War On Drugs Essay

4022 words - 16 pages

Drugs for PeacePerspectives Involving the "War on Drugs" and Related MovementsUpon given the task of investigating a social cause, I designated the War on Drugs, a moral reform, to my topic of interest. The war on drugs is simply defined as reducing illegal production, use, and distribution of what the government systems regard as illegal grade substances. There are many ongoing considerations for medical, spiritual, and recreational standings (for many drugs, like marijuana, opium, cocaine, and psychedelics) under high debate, constantly being changed, and something I've always had speculated ideas concerning. Through discussing and gaining knowledge on the stages, debates, dangers, movements, impacts, and free speech concerns, the downfall the War of Drugs has had on our society economically, socially, and politically will be unmistakably obvious.As a preparatory point of understanding the cause, a brief history of the early stages of drug prohibition is necessary to better explore solutions and opposing viewpoints. While looking at a timeline of our existence as humans on Earth, the prohibition and illegalization of most drugs in the United States is a fairly modern notion.Beginning in the 1800's, opium, heroin, and morphine were all discovered and used regularly for medical purposes (Rosenbeger, 2012). When first used, these drugs can cause extreme calmness and wellbeing. Upon realizing the addictions, side effects, and the neglectful behavior these drugs cause, programs were enacted concerning the safety of the general public. Doctors became required to label all active ingredients pertaining to each prescription individually. Under the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914, the acquisition of marijuana, morphine, heroin, and cocaine became strongly taxed, constrained, and regulated (Rosenberger, 2012). Following, emanated the prohibition of alcohol in 1919 under the eighteenth amendment which prohibited "manufacture, sale, transport, import, or export of alcoholic beverages" (Frendreis, 2013). Exercising free speech, a select population had seen the destruction beverages cause and petitioned the U.S. government.The governmental plan of prohibiting of alcohol easily relates to the illegalization of drugs today in numerous ways. Forbidding products like beer, gin, vodka, whiskey, and wine on such a sudden notice undoubtedly caused a stir up of emotions. Similar to the war on more hardcore drugs, the early stages of prohibition caused the presence of alcoholic beverages to sharply decline (Frendreis, 2013). However, in time, people began to ignore the established national bans and began networks of bootlegging (Frendreis, 2013). Physicians and government officials were lead to believe that drinking alcohol damages people's health, behavior, and wellness whereas the ban actually promoted ways of getting the same substance illegally and under higher potency. Drinking has been a traditional part of culture for many cultures including recent immigrants...

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