Drugs In Society. Essay

2708 words - 11 pages

"Campaigns to prohibit drugs and alcohol in the United States emerged as part of a much broader moral reform movement" (Woodiwiss, 1998: 253). Concerted efforts to legalize drugs and alcohol have little power against these moral reform movements. Anti-drug movements were set in motion as far back as the early nineteenth century, dealing more with socio-economic power struggles and maintaining the status quo with minorities at the bottom rung of the economic ladder than the highly touted moral agendas being paraded. The early twentieth century saw Chinese-owned opiate dens spring up all across San Francisco, attracting numerous white females. In response, the anti-opium den ordinance act was quickly passed and presented to the public in an extremely racist manner, which will be discussed in further detail shortly in this composition. Yet it would be equally unfair to claim that all drug policies are in place due to racist reasoning. The United States has in place an array of well intentioned policies spearheaded by cultural conservatives attempting to solve America's "drug problem." Regrettably, rather than offering practical solutions, these laws are often nothing more than scarecrows of moralistic jingoism. The simpleminded often feel that once "the drug problem" is "solved" many social problems will simply disappear, without considering definitions for those very terms. Sadly most American law at the present time is of this method; furthermore it has become apparent that this scheme is ineffective. The latter part of this paper will outline a new drug policy that privileges pragmatism over pseudo-moralistic dogma. This policy will draw the best factors from groups such as cultural Conservatives, free market Libertarians, progressive legalizers as well as others. This policy will attempt to balance morality and practicality as well as eliminate racism and prejudice. Issues such as drug sales, possession, purity, eligibility, and restrictions will all be dealt with.Most educated people in America deem that contemporary policy regarding drug use in the United States is extremely skewed toward the sides of cultural Conservatives. Thus an explanation of these theorists' ideals is necessary. Cultural Conservatives look upon drugs as being harmful to our society; furthermore they believe that drug use is inherently deleterious to morality in the United States. A theory that thrives under this perspective is the control theory, in which criminal behavior is believed to be a breakdown of social control.These policies (provided by conservatives) began to arise in the nineteenth century and were based on a few lethal myths produced by White lawmakers more interested in attaining power than attaining justice. Thus these government officials became mythmakers, but one might ask how and why they would do such things."This means that the government has vested interest in maintaining the existing social definition of crime and extending this definition to...

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