November 9, 2013
The Decriminalization of Drugs It goes without saying that America faces a drug addiction that is beyond anything we could have ever anticipated. It is reported that an estimated 22.5 million Americans suffer from a dependency from a drug of some sort, whether it may be stimulants, depressants or hallucinogens (NIDA 2). However these victims of addiction are often demonized for their condition and are treated as criminals by the infallible U.S. Government. As a result there is a trend of 1 in every 100 adults will end up incarcerated for a drug related offense such as possession (Drug Policy Alliance 1). So instead of treating addiction itself, many politicians decide that …show more content…
When a human encounters a reward such as sex, money, food or approval, it triggers the release of dopamine into the bloodstream, which gives a natural high. Now if drugs were introduced into a body, the brain would create up to 10 times the normal amount of dopamine, which is why drugs create such euphoria during a high (Siddiqui 4). This alarming amount of dopamine production is far beyond what the human brain can produce, thus leading to the brain solely relying upon the drug for dopamine production. Once an individual recovers from the high, the body undergoes homeostasis which is the regulation to bring the every system in the body back to normal. However the brain has become so reliant on the drug to induce dopamine it there is a shift in priority for the individual, a shift that convinces the brain the drug is necessary for survival (Siddiqui 6). With these afflictions to the human mind, research is still ongoing for exactly what causes addiction. The University of Utah is currently the leader in genetics study towards how addiction works and has come to the conclusion that addiction is inherited. The discovery is a result of isolating key genes, receptor cells and hormones that work in specific combinations that are directly related for certain addictions. The research was conducted on lab mice by administering different drugs such as alcohol and cocaine, and then meticulously identifies those that became addicted and identified certain aspects of their
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Drug decriminalization is opposed by the majority of Americans. Leaders in drug prevention, education, treatment, and law enforcement are against it, as are many political leaders. However, pro-drug advocacy groups, who support the use of drugs, are making headlines. They are influencing legislation and having a significant impact on the national policy debate in the United States. Although, pro-advocacy groups claim decriminalization of drugs will lower incarceration rates and boost the economy, drugs must stay illegal in America, if not, more people will use, causing negative effects on health, families and communities.
To begin with, studies have found that inherited genes are responsible for a considerably large part of the probability that someone will become addicted to any kind of substance or behavior. Addiction is strongly influenced by genetic factors in the later stages of addiction, such as problem use and dependence of an addictive substance. Some genetic factors can make an individual more likely to become addicted to only one specific drug. On the other hand, some genes can make an individual more likely to become addicted in general. Some individuals might be genetically inclined to risk-taking behavior such as receiving large jolts of dopamine through what they consider to be the “excitement” of drug use. These individuals could be subject to keep returning to the illicit and harmful drugs that they find enjoyable despite what they know of the harmful effects. These genetic influences could make them more likely to become addicted to alcohol, cocaine, tobacco, gambling, or any number of substances or activities. Addiction has an inherited component and it
There are many differing viewpoints in the United States when dealing with drug policy. Within the political arena, drug policy is a platform that many politicians base their entire campaigns upon, thus showing its importance to our society in general. Some of these modes within which drug policy is studied are in terms of harm reduction, and supply reduction. When studying the harmful effects of drugs, we must first to attempt to determine if drug abuse harms on an individual level of if it is a major cause of many societal problems that we face today. In drawing a preliminary conclusion to this question we are then able to outline the avenues of approach in dealing
The continued, growing supply, and demand for powerful psychoactives proves this. To lie to the populace in order to fulfill a personal view of what society should be is unjustifiable, as the U.S. is a democratic republic, and one man’s views are theoretically never allowed to become law. Both of these realities pale in comparison with the actions taken by the government to attempt to rehabilitate the addict. To illustrate this point some facts must be stated. In 2013, 98,200 people were currently imprisoned for drug related crimes. This is 51% of the total federal prison population. Of the nearly 4 million people on probation at the end of 2012, 25% had a drug charge as their most serious offense. The amount of money that would be saved, and the number of people who would still be living upstanding productive lives if drug charges had never been criminalized is almost incalculable (People Sentenced For Drug Offenses In The US Correctional System). Additionally, according to the NCADD, 8% of the U.S. population used an illicit drug in the past 30 days. 20% has used a prescription for nonmedical purposes (NCADD). In effect, this means that between 20 and 30% of the population could be imprisoned for potentially years at a time on a monthly basis. The draconian laws set up by the government
For over a century, America has waged a failing war on drugs even as it feeds a cultural apathetic and underground acceptance of drug and alcohol use. The views of the dominate group have placed blame on society’s ills on the evils of rampant drug use throughout the past few hundred years, which have given way to a practice of outlawing , persecution, and imprisonment. Such a view has led to the overflow of our state’s prisons, the race to build even more, and need to
