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The War On Drugs Essay

1204 words - 5 pages

The War on Drugs: What is America Fighting For?
Sandra Gailer
COM/172
September 25, 2013
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The War on Drugs: What is America Fighting For?
With the number of arrests having more than tripled in the past 25 years, and billions of dollars spent annually to fund the war on drugs, the United States (U.S.) should consider decriminalizing and regulating illegal drugs to reduce the number of people incarcerated and produce tax revenue from distribution. Since it was first declared by President Nixon in 1971 (Drug Policy Alliance, n.d.) the drug war proves to be causing America more harm than good. With no end in sight, the government should not be focusing on drug prevention but rather drug ...view middle of the document...

The logical solution is to utilize those addictions in a way that could benefit America the most; generating billions of dollars in revenue annually from controlled distribution would benefit America in a major way. The government could increase the number of programs available to help treat and prevent drug addiction, as well as lowering the national debt.
In addition to the amount of money used to fund the war, taxpayers’ money also covers the costs of operating county jails, state and federal prisons, medical institutions and America’s entire judicial system. All employees of the judicial system are paid with taxpayers’ money. Police officers, judges, court employees, lawyers, medical staff, and all employees of jails and prisons are examples of employees with salaries generated from the taxpayers’ money. With all the new drug policies, in effect it increased the amount of laws broken and arrests made. Which incidentally doubled the number of police officers in the United States between 1980 and 1990, and the number of people incarcerated quadrupled between 1970 and 1990 (Chambliss, 1994). With one out of every 100 people behind bars, it has made America have the highest incarceration rate than any other country in the world, totaling more than 1.63 million people. The US has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, and yet has almost 25 percent of the world’s incarceration rate (Beckett, 1994; Drug Policy Alliance, n.d.). The war that has been ongoing nearly half a century is not doing the most good for the most people, but has become a war against the people it was originally supposed to help. There cannot be a positive outcome if the evidence clearly shows that declaring the war on drugs has only created additional hardships for the people of America. In 2011 there was an estimated 1.53 million people arrested behind nonviolent drug charges, and more than 4 out of 5 of those arrests were for mere possession (Drug Policy Alliance, n.d.). Addiction is a disease that needs to be treated, not punished by serving time in prison. If the desire is to help Americans, then the government should spend more money on drug treatment and awareness. Everyone is affected by the war on drugs even the people who have never used any drug ever in their life.
A criminal record creates an even bigger problem for Americans. Once charged with a criminal conviction of any kind, it becomes very difficult to live the life of an average American. After serving time behind a conviction, the first step necessary to become a productive member of...

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