For many years, drugs have been the center of crime and the criminal justice system in the United States. Due to this widespread epidemic, President Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in 1971 with a campaign that promoted the prohibition of illicit substances and implemented policies to discourage the overall production, distribution, and consumption. The War on Drugs and the U.S. drug policy has experienced the most significant and complex challenges between criminal law and the values of today’s society. With implemented drug polices becoming much harsher over the years in order to reduce the overall misuse and abuse of drugs and a expanded federal budget, it has sparked a nation wide debate whether or not they have created more harm than good. When looking at the negative consequences of these policies not only has billions of dollars gone to waste, but the United States has also seen public health issues, mass incarceration, and violent drug related crime within the black market in which feeds our global demands and economy. With this failed approach for drug prohibition, there continues to be an increase in the overall production of illicit substances, high rate of violence, and an unfavorable impact to our nation.
In the essay “America’s Unjust Drug War” by Michael Huemer, Huemer discusses the facts and opinions around the subject on whether or not the recreational use of drugs should be banned by law. Huemer believes that the American government should not prohibit the use of drugs. He brings up the point on drugs and how they harm the users and the people in the user’s life; he proves that the prohibition on drugs in unjust. Huemer believes that drug prohibition is an injustice to Americans’ natural rights and questions why people can persucute those who do drugs.
Proponents on the legalization of drugs believe if drugs were to become legal; the black market worth billions of dollars would become extinct, drug gangsters would disappear, addicts would stop committing crimes to support their habit and the prison system would not be overwhelmed with a problem they cannot defeat. The decriminalization of drugs will only make illegal drugs cheaper, easier to get and more acceptable to use. “The U.S. has 20 million alcoholics and alcohol misusers, but only around 6 million illegal drug addicts. If illegal drugs were easier to obtain, this figure would rise”(Should Drugs be decriminalized? No.November 09, 2007 Califano Joseph A, Jr).”
Currently, drugs continue to be extremely high on the lists of concerns Americans have and it is a serious problem that we need to take charge of. To a lot of people drugs aren’t really a big issue because they aren’t users, but actually they impact everyone – users and non-users alike. I believe that if the entirety of the United States adopted a policy towards the decriminalization of marijuana then the negative demeanor that is often associated with drugs would be diminished. The drug policy we have now -- sucks. Drug laws have only inspired illegal activity, whether it be illegal trafficking, sale, use, development, growth, and MANY people have been killed because of
Critics argue that legalization of certain drugs will not end the drug war and that instead, it will cause more violence and issues for the county’s well being. In the mid-1980’s the cocaine epidemic hit and a large amount of crime, deaths from overdoses and violence came with it. The result of this was laws being placed with minimum punishment for drug trafficking to attempt to control the issue. Throughout the early 1990s crime started to slowly decrease and in 2013 the amount of crime was reduced in half. One viewpoint is that once the title of being non-violent labeled drug traffickers crime started to rise anew. Some crimes included murders of innocent bystanders and more drug flow into the U.S (Cook1). William J. Bennett and John P. Walters, Boston Globe writers, complicate matters further when they write “For 25 years before President Obama, U.S policy confronted drug
At first Chapman does not limit his perspective to one side of criticizing the use of illegal drugs in society. Instead, he deals with this subject in a broad way. He argues over the fact that the use of these prohibited drugs costs the government a lot of money, police time and prison space and how in spite of taking several administrative steps, the government has suffered from a colossal failure in stopping the drug abuse. He provides the data in support of his argument which is direct and precise. Through the example of Bennett, he tries to convey the message that people are not willing to have the spread of drug abuse in citizenry. A survey was conducted asking people to respond to the following question: if illegal
If the government legalize drugs it would be easier for them to track down people that overdose and using drugs the wrong way. Husak says that illegal drugs provide the ideal scapegoat. Drugs are alleged to be so powerful that persons cannot be blamed very much for succumbing to them, as they could be blamed for not studying or working. And drugs are so plentiful and easy to conceal that government cannot be blamed very much for failing to eliminate them. I agree with him the government cannot be blamed for failing to eliminate them but, if they make it legal it wouldn’t really be a problem for the responsible
Today’s world is changing at a rapid pace. Things never thought to be possible are becoming very real. One of the popular subjects of wanting change is the legalization of drugs. There has already been a small amount of change in the drug legalization process with marijuana now being legal in a few of the states. Vanessa Baird in her work “Legalize Drugs- all of them!” argues for the legalization and decriminalization of drugs. John P. Walters counters Baird’s argument for legalization in his piece “Don’t Legalize Drugs.” Both authors take an extended look into the harsh reality of the drug war and the small progress it has made since it began.
