National drug policy has the greatest impact on the criminal justice system. Since many Americans use or sell illegal drugs, the declaration of drug policy gave an opportunity to strengthen the laws and be able to punish drug users with strong laws. However, it resulted in overcrowding of prisoners in United States after it was declared in early 1980s. Also, because it concluded huge growth in the prisons, it increased state budgets for the penal system and cut off state education funds and other services. Like other policies, ‘war on drugs’ has both pros and cons. Samuel Walker’s Sense and Non-sense About Crime, Drugs, and Communities’, Steven E. Barkan and George J. Bryjak’s Myths and Realities of Crime in America, and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness thoroughly describes ‘war on drugs’ and its positive and negative consequences.
After the Harrison Act in 1914, American drug policy became under control by the hawk approach, which is getting tougher of law enforcement on drugs. Literally, a phrase ‘war on drugs’ means “war” declared on drugs by increasing arrests and imprisonments of both drug users and sellers. As a result, the law enforcement disrupted the markets of illegal drugs. Not only the ‘war on drugs’ has had great effects among Americans and criminal justice system, but also minorities of racial groups, especially African Americans, who are the primary victims of war on drugs.
African Americans are treated more harshly at every stage of the criminal justice system, and the resulting cumulative disadvantage generates the enormous disparity between the percentage of African Americans in prison and their representation in the general population. (Walker 311)
However, there’s also an argument which targets the fact that, people who are placed in socially lower class are more likely to use illegal drugs or to become drug dealers. Therefore, arrest and imprisonment have become common in underclass neighborhoods.
But, why do people use...