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.
In 1982 the crack epidemic started, which shortly after Ronald Reagan expanded the war on drugs that Nixon started, one of his top aides admitted that the war on drugs was used to “target African Americans and hippies”. The number of incarcerations before the war on drugs was expanded in 1980 was four thousand seven hundred forty-nine for drug related crimes, in 1990 that number increased to twenty-four thousand two hundred ninety-seven, sixty percent of those incarcerations were African Americans (sentencingproject.org). If you were caught with one gram of crack you got the same sentencing as someone found with eighteen grams of cocaine, it was policies like these that targeted lower income black communities because crack was much cheaper than cocaine and was more likely for a white person to have cocaine.
As the variables above are added up it, quickly becomes apparent that the “war on drugs,” during the mid 1980s-early 2000s had a negative impact on American life. With all the money spent and lives ruined, the United States came no closer to solving drug issues it had faced in the years prior. Citizens took the biggest brunt of this “war” with the fact that not only did they have to forcibly financially support the “war on drugs,” but in some cases, they had their civil liberties encroached upon or even completely violated. It could be argued that retrospectively looking at the “war on drugs” makes criticizing our country and the officials in charge easy, but when you actually look at the statistics and events surrounding this time period criticism
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.
Nixon’s drug war, however, was a mere skirmish in comparison to the colossal efforts launched by the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s. Formally announced by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, the War on Drugs was marked by deep public concern, bordering on hysteria,, towards the nation’s drug problem. Under the leadership of President Reagan, the nation focused unprecedented energy and resources towards eliminating illicit drug use and trafficking.” (pp.
Starting during the 1980s, when the State and Federal government were struggling to combat an extreme rise in drug use throughout the country, the “war on drugs” was declared by President Richard Nixon. “Zero tolerance” policies, “broken window” policing, and other unreasonably severe punishments were placed in society in order to barricade the dramatic influx of illegal drug use. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), these “‘one-strike’ policies and drug arrests now account for over a quarter of the 2.3 million people locked up in America.” These nonviolent drug offenders face sentences for
The war on drugs is a movement that had started in the 1970s and is still evolving from today. Over the years, people have had mixed reactions to the campaign, ranging from full-on support to claims that it has racist and political objectives. People who are affected by drugs are the people you use them and have gotten addicted to the substances that they started using for medical or recreational purposes. The war on drugs has many challenges attached to it but there are five possible solutions that can hopefully end the war on drugs.
The War on Drugs created a precedent in the criminal justice system. When the term War on Drugs is heard, people think that crime was increasing at the time, which is why President Reagan officially declared the war in 1982. However, contrary to popular belief, crime was actually decreasing at the time and the idea of civil rights and desegregation was on the rise. The declaration of the War on Crime was actually part of a Republican strategy that uses “racially coded political appeals” when it comes to crime to attract white voters that are afraid of, and threatened of, the idea of desegregation (Alexander,
Throughout the 1970s there’s been a large influx of drugs, and violence as a result of drugs. During this same time period African Americans were experiencing new levels of equality they hadn’t felt since the Reconstruction Period began, which dashed their hopes after the Civil War ended. They were still experiencing discrimination in employment. The combination of unemployment and drugs was a contributor to the crime rate. Drugs and alcohol overwhelmingly effected the Black Community Unfortunately, at the time, former President Richard Nixon declared War on Drugs, the governmental approach for addressing the harmful effects of drugs on society was to create an atmosphere that unjustly targeted poor blacks and other ethnic minorities in the
The drug war was primarily a partisan show of force Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior and subsequent Presidential administrations have used to feign concern about public safety, crime prevention, and the needs of the victims of drug users. While it was widely reported (Ronald Reagans’ son and former President George Bush Senior’s son former President George Bush Junior were smoking weed and snorting cocaine) (4). While the “War on Drugs” were based on political motives, (that is not the full story) as the “war on drugs” in hindsight proved itself to be a “war” on black and brown
On June 17th, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be “America’s Public Enemy #1” in a press conference in which he called for an “all out offensive” against this enemy, an initiative that would later be known as America’s War on Drugs. By giving this speech, thus starting “The War on Drugs,” President Nixon created what would eventually become one of the most catastrophic failures in United States political history. Analysis of the historical events surrounding Nixon’s declaration reveal ulterior motives behind the initiative, providing context to the reasons for its failure, which were based short term in its moral failure, and long term in its failure of efficiency and results. The War on Drugs has lasted for generations and continues to be responsible for policies that criminalize non-violent drug offenders at the expense of taxpayers, contributing to a devastating mass incarceration dilemma in the United States that perpetuates a disproportionate marginalization of low-class, particularly African American citizens.
The war on drugs in the United States is becoming a major problem for everyone involved. As more people are arrested for drug crimes, the more police are spending resources in order to arrest them. It's shown that non violent drugs offense have risen over the years, but violent and property offenses have gone down. While this doesn't suggest that police are solely focus on just arresting non violent drug offenders, one has to wonder why there are so many of them in jail. The government believes that locking up these offenders will reduce drug related crimes and lower demand for drugs, but I don't see that happening. During the late 20's and early 30's, the U.S had a prohibition on alcohol and it caused an uproar with the public. The prohibition
The current policy in use by the United States concerning illegal drugs is both outdated and unfair. This so-called war on drugs is a deeply rooted campaign of prohibition and unfair sentencing that is very controversial and has been debated for many years. The war on drugs is designed so that it will never end. This current drug was has very little impact on the overall supply of prohibited drugs and its impact on demand seems non-existent. United States’ taxpayers are spending billions of dollars on this failure of policy. They are spending billions to incarcerate drug users instead offering drug treatment which could help lower demand. Legalizing illicit would lower abuse and deaths from use and could have a positive economic impact on the United States. Certain industries are making massive sums of money by capitalizing on the drug war.
By the time President Bush came into office, drugs were the biggest issue on his table. By the time Reagan left there we about 20 to 30 million people on drugs . Heroin was now getting popular and brought to national stage as crack cocaine replaced cocaine in middle class families . He created the Office of National Drug Control Policy to help “deformalized” social drug use and help fund treatments . But sadly, like most drug policy it was on the back of everybody's mind and didn’t even count for ⅓ of the whole budget . This plan would have worked if it wasn’t for the millions of poor communities that suffer from drugs constantly to ignored. He did lessen drug use in upper or middle-class white communities but the poor were using it more than
The war on drugs has led to the increase of mass incarceration of people of color and minorities, which is a problem in the United States. The United States is known for holding more children and adults in jails, and