The Failure of the War on Drugs Essay

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The War on Drugs in the United States has a profound influence on both the incarceration rates and activities of the criminal justice system. Many politicians and advocates of the policy claim that the War on Drugs is a necessary element to deter criminal behavior and reduce the crime rate. However, studies show that drug deterrent policies on possession and use have been inadequate and unsuccessful (Cole & Gertz, 2013). Studies also show that the War on Drugs has not attained its objectives because the policy exhibits racial discrepancy as it has led to the disproportionate incarceration of Blacks and minorities. Specifically, evidence indicates that the upper class, generally White individuals, is more likely to use powered cocaine while…show more content…
The U.S. government eventually began establishing statutes against individuals possessing and using the drug. During a 1914 Congressional hearing, Congress approved the Harrison Act, which was a federal tax statute aimed at managing cocaine and attending to the dramatic increased addiction to the drug (Davis, 2011). Initially, southern legislators objected government regulation on cocaine due to its high demand and their suspicions over the power of the federal government (Davis, 2011). Southern legislators ultimately manipulated federal legislators through racist illusions to manage cocaine restrictions against Blacks only, although White individuals were the dominant proportion of addicts (Davis, 2011). Furthermore, advocates of the Harrison Act stated that “southern employers gave cocaine to black workers . . . and it caused the workers to be violent” (Davis, 2011, p. 380). Events like this guided the social processes of drugs and drug panics as society began developing racial stereotypes on cocaine because they identified Black individuals to be cocaine users and abusers (Faupel, Horowitz & Weaver, 2010). The drug panic of the 1980s led to the mass and disproportionate incarceration of Blacks and minorities. During the second half of the 20th century, the Regan administration established a sequence of drug statutes they called the War on
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