Drug legalization is an enduring question that presently faces our scholars. This issue embraces two positions: drugs should not be legalized and drugs should be legalized. These two positions contain an array of angles that supports each issue. This brief of the issues enables one to consider the strengths and weakness of each argument, become aware of the grounds of disagreement and agreement and ultimately form an opinion based upon the positions stated within the articles. In the article “Against the Legalization of Drugs”, by James Q. Wilson, the current status of drugs is supported. Wilson believes if a drug such as heroin were legalized there would be no financial or medical reason to avoid heroin usage;
One the many controversies in our country today, regards the prohibition of illegal narcotics. Deemed unhealthy, hazardous, and even fatal by the authorities that be; the U.S. government has declared to wage a “war on drugs.” It has been roughly fifteen years since this initiative has begun, and each year the government shuffles more money into the unjust cause of drug prohibition. Even after all of this, the problem of drugs that the government sees still exists. The prohibition of drugs is a constitutional anomaly. There are many aspects and sides to look at the issue from, but the glaring inefficiency current laws exude is that any human should have the right to ingest anything he or she desires. The antagonist on the other end
Since the 1960s, State and federal law enforcement have become more focused into putting an end to drug use. Each year, crimes related to drug use has increased, making the government spend tens of billions of dollars arresting, convicting, and jailing drug users. Because of this ongoing problem, the government can’t help but to wonder “will this ever end?” and “Should we stop fighting?” With these questions being raised about a problem so conflicted, The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branch have different views and opinions regarding the Drug War’s Standpoint.
You might be tempted to label Thomas Szasz, author of Our Right to Drugs, The Case for a Free Market, a counter-culture hippie. However, this analysis couldn’t be further from the truth. Szasz, a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, is a major supporter of civil liberties. He sees the so-called "War on Drugs" as one of the worst atrocities that the American Government has perpetrated on its people. Szasz contends that the prohibition of certain drugs, including common prescription drugs, is nothing more than the government telling the people that "father knows best". It is this paternalistic attitude that Szasz finds so oppressive.
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 War on Drugs is a current conflict that has been going on for many decades. It is a movement organized by the United States Government in attempts to reduce the amount of illegal drug trafficking in the country. The War on Drugs enforced strict drug policies that are intended to reduce both the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal drugs. The term was first used by President Richard Nixon, during a press conference concerning the nationwide drug abuse issue, in which Nixon announces to the Congress that drug abuse was, “public enemy number one”. Illegal drugs are certainly dangerous; addiction and death are two but many factors as a result of drugs. However, even though the War on Drugs might sounds justifiable, in truth, it is actually making the drug issue worst in the country.
Laws that prohibit the possession and use of street drugs are important as their aim is to protect the user, those around them, and society in general from undue harm. There has been a great push during the last 10 years to legalize marijuana and decriminalize other drugs such as cocaine and heroin on the basis that the recreational user, and even the hard-core addict, may not be causing significant harm to anyone, beyond their own personal health. In this sense, drug use is viewed as a personal choice and drug laws trample on personal freedoms without sufficient reason. Additionally, minorities are found to be arrested and convicted of drug crimes at disproportionate rates when compared to the demographics of those who use illegal drugs, which some see these type of laws as a tool of legal oppression, instead of a valid punitive function. Still, there remains sufficient reasons to maintain laws against the possession and use of controlled substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin; though there is a compelling argument for the lessening of the amount punishment of the majority of users that are caught with small amounts of street drugs. This paper seeks to put forward valid reasons for the continued prohibition of drugs, while also making a case for the softening of incarceration policies.