United States Drug Policy

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US Drug Policy

Introduction Drug policy is a crucial topic in the country today. Substance abuse, as well as drug-related crime rates, are a huge problem. This is a fact. The way to fix the problem of substance abuse, however, is widely disagreed upon. Some think that stricter laws regarding drug possession and use would solve the problem, while others believe that loosening the restrictions would be a better option. The issue of legalizing drugs, especially marijuana, is one that is debated all the time. In fact, in 1995, a survey was conducted on the most important policy issues and eighty five percent of the country placed drugs at the top of the list (Falco 1996). Many states are actually beginning to decriminalize, and even
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(Boyum and Reuter 2005) Many people do not know that so much government money is going to this, and everybody should be aware of what their government is spending their money on. Inciardi says that this issue may be so important to people because of the media. He says that the media portraying so much drug use brings this type of behavior to the attention of people including law officials as well as civilians. It is sort of glamorized on television, with stories of celebrities being sent to rehabilitation centers. (Inciardi 1999) Besides this, many people are concerned because of the influx of hard drugs, especially heroin, to the mainstream rather than being hidden in the poverty-stricken inner cities. In recent years, crack, cocaine, and heroin have been more prevelant than ever, especially among the wealthy. Drugs are no longer something that only gang members and bad guys do, everybody is doing them. (Inciardi 1999) Because it is so prevalent in pop culture and in the news, everybody should be up to date and aware of the current drug policy in their area.

America’s “War on Drugs” The term “War on Drugs” was first used by the Nixon administration in the 1970’s, but the country has been enforcing policies against drug use, possession, and distribution since 1914, with the passing of the Harrison Act. They do this mainly through deterrence. The government makes laws and regulations against this kind of behavior and
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