While laws prohibiting the use of drugs, in one form or another, can be traced back to the 1870s, it was not until 1968, when Richard M. Nixon was elected President, that our current drug war was conceived. In 1970 Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act.(2) With an
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.
The War on Drugs is seen by many as an enormous factor of mass incarceration. There were more than 1.5 million drug arrests in the U.S. in 2014. More than 80% of them were for possession only (Drug Policy Alliance, 2017). 208,000 people are incarcerated for drug offenses in state prisons and 97,000 are incarcerated in federal prisons for the same reason. 1 in 5 incarcerated people are drug offenders (Peter Wagner, Bernadette Rabuy, 2017). According to Politifact, “The state and federal prison population remained fairly stable through the early 1970s, until the war on drugs began. Since then, it has increased sharply every year, particularly when Reagan expanded the policy effort in the 1980s, until about 2010…. In 1980, about 41,000 people were incarcerated for drug crimes, according to the Sentencing Project. In 2014, that number was about 488,400 — a 1,000 percent increase.” Even other factors, like
The War on Drugs is one cause for the mass incarceration that has become apparent within the United States. This refers to a drastic amount of people being imprisoned for mainly non-violent crime (“Mass Incarceration” 2016). In addition to people who are not an immediate threat to society being locked up for a substantial duration of time, the economic consequences are costing states and taxpayers millions of dollars. Specifically, every one in five people incarcerated is in prison due to some
Incarceration rates in the United States have exploded due to the convictions for drug offenses. Today there are half a million in prison or jail due to a drug offense, while in 1980 there were only 41,100. They have tripled since 1980. The war on drugs has contributed the most to the systematic mass incarceration of people of color, most of them African-Americans. The drug war is aimed to catch the big-time dealers, but the majority of the people arrested are not charged with serious offenses, and most of the people who are in prison today for drug arrests, have no history of violence or selling activity. The war on drugs is also aimed to catch dangerous drugs, however nearly 80 percent of
War on Drugs: A major factor in the overcrowding of prisons, the war on drugs has resulted in the rise of the Criminal Justice system utilizing incarceration as
The harsh drug related punishments implemented through the War on Drugs were intended to prevent people from getting involved in drug use and business. However, studies have demonstrated that mass incarceration has the opposite effect. Mass incarceration is largely the result
When my audience hears “War on Drugs” they may assume it is a worthy endeavor because drug abuse is such a pervasive problem that affects many families. I must dispel the assumption that the “War on Drugs” dealt with the drug abuse problem or reduced drug sales. I can do this by demonstrating that there is plenty of evidence showing that the “War on Drugs” did not do what it set out to do and is therefore not an effective approach to the problem of drug trade and abuse. Additionally the imprisoning of citizens, even if it is done unjustly, does not reduce crime at comparable rates. Research from Harvard found that during the “War on Drugs” in state prisons there was a 66% increase in prison population but crime was only reduced by 2-5% and it cost the taxpayers 53 billion dollars (Coates, 2015). The fact the violent crime went up all through Nixon’s administration while he rallied for “Law & Order” and policing became more severe furthers this argument (Alexander, 2012). Four out five drug arrests are low-level possession charges as well, demonstrating that police policies aren’t dismantling the drug system just punishing addicts (Alexander, 2012). What’s more, drug abuse in America have remained stagnate and even increased in some instances even when billions of dollars have been pumped into the program (National
In her article “The meteoric, costly and unprecedented rise of incarceration in America”, Badger reports that between 1980 and 2010, the incarceration rate for drug crimes increased ten folds. This was consequence of the “war on drugs”, a corollary to Lyndon Johnson’s “war on crime” and laws enacted by Congress where “mandatory minimum” sentences and “Three strikes laws” took effect.
More than 45 years ago President Richard Nixon announced and declared the nation is at war, that war was the "War on Drugs". Nancy Reagan campaigned heavily in the fight against drug use as well; her fight was that of teaching young children the slogan of “Just Say No”. The goals of the criminal justice system in the war on drugs have been a never ending fight against the sale of illicit drugs and that of combating drug abuse. We will discuss the increased resources spent on law enforcement and rehabilitation while making an attempt in understanding
The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. With five percent of the world's population, our country houses nearly twenty-five percent of the world's reported prisoners. Currently there are approximately two million people in American prisons or jails. Since 1984 the prison population for drug offenders has risen from ten percent to now over thirty percent of the total prison population. Federal prisons were estimated to hold 179,204 sentenced inmates in 2007; 95,446 for drug offenses. State prisons held a total of 1,296,700 inmates in 2005; 253,300 for drug offenses. Sixty percent of the drug offenders in prisons are nonviolent and were purely in prison because of drug offenses (Drug War Facts). The question then arises,
The War on Drugs is a term that is commonly applied to the campaign of prohibition of drugs. The goal of this campaign is to reduce the illegal drug trade across America. This term “ War on Drugs” was used during Nixon’s campaign in which he declared War on Drugs during a press conference in 1971. Following this declaration many organizations were created to stop the spread of drugs, like the DEA and Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement. Note that Nixon’s approach to this problem was to fund treatment rather than law enforcement. After Nixon’s retirement from office, most of the funding went from going into treatment to the law enforcement. Which militarized the police force giving the officer’s military weapons and gear. With this, the sentencing for possessing drugs was changed as well, resulting incarcerations rates to increase overtime. The increase of incarceration rates started to create many patterns that were soon noticeable. The funding’s that go into the law enforcement has shown to greatly have an affect on the incarceration rates.
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
The war on drugs was officially declared on June 1971 by President Nixon, when he dramatically increased the presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. Many believe it is the number one issue in the United States today. The cost of this war has been lives, money, and the respect for law enforcement. The war on drugs has had little to no positive effects, while the decriminalization of drugs has many benefits. Citizens should inform themselves of everything our country could benefit from by simply decriminalizing what has been the cause of close to most incarcerations in federal and state prisons. There is no doubt that the war on drugs has a severe impact on the economy of our country. Drug criminalization is a multi-edged sword; the monetary costs, the loss of those who are lawfully employed in the labor market, and the deterioration of the relationships between the community and law enforcement.
The War on Drugs is a current conflict that has been going on for many decades. It is a movement organized by the United States Government in attempts to reduce the amount of illegal drug trafficking in the country. The War on Drugs enforced strict drug policies that are intended to reduce both the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal drugs. The term was first used by President Richard Nixon, during a press conference concerning the nationwide drug abuse issue, in which Nixon announces to the Congress that drug abuse was, “public enemy number one”. Illegal drugs are certainly dangerous; addiction and death are two but many factors as a result of drugs. However, even though the War on Drugs might sounds justifiable, in truth, it is actually making the drug issue worst in the country.