsh but well- intentioned laws have been accused of infringing on America’s freedom. Some believe the people have a natural right to use drugs if the perfectly well chose to do so. Although the war on drugs has been going on for many years, drugs still remain a big problem in the lives of many Americans. Drug offenders as well as abusers are being punished with extreme penalties. Innocent people are suffering because of this. And finally, all the tax dollars going into this war seems to be in vain because its not progressing like it should.
The American Government saw that drugs were repressing its citizens, which made them spring into action. The Government wanted to do whatever it took to rid its streets from drugs and crime, which in time the War on Drugs was created. Nixon launched programs with efforts to crackdown on illegal drug use. He created the Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement (ODALE) and the Office of National Narcotics Intelligence (ONNI). In 1973, he also initiated Reorganization Plan No. 2, which changed the BNDD into the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 created five schedules that categorized drugs according to their effects and availability by prescription Drug use among America’s children in on the rise, and education is a perfect logical way of lowering their usage. The Omnibus Drug Enforcement, Education, and Control Act of 1986 was introduced to stiffen penalties for pushers, increased customs and border patrols, outlawed synthetic drugs, and improved treatment and prevention programs.
The illicit drug trade market is the second largest business in the world, bringing in over 500 billion dollars a year. The government has gone in and waged war against Columbian drug lords. Marijuana became the most popular drugs, due to the rise in usage, the federal government attempted to cut off the supply at the Mexican border. They have seized and destroyed billions of dollars worth drugs intended for the consumption of our nation. There have been countless raids and stings on our own countries soil, resulting in many justified arrests. Despite its many profitable programs and war- like tactics, drug use continues to increase and will continue if we do not do anything about it, either in legalization or legislation, imprisonment or rehabilitation. America is constantly building more and more jails every year. We do this because it is easier to put drug offenders in jail than it is to try and help them.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reported that 80% of all prisoners are drug offenders. Since 1980, we have tripled our prisons population even though crime rates have been declining since the seventies. In all reality, incarceration does little to deter a criminal from committing another offense when they are released. Prisons aren’t solving our drug problems, but rather adding to it. After these people are released, they are labeled as ex-cons, and that is why most return to jail. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, total sentenced drug offenders went from 3,384 in 1970 to 55,624 in 1998 because of the stricter penalties enforced by the government. People have been arrested for marijuana alone, which doesn’t include other illegal drugs. Most of these people imprisoned are non-violent drug offenders, who get longer sentences than most violent offenders.
The taxpayers are spending thousands of dollars on the support of each prisoner each year. Most of the drug offenders in prison are low-income people who were trying to support their family the only way they knew how, selling drugs. For the cost of sentencing a drug offender or abuser, we could give the offender one year in prison, one year of residential drug treatment, and three years of supervised probation and outpatient drug treatment. The laws that regulate drug controls are too strict, and affect everyone, not just the user. We should reconsider prohibition on drugs that are considered to be dangerous. . Sure the drugs most harmful one to our health should be controlled on some level. But the truth is the war on drugs is failing and until there are some provisions made it will continue to fail. Past legislation to control drug use has failed miserably over the years and new legislation will do the same. Many accuse the war on drugs for racial profiling, violation of privacy and civil rights, and raising the prison population with innocent people. The war on drugs is clearly affecting people in a big way, which leaves a hypothetical question: how long will America suffer before something is done? Either side seems to back down which makes the war on drugs a real one. We all must understand that something has to be done.
There are many groups whose main attempt is it eliminates these laws. Whether or not they are on the right track in solving the problem makes their intentions invalid. Harsh laws and the treat of jail will not stop drug abuse. We learned this from History. When the Prohibition law was passed in 1920, innocent people suffered, organized crime grew, government officials (police, court, politicians, ect.) became corrupt, disrespect for the law grew, and the consumption of prohibited substance increased. If America has learned anything from it’s past, prohibiting people in a democratic society causes more and more problems. Legalization also brings on a bunch of other problems, which makes this issue more complicated. The answers aren’t going to fall into place. It is going to take arguments from both sides to come to an agreeable decision, and then and only then is this war on drugs will come to an inevitable end.