America's war on drugs
In addition to this, I will briefly look at and evaluate the general influences that continue to impact a single legislators’ decisions making them continue to support these very ineffective policies. This will be a more generalized depiction of the role that the congress plays in creating the country’s drug policies. Finally, this analysis will conclude by briefly stating the changes that I think will be essential if any progress is to be made in future. The major changes that I feel should be included is educating the public to know more about drugs and a total overhaul of the existing policies which are to a large extent, hypocritical. Therefore, before any particular results of the influence of the congress and the impacts of the policies can be evaluated, it is paramount to look at the history and the current trend and situation with the drug issue today.
The extensive use of drugs like heroin became more common among the soldiers who fought in the Vietnamese war and a good number of the soldiers came back home when they had already become addicts. Ever since, the use of drugs for recreational purposes, especially marijuana, has become a normal part of the youth culture across the social scale. Cocaine rose in the 1970’s to become the new fashionable drug used by qualified professional people. Drug trafficking started as a result because cocaine is naturally expensive and the drug trafficking link between Latin America and united states grew considerably. Eventually, the cocaine popularity ended because of a cheaper option that started being manufactured at a cheaper price and it had stronger effects than the original cocaine.
Where is the Money Going To? My argument conerning the war against drugs is that the entire plan and strategies have failed yet it has been the most expensive failed project in America. According to Barry Mcaffreys report, Reducing Drug Use and its Consequences in America, “the wra on drugs laws consiste of only five major objectives. The objectives include; ensuring the youth stay away from drugs, bring down the rates of crime induced by drugs, bring down the negative effects of drugs on welfare and crime costs related to drugs, shielding Americas borders from drugs entering the country and stopping drugs at the domestic and international sources”. My point of view is that all these policies have not completely failed but they have each accomplished something little on their targeted goals and yet the rest of the goals were completely overlooked.
Reports from the government report that the 1999 federal budget for drug prohibition was a record $17. The table also shows that the level and quantity of the supply has remained constant. The money that is being spent on drugs has gone down with the supply not diminishing since 1989. While the drugs have been purified to become stronger at around the same rate. The Office of National Drug Control Policy has only claimed that the use of one drug that is cocaine, is still in circulation and even then, it is in low quantities as compared to 1989. The office however, acknowledges the possibility in faulty and over or underestimations in numbers which varies every year. Aside from this, there is always someone willing to replace anyone that is arrested because of drug trafficking.
The end result is that everything is a cycle that will never end, farms will recover and produce more, the routes of supply will change and become more efficient by the day and this might make the business grow even further than how it was regardless of the law enforcement officers’ efforts. (Bertram et al. The idea of a profit paradox argues that whenever the state succeeds in pushing up the cost of drugs, they also make any profits made by the drug dealers higher. This generally results in an increased motivation for the drug dealers to keep selling drugs for more money and continue dealing illegal drugs. For example, the limitation of alcohol had a more forceful negative social impact as compared to the use of alcohol itself.
The Drug Prohibition Along with the fact that the drug laws are not working, some scholars think that the prohibitive drug laws are creating additional issues. The undesirable effect that these laws fuel include; a rise in violence rates, an increase in health issues, corruption, an increased strength in the drugs, misuse of resources, an overloaded criminal justice system, and the violation of laws of civil liberty. Bertram et al. argue that “drug-related crime is not the result of drug use but of the conditions under which individuals are forced, by drug prohibition policies, to buy and sell drugs. Siegel et al. also notes that the national government and other local governments have vehemently opposed the use of marijuana even for medical purposes.
Regardless of the fact that the drug is one of the best drugs to aid in treating chemotherapy, glaucoma and AIDS patients. In response to this information, over 13 states have passed a bill that aims to make marijuana legal and, in the process, decriminalize it. This information is also available in the graphs and tables that follow. Additionally, corruption has penetrated the systems put in place to work with the united states internationally in handling the issue of drug trade. The well-known instances of corruption are seen to have the best connections in the central American countries which is the bedrock of drug production. Places that include Peru, Bolivia, and Columbia among others. (Bertram et al. A large majority of people now strongly believe that all the billions of dollars that have been spent in handling the problem of drug abuse, should be spent in other projects.
5% of government prisoners. by 1993, they were 61%. of government prisoners. The scenario has led to numerous correctional facilities being overcrowded as the initial design was not mad to accommodate such large numbers of prisoners. This has led to new laws being enacted that for every prisoner convicted, another must be set free as long as the prison facility they are sent to had reached its maximum capacity. People are often apprehended simply because they fit a drug users’ description. In addition to this, those arrested for drug related crimes are usually not granted access to a lawyer. (Bertram et al, 47). Searches and subsequent capture of items are usually done by the enforcement officers even without the search warrants. The compulsory minimum imprisonment terms usually cause a heavy punishment for someone who has not committed a violent crime and neither did the crime have victims.
(Siegel et al. In spite of this research has shown that the two types of cocaine have the same effect. (Hatsukami and Fischman, 1996). This shows that the system needs to be rectified. The Congress’ Stand The congress has approved several laws over time as they tried to make efforts in the fight against drugs. The narcotic control act came in 1956 and proceeded to add on the initial Boggs act with regards to sentencing. The act also provided a mandatory death sentence for any person found to be dealing drugs to children. In 170, the controlled substances act was passed. The above are just a few of the laws that the congress passed in order to show the amount of influence the government has.
This is just a glimpse of the drug policies the congress has passed over time making it a major contributor to these policies. Bertram agrees, with this statement because social groups and powerful people are using their influence on the existing lawmakers which is forcing them to keep fighting the losing battle. Anyone that has a say in the war against drugs policy usually have very strong feelings where the issue is concerned. The problem is worsened by the fact that the existing public opinions do have a large impact on the laws on drugs. This brings the mythology effect where in as much as there is a lot of passion regarding a particular issue but there are no facts to support it.
this makes the law makers feel trapped that results in the old laws being enforced. Kinder and Lynn M. Sanders (1996) after carrying out various experiments came to the conclusion that making people think differently about a specific issue, an result in a different mindset about the issue. Also, Beckett (1994) arrived at the conclusion that the government and the media as well can play a major role in influencing the opinions of people in general. This paper has come to a solid conclusion based on several literature evidences that the drug prohibition laws in the united states of America did not succeed and they continue to fail. Secondly, when it comes to the involvement of the congress, in as much as it is not the only role player in making of the drug laws, is definitely a major role payer in creating laws that fail.
The most important thing however, is to promote awareness and educate people on the policies and the general effect that drugs have should be made more frequent and more in the society so that the public can be educated and conscious of what they are supportive of. Only then will our nation begin to win the war it is waging on drugs and drug abuse Works Referenced Baggins, David Sadofsky. Drug Hate and the Corruption of American Justice. Praeger Publishers. Beckett, Katherine. Complete text found at http://www. dncc96. org/platform/. Downs, Anthony. An Economic Theory of Democracy. "Crack Cocaine and Cocaine Hydrochloride - Are the Differences Myth or Reality?" Journal of the American Medical Association. November 20, 1996. Hill, Kim Quaile, and Angela Hinton-Andersson.
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