The War On Drugs And Drugs

Good Essays
James Gombas
Political Economic Thought
When President Richard Nixon called for increased federal spending in an attempt to curb the number of drug users and the sale and importation of illicit narcotics the war on drugs began in earnest. The war on drugs has also played a major role in politics as well as having a significant impact on the economy. While there are many arguments in favor for the war on drugs and an equal number of arguments against it I will attempt to show an unbiased look at the war on drugs and drug prohibition and how it has affected society as a whole.
Since 1971 the United States government has spent $1,000,000,000,000 on the war on drugs. This is a staggering number and shows how much money is spent
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The massive increase in those incarcerated has also led to the growth of the prison system and in the U.S. alone the amount spent on prisons rose 127% from 1987 to 2007. This also led to the creation of the prison industrial complex which is a collection of private prisons. These prisons profit off of those they incarcerate and directly benefit from the drug war and the increase in incarceration rates. Some groups such as the DEA argue that the money spent on drug legalization is minimal compared to the “social costs of drug abuse and addiction .” An important aspect of the war on drugs is that while the federal budget for drug enforcement in 2009 was 14.8 billion the budget for education was over 137.6 billion. This brings up an interesting point in that education is seen as a serious social issue so addiction should also be looked at in the same way. When looking at the war on drugs it is important to keep in mind that the goal is to eradicate drug abuse and henceforth create a better, safer environment for all citizens. Lastly, the DEA makes the point that through legislation the consumption of drugs has decreased.
The war on drugs in the U.S. is mainly a supply-side war which targets drug importers and users in an attempt to cut the supply of illicit drugs instead of focusing on the rehabilitation of users which would help decrease the demand for illegal
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