Introduction In recent years across the United States and in many other nations as well, drug policy and the rationale behind these policies have started to undergo a tremendous shift. This change in public policy is visible to most through the ongoing legislation across America regarding the legalization of medical marijuana in 23 states, and recreational cannabis use becoming legal in 4 states as well (Hanson, 2015). This shift in public policy marks a significant turning point in the view of drugs and drug culture in the United States and reflects increased public knowledge of the less than desirable affects of the “drug war” mentality. Government spending on drug control in the United States totals $35 billion per year, and almost half a million dealers and users are currently in prisons and jails on drug charges and yet despite this massive investment of tax dollars and government authority, the United States still has the worst drug problem among Western nations (Boyum & Reuter, 2005). The implications of the current failings of U.S. policy with regards to drug related offenses as well as the changes in ideology in recent years with regards to drugs and drug users will likely lead to a shift in how North America as a culture chooses to handle the problems and woes of drug culture. The number of drug offenders under incarceration in America grew tenfold from 1980 to 2005 (Boyum & Reuter, 2005). In the face of this fact there is strikingly little evidence that
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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.
What affect did the “War on Drugs” have on America during the mid 1980s-early 2000s? Annotated Bibliography Primary Sources Applewhite, Scott. “War on Drugs Washington D.C.” July 18, 1989. Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States.
Marijuana is one of the most discussed and controversial topics in the U.S today. Many say that it has medicinal benefits and should be made legal. While many say that it has a “high potential for abuse” (Medical) and should remain illegal. Among the arguments, proponents for medical marijuana have presented a stronger argument for legalization through their use of research and evidence.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, drug use became a major concern for most Americans. As the War on Drugs and “Just Say No” campaign were being thrust into the spotlight by the government and media, the public became more aware of the scope of drug use and abuse in this country. The federal and states’ governments quickly responded by creating and implementing more harsh and punitive punishments for drug offenses. Most of these laws have either remained unchanged or become stricter in the years since then.
Drugs have played a part of the United States of America criminal justice fabric for generations. The scare tactics of the 1960s gave way to the contradictory messages of the late ’70s and early ’80s. In the 1970’s drugs became glamorous and recreational to many citizens. Prior to the 1970’s, citizens that abuse drugs was seen by policymakers as suffering from a social disease that could only be helped by treatment. Policymakers posture change drastically in the mid 70’s. In 1973, only twelve percent of the population reported to the Gallup poll that they had tried drugs. By 1977, that number was doubled. Notably, in 1978, 66 percent of Americans said Marijuana was becoming a serious issue in their respective communities (Riley, K.
As a nation we face a serious enemy that is not on foreign soil but here at home. The drug problem in this country has truly affected many lives and families. This enemy has no limits and affects our domestic tranquility. All drugs should not be legalized because they have the ability to impair judgment and do much bodily harm. Drugs have been a dark shadow lingering over our country for many years. In recent years, the heroine epidemic has spread throughout the nation; it has taken many lives and hurt many families along the way.
