Drug war is a campaign championed by the U.S. to prohibit the trafficking and consumption of drags. The campaign involves. The campaign involves military support and corporation with other states in order of reduce and eliminate trade in illegal drugs. This campaign also involves use of policies and laws as well tom prevent and discourage any kind of production, consumption or distribution of the drugs that are under the spotlight. This campaign got its name from President Richard Nixon in 1969 (Payan, 23). The main role played by Nixon was popularizing the war against drugs. The concerns against drugs had however stated at the dawn of the 20th century. The comprehensive law, Drug and Abuse Prevention and Control act passed in 1970 was an addition to drug law that hand existed earlier than before since 1914. The Harrison Narcotics tax had been enacted in 1914 to restrict the distribution and use of drugs within the U.S. these act was followed by the National Prohibition Act of 1919 the bared the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcohol at the national level for consumption. In 1930 there was the creation of the federal bureau of Narcotics, a development the proceeded the creation of the Marijuana Transfer Tax Act in 1937. The latter was mainly enacted to of the hemp industry by very rich and influential capitalists. Nixon them made his contribution and popularized the fight against drugs in addition to his administration enacting the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in 1970. Three years latter the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs was instituted to replace the Drug Enforcement Agency that had been formed earlier to handle the drug issues. With every administration coming into leadership aiming at making a difference, the Ronald Reagan Administration in 1988 came up with the Office of National Drug Control Policy which formed the focal point for coordinating all activities related to legislations concerning drugs, diplomatic issues, security, as well as the government health policy. Lead by a leader fondly referred to as the Drug Czar, the ONDCP position was latter elevated in 1993 by the then president Bill Clinton. I argue here that the government should improve it policies to fight drug activities and that giving up the fight will bring about numerous negative effects.
The war on drugs has several achievements it can boot of. Compared to the past thirty year, the incidences of drug related criminal activities have considerably declined (Kleber, 361). Many people have been rehabilitated and many punished for their involvement in drug activities. The war has seen the government corporate with other like minded government worldwide to fight international trafficking drugs. Also the war has availed numerous funds for rehabilitating victims and fighting production and trafficking of the drugs. However drugs are still one of the most critical issues in the nation and have been associated with the spread of AIDS, school drop out cases, family violence, homelessness, moral decay and many more. We shall only enjoy the success if the current levels of addiction are reduced and new ones are prevented. This can only be achieved if the govern refines it strategies.
Everyone has a great role to play in the endless drug wars be is it an environmentalists seeking to protect the Amazon rain forest, a parent protecting a child, a social justice advocate concerned about incarceration rates or a policeman trying to keep the U.S drug free. The federal and the state government have spent a lot of money trying to keep drugs away from America. However, as many people rot away in prison, it could as well be concluded that the war on drugs has turned to war on families, war on constitutional rights and war on public healthy.
The numerous was that this war supposes to be solving is in fact, ironically, brought about be the war itself. The prohibition of certain drugs and their products has lead to crimes commonly known as “drug related” crimes within the country. Actually the drug related crimes are a product of the distortion of the immutable laws of demand and supply brought about by the prohibition instituted by the law. The zero tolerance laws restrict any kind of access to clean needles thus encouraging the spread of diseases of public health importance such as Hepatitis C and HIV. In addition to these, the dug was has no concern for the promotion of family values. Inmates and children equally are faced with a risk of joblessness, educational failures, increased addiction and delinquency. Certainly it common knowledge that drugs are bad, however it is all coming to every bodies attention that the drug war seem to be worse.
