An Effort in Futility
June 11, 2012
An Effort in Futility
The creation of the “War on Drugs” has had many negative impacts on the American people, with an annual cost of $40 billion, little or no impact on illegal drug use by the youth of this country, and by adding to the fear amongst doctors for prescribing the necessary drugs to combat pain for fear of sanctions by the federal government. As C. S. Lewis once wrote, “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may ...view middle of the document...
org, 2012). Of the forty plus billion dollars spent fighting drug use in the United States, about one third comes from the federal government and the remaining two thirds comes from the combined amount spent by the individual states. It seems that this is considerably lopsided, considering that the federal government decides which drugs should be legal and which are deemed hazardous to the American people. Many activists in the United States feel that each state should be allowed to decide what drugs are legal and which are not because much of the fight to slow drug use is paid for by the states themselves. The forty billion dollar price tag is a staggering amount of money to be spending on a problem that has not gotten any better, and more than likely will not any time soon. Every president of the last twenty years has tried to ensure the American people that we are winning the war against illegal drug use in this country, but many of the people enforcing these laws are not so sure. Many of the police and government agencies tasked with ending illegal drug use in this country are coming to the conclusion that no amount of money will solve this problem. Many feel that it would be a better use of the money to help treat drug abuse as an illness rather than a criminal act. The biggest problem that this so called “war” has created is that it has turned many otherwise productive and law abiding members of society into criminals. Another problem is that both the federal and local governments have to spend an increasing amount of money in order to incarcerate and take these “criminals” to trail; this is creating unnecessary deficits that the tax payers must take care of. On average, incarcerating a person for a drug offense cost the taxpayers around $450,000 assuming that the average stay in prison is around five years.
According to Vance (2011), “The government’s own Government Accountability Office has even said that the anti-drug D.A.R.E. program has had "no statistically significant long-term effect on preventing youth illicit drug use." This statement put for in Vance’s article The Other Unconstitutional War, is an excellent example of the obvious failure of the war on drugs. One of the most important areas that the government focuses on is trying to keep the youth of this country from turning to illegal drug use as a pastime. Today, even the federals governments own Accountability Office has admitted that their efforts have not gotten any noteworthy results. Many researchers feel that banning or outlawing many drugs has had the opposite effect of what was intended, essentially the anti-drug campaigns are luring children to try illicit drugs. During Prohibition, the average age of people who drank alcohol became lower because the youth of the time thought that the illegal nature of the product made it more desirable to try. Today, we are seeing the same effects with all of the schedule 1 drugs. Even though the government makes...