In regards to the “drug menace”, the main goal to evaluate is whether or not the use of drugs in America has been significantly lowered. According to an article published by Reuters in 2008, the World Health Organization did a study on drug use within 17 countries including the United States; the study found that the “United States leads the world in rates of experimenting with marijuana and cocaine despite strict drug laws” (Fox). Furthermore, nearly four times as many people in the United States stated that they had used cocaine at some point compared to individuals from New Zealand which rated second in terms of cocaine use in the study (Fox). This shows that the U.S. not only leads the world in this category, but that it leads it in a drastic fashion. Although the United States only led by a 1% margin when it came to marijuana, it was still found that 42% of the Americans polled had used marijuana at some point in their lives (Fox). These numbers are important, as they provide a way to compare the effectiveness of the U.S. drug policy against the rest of the developed world. By gaining this international perspective, it becomes clear that the drug policies enacted have been unsuccessful in their goal of decreasing the use of drugs. Furthermore, the United States has been largely unable to reduce rates domestically as well. Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse from this June provide a perspective on how drug use has changed over time in the United States. According to their data, “Illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing” (DrugFacts: Nationwide Trends). In respect to marijuana, the amount of people who use the drug has gone up from 14.5 million in 2007 to 19.8 million in 2013 (DrugFacts: Nationwide Trends). This shows a massive increase in marijuana use of over 35% in 6 years. It must also be noted that according
The so called war on drugs potentially causes the American Taxpayer a loss of more than 20-50 billion annually and there are very little results that can be said satisfactory. This does not include the massive amounts of money that United States pays to a number of countries in South America in order to facilitate the curbing of drugs. Furthermore, an alarming number of inmates held in our prisons happen to be drug abuse offenders. Currently the 55% people incarcerated in the federal prisons happen to be drug offenders while the ratio of same people in the state prisons is 25% (Roffman, 7). Such a huge number of drug inmates have the potential of putting a great amount of stress on the system and has serious implications for the economic growth of the whole country. In such circumstances it is quite obvious that the American “war on drugs” has failed to yield the desired objective and more or less can be considered a failure. Decriminalization and treatment have emerged as very powerful alternatives in the recent years to win the war against the
Among highly developed nations, the United States is known for its stringent illegal drug use policy and the high percentages of its population that have consumed illegal substances. The United States has issued a drug war against millions of Americans who use and sell illegal substances. This war has cost taxpayers billions annually and continues to contribute to an incarceration rate that surpasses any other country (Walmsley 2009). Although, stringent policies have lowered the decline in U.S drug consumption since the 1970’s, the war on drugs in the United States has not succeeded in changing America from being the world leaders in use rates for illegal drugs.
The source of the vitriolic criminalization of people who use drugs stems from the perspective of drug usage being a representation of moral weakness, or even of “willful misconduct” rather than a health issue. The view of people with addiction as inherently violent has led to the emergence of widespread opioid addiction being treated as a law enforcement issue. This stigmatization of drugs and the people who use them will be discussed further below.
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
Each year, the President of the United States releases an updated version of the National Drug Control Strategy. The latest edition, from July of 2014, introduces a number of changes from previous years. The most important aspects of President Obama’s drug policy includes accepting those who do drugs as individuals who need help, and are the victim of a disease, rather than as criminals who are intentionally being menaces to society. This approach is very progressive, as there is a tradition in America to penalize those who have drug charges as though they are criminals, all while many people agree that money should be saved in this area. The idea that drug use is a victimless crime (of course, with the exception of violent drug-related crimes,
Throughout the United States, the use and abuse of legal and illegal drugs is very common. As Rosenberg states in “In Drugs We Trust: Why Do Americans Make War on Some Drugs and Build Fortunes on Others?” if something is called a drug, people will “nod their heads, understanding what you mean: You’re deeply attached to it and you can’t live without it, even though you suspect that there’s something wrong with it” (pg.2). The legality of various drugs has changed over time. The definition of a drug, is any substance that has the ability to influence one’s behavior. This could be done by altering one’s mood, feelings, and/or mental state. Although many people believe the use of illegal drugs is more common, the use of legal drugs is actually more common. Legal drugs include drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. As Rosenberg states in the 17th and 18th century, coffee was considered a big drug problem, however now caffeine and coffee is legal. For, legal drugs can cause both social and economic problems just as much as illegal drugs, such as with alcohol and drunk driving. As a result of increased drug use, the United States has created a “War on Drugs,” where it spends billions of dollars to try to “stop” the use and abuse of illegal drugs. However, this “war” is not getting at the root of the problem, for the war does not deal with the root cause of the issue. Instead, this war focuses on dealing with the surface problems, such as the distribution and possession. It does not
Since the early 1960’s there have been an alarming increase in drug use in the United States in 1962, four million Americans had tried an illegal drug. By 1999, that number had risen to a staggering 88.7 million, according to the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.
According to Michelle Alexander, why and how has the “war on drugs” developed over the last 40 years? What are the main political and economic factors that led to the war on drugs, and what are the main political and economic factors that shaped it as it developed over the last four decades? Draw on material from the Foner textbook chapters 25 through 28 to supplement Alexander’s discussion of the political and economic context.