For a while now several public policies have compromised severely public health and destabilized the standing of basic civil liberties though not as much as the war on drugs has. The United States prisons are filthy rich with over half a million of people convicted of drug related offenses. Evidently the United State is the lading jailer of people found guilty of the so called drug related crimes. It is estimated that close to 1.5 million people are arrested each year in relation to drug crimes. 40% of these are normally arrest on the account of marijuana. In many cases man y people suffering from condition that require that they use such drugs are normally denied access to the drugs for instance, the AIDS and cancer victims are normally persecuted for utilizing drugs like marijuana
According to Smart though the war on drugs has been largely unsuccessful, throwing in the town is not an option. He states that, “I agree that the war on drugs has been less than successful, but I strongly disagree that discontinuing these enforcement efforts would somehow be beneficial. “ The government should continue pushing for a drug free society by devising new ways of properly handling the drug criminals and barons. Individual wars have been won through this these laws thus pointing to some positive aspects of the law. According to the statistics provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 22 million American are reported to consume the illicit drugs every thirty days. Certainly is the prohibition on such drugs is lifted this number is likely to scale up and likewise scale up the negative effects on peoples lives.
As seen from the legalization of alcohol which has taken the number one slot as the drug of choice in America, drugs have numerous negative effects on the society. Alcohol is responsible for numerous violence cases for instance domestic violence and violent crime that results from alcohol addiction is high. Also numerous counts of traffic accident and deaths have been cause by alcoholism and driving while drunk.
Smart also asserts that giving up the war illicit drugs will bite hard at the efforts that have been made by civil organization in rehabilitating and improve the lives of former addicts and also helping many people who are hooked into drug taking to overcome the habits. Organizations such as Teen Challenge are having been around for several decades and are doing their best to help rehabilitate addict and restore their lives to normal. Evidently, such organizations have largely dependent on support from the state. if the state gives up the fight against the drugs this organization could as well expect reduced or no support from the state at all. The activities will thus be hampered since they will be required do operate on their own in spite of the increased number of addicts brought about by free use of toxic substances.
Through the years, a number of students who have come to Teen Challenge International of Mid-America have come to thank God for the policemen, judges and other officials who have sent them to jail because they realized that, were it not for their intervention, death would have been the result of their continued drug abuse. (Smart)
Certainly no society can openly prosecute its member with such ideas like permission to take drugs at will. If the government gave up the fight against the drugs it would be opening the door to further abuse of drugs thus warranting antisocial behavior that would lead to a wave of addictions o the narcotics and negative social, mental and physical problems associated with the consumption of this drugs. Actually, defeat is never real unless one party submits to this defeat. Quitting this war will mean that the government has admitted defeat and as such, there is no reason as to why the government could have started a war that it can never finish. Much will be lost with no possibility of recovery; therefore the government should continue the fight and keep on devising strategies to keep afloat.
On the other hand legalization of consumption of the drugs would certainly not yield any positive effects a many critics of the legislation that prohibit the use of drugs suppose. Some of them point at the inefficiency in the existing laws while some point at the need to have every free to do as the will from the libertarian point of view. Some yet point at the negative effects caused by the law such as increased crime, violent wars by drug gangs, imprisonment of multitude of individuals among other. What is clear however is that many people want the use of various drugs to be legalized and their products be marketed just like tobacco products.
However, the legalization of this drug would have numerous detrimental effects on the use of the drugs. If the number of those who abuse the drug is as great as it is presently despite the numerous prohibitions, what would it look like if the consumption, procession and abuse is legalized. Thought he proponents propose a gradual reduction of the force of drug related legislation stating with permitting less addictive drugs such as marijuana then the more addictive ones such as cocaine, it is worth noting that some drugs lead to increase intake every time someone consumes it. As a result the legalization of the narcotics can lead to an increase in the levels of addiction. The current number of narcotic addicts 50 million could increase several times if people are allowed to produce market and consume narcotics. According to Klenber (p362) if narcotics legalized and their availability increased the number of abusers will probably increase by 20 to 25 million. Indeed an in-depth analysis on the effect of various regulatory methods on the prevalence of cocaine indicated the potential of compulsive users rising 9 times higher than the current level. This has been seen in some of the states that allow specific us of marijuana as Manski, Pepper, and Petrie state:
It is worth emphasizing that any prediction of increased use after a reduction or elimination of penalties against users depends on awareness of the decriminalized status of the behavior. Although laws decriminalizing marijuana use typically received a great deal of publicity when they were adopted, it appears that most people in these states no longer have the impression that marijuana penalties in their states are distinctively different from marijuana penalties in other states. (193)
The claim the crime would decrease if drugs are legalized is baseless. Consumption of drugs requires a lot of money. Most addicts commit different crimes to raise money to buy drugs. In this regard, if the number of addicts was to increase the logically the number of crimes will increase proportionately since many people will commit crimes in such of money to maintain or support their drug taking habits. Also expected to increase proportionately with increased consumption resulting free use of narcotics will be social costs such as infancy disorders from addicted mother, increased spread of AIDS, auto accidents, family violence, homelessness and psychiatric disorders.
