The War on Drugs

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For several years the United States of America has been struggling with the problem of drug addiction of its citizens. This has led the federal government to take measures to restrain the problem of addiction in the United States. However, after observing these measures, such as the ‘War on Drugs’ and its consequences, scholars now question the effectiveness of the drug policy implemented. Some scholars even argue that the War on Drugs has been more harmful to American citizens than helpful. Also, scholars claim that the drug policy has had severe consequences in the foreign countries the policy has been targeting. The American drug policy has gone through several developments which had the purpose to generate progress in combating …show more content…
During the 1960’s, drug gained popularity and the demand for drugs increased consequently. President Johnson reacted with the 1966 Narcotics Addict Rehabilitation Act. The act considered drug addiction a mental illness but it did not decriminalize drug use. In 1971, President Nixon declared the ‘War on Drugs’ and said: “America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” The offensive taken by Nixon would have nation- and worldwide consequences. Nationally the drug policy of President Nixon consisted of the ‘Controlled Substances Act’ (CSA) and drug treatment. The CSA determines the level of potential abuse and medicinal use of drugs and allows or denies legal access. The CSA is still at the core of drug regulation in present times. The drug treatment programs of Nixon’s policy were primarily methadone programs. Methadone is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms of heroin and other opiates. Since Nixon’s mandate, these Methadone programs did not cease to exist, but law enforcement has been preferred over treatment . The foreign drug policy implemented would aim to reduce the drug supply abroad; “[…] since the drugs originated overseas, so should the solution” (Peter Reuter) The theory behind this approach is that if there is no drug supply Americans would not be able to have access to

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