Реферат: The War Against Drugs Essay Research Paper

The War Against Drugs Essay, Research Paper

Naufel Tajudeen Crimes, Drugs and Policy The War Against Drugs In this country, we are locked in war we simply cannot win. We strive to protect over 10,000 miles of border, against enemies who are driven by the lure of an obscene profit. We have fought this a version of this war before, and have lost. All that has really resulted from this war is the overcrowding of prisons, the expansion of law enforcement’s ability to encroach on the personal lives of ordinary citizens, and paranoia and distrust. I am referring to the war on drugs. As time goes on, it becomes more and more evident that the war on drugs is as useless as prohibition was almost 80 years ago. Now it has become a point of pride for our elected officials, who use the war as a re-election tool. To most people the fiscal reasons for ending the war are the most convincing. For example, it costs over $30,000 per year to house a prisoner – this does not include processing and legal fees, only the actual prison costs – food, water, electricity and guards. There are over 1.5 million non-violent drug law offenders in prison right now, and this number is increasing daily. That means we are spending a minimum of $45 billion per year keeping former tax-paying citizens, most of whom had jobs and were contributing to the economy in some way, locked up with murderers and rapists. When these people get out of jail, they will have criminal records, which will make it nearly impossible to get a decent job and a grudge against the government and society in general. In addition, we spend $37 billion per year funding the police efforts and interdiction, and recent evidence suggests the CIA have been involved in drug-trafficking to fund its own private wars. Currently there is over $150 billion worth of drug traffic that remains untaxed. If one figures a tax rate of 15%, that is a total of $22.5 billion of taxes that America doesn’t see. The bottom-line? The U.S. Treasury estimates America wastes a minimum of $104.5 billion per year fighting a war that can not be won, while crime rates continue to rise (because of the huge profits made possible by the risks involved in the drug trade as drugs remain illegal), and the quality of education, medical care and environmental protection falls due to lack of money in the budget. There are also moral dilemmas in declaring war on drugs and their users. Firstly, drug use or abuse is a medical and social problem not a criminal problem, yet we think we’re solving the problem by throwing people in jail. The logic seems to be, maybe if we just take their life away, confiscate all of their personal property, ruin their reputation and self-respect, put them in jail with the worst elements of society – murderers, thieves and rapists, where they will most likely be beaten and/or raped repeatedly they will see the error of their ways. Not a very enlightened sentiment. Also bare in mind, nicotine, caffeine and alcohol are all drugs. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs known to man, behind substances like heroin. Cigarettes kill over 300,000 people every year. Alcohol kills over 120,000 people every year. Alcohol has been linked to men beating their wives and children. In contrast, marijuana has a recorded history that dates back over 4000 years, and has never killed anyone in the direct way alcohol does. The DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge, after reviewing the evidence, called marijuana “…one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man…” It’s been said that the first casualty in any war is truth. That sentiment is seen nowhere as clearly as in the war on drugs. The government and special interests have been running this war for over 50 years now. The government spews propaganda as truth, to cover their collective backsides, which creates distrust and unrest, and breeds contempt and disrespect in our children. An example – We have uniformed police officers coming into our classrooms telling kids that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol. History and scientific evidence prove that it is not the fact. So if the officer wasn’t being honest about marijuana, what else is the government lying about? Worse yet, if children believe that the officer was lying then they might believe that marijuana is not that bad, and that maybe crack and heroin aren’t either. There are also some logical problems with supporting such a war. This is a free country with over 10,000 miles of border and over 247 million inhabitants. There is simply no way you can watch all of the people all of the time if we are to continue with the freedoms we have. People swallowing small balloons filled with pure cocaine or heroin are a large percentage of the drugs brought into the country. This is nearly impossible to prevent. There is no way you will ever be able to eradicate drugs from this country without declaring martial law, doing house-to-house searches and increasing border security dramatically. The problem with drugs is not their effect; it is the corruption that is tied to the huge profits that doing illegal business commands. Statistics show that illegal drugs kill far less people than obesity – that is, an addiction to food. Increasing penalties for drug crimes will just increase the prices and thereby the profits for people willing to take the risk. Along with these profits will come increased war in our neighborhoods as gangs and dealers fight and kill for the enormous profits. Americans will never see any of this money because, being illegal, it is not taxed. Supply is driven by demand. As long as there are people that want to adjust their state of mind, there will be someone to help them do it, and adjusting our state of mind is part of human nature. Go to a schoolyard sometime and watch kids spin ’round and ’round till they fall down. Just as you can’t cure a cold by taking cold medicine you can’t cure substance abuse by throwing people in jail. Substance abuse is a symptom of a larger problem, and we can’t continue to pretend it doesn’t exist. We have driven ourselves into such a moral quandary that it will take years to fully recover. But our present course of action has proven to be more destructive than drugs themselves. Substance abuse (including over-eating) is people hiding from their problems. The only way we are going to stop substance abuse is by lowering the pressure in day-to-day life for our citizens. Unfortunately, the drug war has driven the cost of living up to unbelievable heights, while lowering take-home pay through high tax rates, and has increased crime while lowering education quality. All of these cause increasing pressure on the working family and their children, which manifests itself in increased drug and alcohol consumption. We have a catch-22. Again, you can’t solve problems by fighting the symptoms. You have to go after the problems themselves.

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