How Congress Has Influenced Our Current Ineffective Drug Policy

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specifically, I will outline our nation 's general drug history and look critically at how Congress has influenced our current ineffective drug policy. Through this analysis I hope to show that drug prohibition policies in the United States, for the most part, have failed. Additionally, I will highlight and evaluate the influences acting on individual legislators ' decisions to continue support for these ineffective policies as a more general demonstration of Congress ' role in the formation of our nation 's drug policy strategy. Finally, I will conclude this analysis by outlining the changes I feel necessary for future progress to be made. Primary among these changes are a general promotion of drug education and the elimination of our current system 's many de-legitimating hypocrisies.

However, before the specific outcomes of Congressional influence and policy impact can be evaluated it becomes important to first review the general history and current situation of drugs today. Our present drug laws were first enacted at the beginning of the century. At the time, recreational use of narcotics was not a major social issue. The first regulatory legislation was for the purpose of standardizing the manufacturing and purity of pharmaceutical products. Shortly after, the first criminal laws were enacted which addressed opium products and cocaine. Although some states had prohibited the recreational use of marijuana, there was no federal criminal legislation until 1937. By
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