The War On Drugs: Failures Of The Drug Law Part 1

1685 words - 7 pages

“[The war on drugs] has created a multibillion-dollar black market, enriched organized crime groups and promoted the corruption of government officials throughout the world,” noted Eric Schlosser in his essay, “A People’s Democratic Platform”, which presents a case for decriminalizing controlled substances. Government policies regarding drugs are more focused towards illegalization rather than revitalization. Schlosser identifies a few of the crippling side effects of the current drug policy put in place by the Richard Nixon administration in the 1970s to prohibit drug use and the violence and destruction that ensue from it (Schlosser 3). Ironically, not only is drug use as prevalent as ever, drug-related crime has also become a staple of our society. In fact, the policy of the criminalization of drugs has fostered a steady increase in crime over the past several decades. This research will aim to critically analyze the impact of government statutes regarding drugs on the society as a whole.
Concerned authorities have focused essentially on criminalization and punishment, to find remedies to the ever-increasing prevalent drug problem. In the name of drug reducing policies, authorities endorse more corrective and expensive drug control methods and officials approve stricter new drug war policies, violating numerous human rights. Regardless of or perhaps because of these efforts, UN agencies estimate the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry at $US400 billion, or the equivalent of roughly eight per cent of total international trade (Riley 1998). This trade has increased organized/unorganized crime, corrupted authorities and police officials, raised violence, disrupted economic markets, increased risk of diseases and challenged societal values. The above-mentioned problems are a result of not drug use, but of years of unsuccessful drug rules and inapt drug regulations.
Governments all around the globe are vigorously enforcing law to control supply of drugs as well as to discourage its consumption. Controlled substances come with a higher price tag, which means drug addicts need to pay more for drugs. Wilsons (1990) mentions in his paper that there is a strong link between drug use and street crime, and the research also depicts that, for various drugs, their use-or more precisely, their buying results in numerous income generating crime. He also states that those periods where drug addicts are consuming a high dose of drugs presents higher rates on which they commit crimes as compared to those periods when they are comparatively abstinent. The reason given is that the illegalization of drugs results in a black market, which in turn shoots the prices up forcing the drug addicts into the world of crime and prostitution to support their addiction. In 2004, 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. These percentages represent a slight increase for federal...

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