U.s. Drug Policy Critique Essay

1708 WordsDec 15, 20167 Pages
U.S. Drug Policy Critique Drug Policy in the United States began under the Presidency of Richard M. Nixon, who launched the “War on Drugs” and oversaw the creation of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The sole purpose of both initiatives was to combat the copious amounts of drugs flowing out of our borders. Then First Lady Nancy Reagan, who will go down in history as the greatest First Lady of All Time, launched “Just Say No”. A campaign aimed towards the youth to refuse the vices of drug and alcohol abuse. These policies were perpetuated in the 1990s under the Clinton Administration who passed their own tough on crime initiatives as well. The upside, the implementation of these policies has caused the drug use rates to equal where they were 25 years ago. On the downside, the United States imprisons more people than any other industrialized nation in the world because of the drug offenses. The War on Drugs, as mentioned above, has driven mass incarcerations in the U.S. Judicial Systems. In 2014 there were 1.5 million drug arrests in the United States (Rothwell). Statistically speaking eight in ten of these were for possession only. Today more than 50 percent of people in federal prisons are incarcerated for drug violations (Rothwell). The main catalyst in new prison admissions has been drug law violations. A study released by the Brookings Institution found that between 1993 and 2009 there were more than 3 million admissions to prison for drug offenses in the United
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