The War On Drugs : Is It Time For Switch Strategies

2957 WordsAug 31, 201412 Pages
Abstract The War on Drugs that the United States has been fighting since the 1880’s has taken a toll on our society like no other issue. It has affected us on all fronts of social issues; immigration, imprisonment, poverty and resource draining costs. The question is then is it still worth it to fight it or move on to a new strategy. The War on Drugs: Is it time to switch strategies. Introduction The war on drugs in America has been fought since the 1880s when the Chinese Exclusion Act was first passed by congress. Several pieces of legislation have followed this initial volley in this war up to present day. Statistics from 2011 showed there where 1.6 million state and federal prisoners (Guerino, Harrison, & Sabol, 2011) according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The United States has nearly a half million more prisoners than China with about a fifth of the population. Out of that, 18%, or roughly 252,000 in state prisons, and 51%, or roughly 106,000, in federal prisons were serving time for drug related crimes and nearly 70% where non-Caucasian. The cost for this war is estimated at over 1 trillion dollars over the last 30 years. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) alone has seen its budget increased by 40-fold since its inception in 1973, from $65 Million to $2.6 Billion in 2009 (Reuteman, 2010). These costs have been further multiplied in at least thirteen states with the passing of the “Three-strikes” laws, basically stating life in prison after

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