Effects of the United States Failed War on Drugs Policy Essay

4544 Words Apr 25th, 2013 19 Pages
Effects of the United States Failed War on Drugs Policy

Hector Arreola

SSCI 306 MWF 10:40-11:50 AM

March 14, 2012































Abstract

The “War on Drugs” policy has been the approach by the United States to protect citizens from the harmful effects of illegal drugs. The article examines the failures of the war on drug policy has had on society, such as, increasing violence, increasing the prison population, increased spending of billions of taxpayer funds, and being racially biased against minorities. The war on drugs policy reflects a deeper political agenda and is diverting attention away from the real issue by
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Therefore, president after president has adopted the “war” metaphor and declared drugs as a national security risk that must be fought at an international level to maintain society safe. In Bush’s speech to the nation, he states the citizens must come together behind one plan of action, “an assault on every front” (cited in Elwood, 1995 p. 106). Consequently, the misuse of rhetoric, war metaphors, and the assault on drugs have had a negative impact on society which has failed American citizens.

Additionally, the war on drugs is also having an impact on minorities and lower socio-economic citizens by imprisoning African-American and Hispanic citizens at alarming rates. Nationwide, the rate of persons admitted to prison on drug charges for black men is 13 times higher than that for White men (Fellner, 2000). Currently African-American and Hispanic citizens make up the majority of the prison population that is the result of the harsher sentencing of drug related crimes. In 1989, the Bush administration targeted the public housing projects by devoting $50 million to fight crime in the public housing projects. This would help restore order and kick out the dealers for good (cited in Elwood, 1995 p. 104). In 1973, the Rockefeller drug law was enacted which provided extremely harsh sanction and mandatory minimum prison sentences, for example, sentencing someone to fifteen years to life for selling an ounce of heroin (as cited in…