In the past forty years, the United States has spent over $2.5 trillion dollars funding enforcement and prevention in the fight against drug use in America (Suddath). Despite the efforts made towards cracking down on drug smugglers, growers, and suppliers, statistics show that addiction rates have remained unchanged and the number of people using illegal drugs is increasing daily (Sledge). Regardless of attempts to stem the supply of drugs, the measure and quality of drugs goes up while the price goes down (Koebler). Now with the world’s highest incarceration rates and greatest illegal drug consumption (Sledge), the United States proves that the “war on drugs” is a war that is not being won.
America’s war on drugs has failed. After millions of dollars and untold man hours spent enforcing the prohibition of illegal drugs, there is little, if any, success to show for it. Illicit drugs are still available on most American street corners, drug usage rates have not decreased, and the scourge of drug related violence continues to spread like wildfire. Sadly, the war on drugs has also resulted in the incarceration of millions of Americans for petty possession offenses and has created a black market for illicit drugs upon which criminal organizations, such as the Mexican cartels and even the Taliban, thrive. Decriminalization of drugs is the only way America will ever be able to eradicate its drug problem. Imagine a country where drug users were treated instead of imprisoned, where drug usage rates perennially fell, and where diseases such as AIDS and Hepatitis C were in decline. This isn’t a fantasy, drug decriminalization policies have been proven to work and they’re America’s only answer to the drug epidemic.
According to John Ehrlichman, who served time in prison for his connection in the Watergate scandal, the Drug War was “intended to disempower the anti-war and black rights movements in the 1970s.” It’s no secret that drug use in the United States has been a problem. Many Americans have struggled with addiction to some of the worse drugs. Many lives have been affected in some of the most terrible ways. It can be easily said that due to America’s history with drugs that former president Richard Nixon noticed the problem and felt there was something that needed to be done. In 1969, the president had established an action which became known as the ‘War on drugs’. He proclaimed, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive (Sharp, 1994, p.1).” Nixon fought drug abuse on both the supply and demand fronts. Nixon’s drug policies reflect both the control view and disease view of addiction. The main objective was to minimize the use and selling of illegal narcotics. Many people believe that the War on drugs has been a failure for the criminal justice system. As a result of this people have came to the theory that if the government would legalize drugs and control it, that it would serve as a better solution to the drugs and violence they bring.
When my audience hears “War on Drugs” they may assume it is a worthy endeavor because drug abuse is such a pervasive problem that affects many families. I must dispel the assumption that the “War on Drugs” dealt with the drug abuse problem or reduced drug sales. I can do this by demonstrating that there is plenty of evidence showing that the “War on Drugs” did not do what it set out to do and is therefore not an effective approach to the problem of drug trade and abuse. Additionally the imprisoning of citizens, even if it is done unjustly, does not reduce crime at comparable rates. Research from Harvard found that during the “War on Drugs” in state prisons there was a 66% increase in prison population but crime was only reduced by 2-5% and it cost the taxpayers 53 billion dollars (Coates, 2015). The fact the violent crime went up all through Nixon’s administration while he rallied for “Law & Order” and policing became more severe furthers this argument (Alexander, 2012). Four out five drug arrests are low-level possession charges as well, demonstrating that police policies aren’t dismantling the drug system just punishing addicts (Alexander, 2012). What’s more, drug abuse in America have remained stagnate and even increased in some instances even when billions of dollars have been pumped into the program (National
Drugs have been a problem in the country for a long time. Issues with drugs even existed in ancient times. However, through the War on Drugs, the media created a panic about the issue, making citizens believe drug abuse was an exponentially growing new epidemic in the United States. Although the War on Drugs was declared in 1982 and was intended to reduce the rates of drug abuse in the US, America’s drug problem increased dramatically over the next years (Bagley, 1988).
The war on drugs has proven to be a long standing complex issue in today's society. Decades after Regan declared America's stand on the drug epidemic, this subject is still a topic of conversation amongst the government, local and federal, along with concerned citizens. America has made little to no progress in decreasing drug addiction and distribution in communities and has yet to find a solution on how to stop drug pollution. Many years later, with still or solution, one may ask, is this indeed a judicial issue? Or it is a legislative problem? Why has the government been ineffective 30 years later? Has there been any progress since the beginning stages? What is it going to take to conquer this
“The war on drugs is being lost on a daily basis,”- Rhys Ifans. The war on drugs is an ongoing battle that the United States has been fighting for many years. Many people believe that drug abuse and addition is only a recent problem, but this is far from the truth. Not only is drug addiction a problem today, but it was also a huge problem in the late 1800’s all throughout the 1900’s. Many of the drugs that were abused throughout history started off as over the counter medication, this is why the war on drugs is such a hard battle to win.
No matter who has occupied the executive branch, the United States has pursued the same overall policies throughout the drug war. Anti-drug policies can be separated into two general camps, 'supply-reduction ' and 'demand-reduction’ (McCabe 5). Supply-reduction strategies seek to reduce the availability of drugs by limiting access to drug sources and increasing the risks of drug possession and distribution. Demand-reduction strategies, on the other hand, seek to reduce demand for illegal drugs through drug use prevention and treatment. The rhetoric of war helped shape the strategies that were used to combat the perceived drug threat.
The American “War on Drugs” war created to keep an exorbitant amount of people behind bars, and in a subservient status. First, America has a storied history when it comes to marijuana use. However, within the last 50 years legislation pertaining to drug use and punishment has increased significantly. In the modern era, especially hard times have hit minority communities thanks to these drug laws. While being unfairly targeted by drug laws and law enforcement, minorities in America are having a difficult time trying to be productive members of society.
In the past 40 years, the American government has spent more than $2.5 trillion dollars on the war against drugs. The huge expenditure has been coupled by numerous the ad campaigns, clean-up on smuggling, and increase in illicit drug users and incarceration rates. Actually, the increase in illicit drug users currently stands at 19.9 million in the United States with huge supplies from Mexico. With the increase in both the expenditure and number of illegal drug users, there have been huge concerns regarding the country's war on drugs. The main question is why the United States can continue spending much money on this war while it can legalize and tax the supply of drugs. The most appropriate and effective measure for tackling the problem of drugs is through legalizing and collecting taxes than spending huge amounts in stopping the flow of the commodities to America.
The United States government has been wasting millions of dollars each year on a worthless war that cannot be won. This war is explained in detail by author Art Caden in their essay “Let’s Be Blunt” about the United State war on drugs. The war on drugs began in 1971 under the order of President Richard Nixon, and it was one of the worst decisions he ever made. It has been nothing but a waste of government funding, time, and manpower that can only be described as a dismal failure and should be repealed or at the very least medical marijuana should be made legal.
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.
The “War on Drugs” is the name given to the battle of prohibition that the United States has been fighting for over forty years. And it has been America’s longest war. The “war” was officially declared by President Richard Nixon in the 1970’s due to the abuse of illegitimate drugs. Nixon claimed it as “public enemy number one” and enacted laws to fight the importation of narcotics. The United States’ War on Drugs began in response to cocaine trafficking in the late 1980’s. As the war continues to go on, winning it hardly seems feasible. As stated by NewsHour, the National Office of Drug Control Policy spends approximately nineteen billion dollars a year trying to stop the drug trade. The expenses shoot up, indirectly, through crime,