American drug laws
By any measure and every metric, the U. S war against drugs mirrors a constellation of drug laws and policies aimed at preventing and controlling the use of narcotics primarily through incarceration of offenders and related forms of punishment. Moreover, the drug policies at federal and state level are designed to stringently punish drug users and sellers which have created overcrowding in jail terms with drug users being labeled as criminals. Problem statement Drug policies in America are unfair and cruel as they stigmatize the use of drugs leading to social disapproval, increases the occurrence of crimes and subject drug users to unjustified lengthy jail terms. Fundamentally, American laws on drugs degrade human dignity; violate people’s right to privacy and the rule of law and cause prison overcrowding and related health conditions.
Various constitutional and federal laws in America have enacted policies that prohibit the possession and use of drugs. However, the laws present a direct conflict with the aspect of human dignity. Therefore, it is critical for America’s policy setters to acknowledge that the possession and use of drugs do not harm or compromise other people’s rights and thus should not be criminalized. Punitive American laws on the use of drugs contradict the rule of law. According to Raz (2017) the rule of law obliges citizens to conform to the legal norms even when they disagree with them. The solution to these problems lies in decriminalizing all drugs in America and treat drug addiction as a health concern instead of a prison sentence.
Decriminalization of drugs and drug use entails the elimination of criminal penalties for drug use and possession. It mainly involves the removal of the punitive and coercive approaches employed to fight against the use of drugs. The U. S needs to decriminalize drugs use to enhance public safety and health, improve community policing, reduce overcrowding in jails and uphold the value of human dignity and the rule of law. Another reason for decriminalizing drugs in America is to reduce overcrowding in jails which will eventually reduce the occurrence of health conditions contracted in those jails (Becker and Murphy, 2013). Decriminalization reduces arrests and incarcerations related to drug use. This not only saves the government the costs incurred in criminal justice systems but also saves the families and communities the burden of having criminal records and harms of incarceration.
Above all, decriminalization of drugs is likely to provide a long-term solution to drug users as they are likely to recover when rehabilitated than when in jail. In a rehabilitation center, the drug users are expected to recover from their drug addiction and develop a positive behavioral change. Audience adaptation: I recently had the problem of taking care of my cousin who was suffering from drug addiction. My cousin had been severally loitering on the streets engaging in a robbery with violence to finance his addiction. The situation worsened and my cousin became mad. I had to seek referrals for an excellent rehabilitation center to improve his condition. D. Decriminalization suggests treatment of drug users through rehabilitation centers and guided therapy (Room and Reuter, 2012).
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