I believe that the United States federal government should decriminalize all drugs and narcotics in order to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on excessive and expensive federally funded imprisonment, and to turn the issue of drug consumption back into a health issue, as opposed to a legal issue. The Unites States government is well known for having a massive and expensive prison system, widely populated by citizens incarcerated for nonviolent drug crimes. A legalization of drugs in American would drastically reduce crime rate and federal prison expenses. The drug issue, as we know it today in the U.S. is misclassified as a legal issue. With drug legalization, consumption of narcotics would become much safer, as addicts and users would be treated
Drugs are a very big problem in the world and many deaths are caused by the wrong use of drugs, overdose and suicide. Everywhere you look people are affected by them and a lot of discussion over the drug issue occurs daily. Most of the people tend to drugs because they want to change something about their lives. They think drugs are a solution, so they use it as a way to escape from their problems or to relax or to just fit in the society. But eventually, the drugs become the problem. And the consequences of drug use are always worse than the problems one is trying to cope with them. Many people today calling for the legalization of the drugs especially the most widely used prohibited substance in the United States – Marijuana. People don’t
From “Just Say No to Drugs” programs in elementary schools to minimum sentences for drug crimes, America has tried to contain its usage of illicit substances. The goal of anti-drug programs and policies are to deter people from using and abusing drugs. On the other side of the country’s schizophrenic relationship with illicit mood-altering substances, drugs can be found in most communities in America, from sketchy side alleys to upper class neighborhoods. When drug policies are pondered, several main questions arise. (1) Are drug laws helpful, do they accomplish the goals they aim to? (2) How do we as a society treat those who abuse drugs; are addicts criminals? (3) What are the costs/benefits, social, financial and otherwise, of our current
America is at war with drugs. Since drug use has become an epidemic in America, the government now has an extremely strict drug policy in effect. Some Americans deem the policy to be inefficient and as a result would like to banish drug laws completely. In contrast others find the strict policy to be an effective strategy in the war against drugs. Since the war on drugs has become a huge crisis in American society, one day Americans will have to decide whether or not they support the legalization of drugs. Those who do and do not want to legalize drugs both use government spending, mandatory sentencing, and civil liberties to argue their side on either policy.
I learnt from this class that addiction can be managed if people are educated about what drugs are and how it will affect them. Before addiction though, it has to be understood that not everybody who takes drugs get addicted to it. A large number of people take some form of drugs but do not abuse it; they are usually not forthcoming with this information because of the stigma attached to taking drugs and the legal implications of their actions. However, if anyone does become addicted then the best way is to advocate for them is to campaign for the decriminalization of all drugs in this country. If we follow the Portuguese model, it will prevent us from sending large number of people to prisons for non violent crimes like possession. Spending
Many of today’s experts take information from the earlier years of United States history. In addition, they use it to support the argument that legalization will, in fact, stop the black market from growing and selling these drugs. In the 1800s, there was a large movement for temperance, or anti-alcohol, which was started by physicians, ministers, and large employers concerned about their workers. By the mid-1800s, this movement had become one of the middle class. This movement was dedicated to showing and convincing people that alcoholic drinks eroded moral character as well as the physical and mental well-being of those who drank alcohol. The temperance supporters considered alcohol as people currently view heroin. From the beginning the temperance ideology was a powerful force in making
Nonetheless, does legalization of illegal products, such as drugs, diminish black market activity? James Q. Wilson, a former professor at UCLA and Harvard, stated in one of his columns “Our federal drug laws are irrational,” readers then demanded him that we should solve this problem by legalizing drugs (Wilson). It would be so simple and easy if the legalization of drugs could only work to solve our nation’s black market drug problem. However, this has not worked in any of the cases that have been tried. In Colorado, where marijuana is legal, growers were growing marijuana and shipping it to other states where it is illegal. Even though it is legal in nine states, these growers are still selling it on the black market to avoid the legal regulation
The so-called “War on Drugs,” as declared by the Nixon administration in the signing of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, marked the beginning of the current era of mandatory minimum sentencing, racism, privatized prisons, and a powerful constituency that profits as a result of the prohibition of drugs. Psychoactive substances have been apart of the human experience as long as humans have walked the earth. There is little hope that drug production will ever be curtailed, so long as there is a demand; a demand that has remained steady even though it has been forty years since the beginning of said war. As Judge James P. Gray from the Superior Court of Orange County has so plainly put it: “Where did this policy
The decriminalization of marijuana has been increasing in popularity on voting ballots in recent years, and for good reason. Marijuana has been used to treat an array of symptoms associated with a variety of diseases and has many beneficial properties for prescription use. The criminalization of marijuana in the United States has a profoundly negative impact socially, environmentally, and economically. Attempts to rectify these issues through regulatory laws and ballot measures have created confusion among voters, law enforcement, and government branches on both a state and federal level. This paper will discuss specifically Colorado's Amendment 64 (2012), Arizona's Proposition 205 (2016) and California's Proposition 64 (2016), three of the most recent decriminalization policies. Included in the discussion will be an examination of their individual strengths and weaknesses in addition to their implementation success and the observed effects (if any) of these policies. Lastly, I will explain my personal stance on the success of government involvement attempts and the overall impact of the criminalization of marijuana.