Legalization of these drugs would also lead to an increase in the number of minors consuming drugs (Manski, Pepper & Petrie, 192). This because legalization will increase the accessibility of the drugs to minor who will the try it out of curiosity and get hooked in to the habit of taking drugs. Therefore, if those who champion for the legalization of the use of drugs carry the day, numerous changes will need to be made in order to preventing minors from accessing and using such drugs. This may mean additional cost and responsibility to the law enforcement groups to enforce. However with the large number of drug cartels and gangs the drugs would become readily available and the government would even loss control on drug activities the gangs may take full control leading distortion or order within the society.
The drug that would probably be consumed in large quantities is marijuana. Despite marijuana not being as toxic and addictive as other drugs such as cocaine it can give rise to numerous physiological, physical and social problems. The drug is very dangerous to young people who are normally interested in using it as a recreational drug. The use is normally characterized by adverse effects on their short-term memory, energy levels, personal motivation, and social and cognitive development of teenagers.
There are several drugs such as alcohol and tobacco that are legal and are used freely by people, however there is no responsibility in how these drugs are consumed and the government is unable to control people to ensure that they use the legalized drugs responsibly. Legalizing illicit drugs before gain control or the licit once and ensuring responsible consumption can be very dangerous. In this regard the speculation of lifting the legal sanctions placed against the use of these narcotics will remain hapless speculation
A modification of the existing laws could be very important in helping the government deal with cases of illegal drugs. According to Manski, Pepper & Petrie numerous laws suppose to be dealing with cases of illegal drugs do not bear any relationships with these drugs (p 192). Laws such as minimal-scenting laws should be reviewed. Such laws which are a clear product of the government frustrations emanating form an increase in drug related criminal offenses were meant to curtail the activities. However, such laws can be successfully revised to be made more effective by curtailing and controlling the activities of the major drug barons. This will also reduced the congestion in prison and ensure that the limited available prison resources are used properly. A lager number of imprisonment close to 50% of these imprisoned over drug related issued are minor offender. They flock the federal prisons serving five-year terms for being found minor offences relating to drugs. I addition the punishment for drug related crimes should be more consistent.
The medical benefits that marijuana poses should be an issue of scientific debate and not politicized. The medical values of marijuana can not be overlooked in the modern world where disease have become mans most permanent visitor. Those against availing the drug for medical purposes have a cause for their stand it is wise to devise law that will ensure that the drugs are made available for use by various patients who need it and that also proper measure are in place to ensure that illegal users do not access it. As Manski, Pepper, and Petrie observe about minor illegal users:
The enforcement of sanctions against juveniles merits special attention for several reasons. First, preventing youths from initiating drug use or becoming regular users is one of the central goals of national drug policy. (190)
Many changes have been proposed changes on the current drug policies. However, like Cieslikowski, assets in his article, Bankrupting A Society, all the laws and policies made should aim reducing the major shortcomings of the current laws for instance the current laws are very detrimental to the taxpayers pockets miss guided policies have encouraged negligence and wastage of funds that would have otherwise been channeled to issues of grater national importance such solving of tragedies. New leadership is necessary to lead a new war against drugs that is properly organized and backed up by relevant policies. Policies should emphasizes contemporary methods of selling drug issues and facilitate gradual changes that appreciate societal values strengthen them and prevent tragedies. Also, the decision maker should be creative in their devising of solutions and enacting of polices.