Due to the unprecedented expansion of the war on drugs by the Reagan administration started a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration. The huge number of offenders incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenders increased from 50,000 to 1980 to over 400,000 by the year 1997. In 1981, Nancy Reagan began a highly publicized antidrug campaign called “Just Say No”, as public concerns arose due to the portrayals by the media about people addicted to a smoke-able form of cocaine dubbed as “crack”. This campaign set the stage for zero tolerance policies implemented in the late 1980’s.
The 1990’s marked the beginning of a new war on drugs. Drug abuse rates had started to increase, wider variety of drugs became more common, and more people started to use. Not a lot has changed, because drug abuse is still very common in today’s society. In the 1990s, drug usage was bad, however a lot of the drugs in today 's society were not as common. Drug abuse is not just in the big cities,the problem is all over.
Although many things seemed good in the 1980’s, there was also issues plaguing America. The drug epidemic had by then spun completely out of control. The use of narcotics like cocaine, claimed many lives and earned widespread coverage by media and news. Following this Nancy Reagan began the “War on Drugs”, a campaign to combat pre-existing drug usage and prevent future
We have been fighting drug abuse for almost a century. The war on drugs is a growing problem in America everyday. This war is becoming an unfortunate loss. Our courts, hospitals, and prisons are continuously being filled with drug abusers. Violent crime the ravages our neighborhood is a result of the drug trade. Drug abusers’ children are neglected, abused, and even abandoned. In the 1870’s, anti-opium laws were first directed and Chinese immigrants. During the early 1900’s, in the South, the first anti-cocaine laws were directed at black men. In the 1910’s and 1920’s, in the Midwest and Southwest the first anti-marijuana laws were directed at Mexicans – both immigrants and Americans. In modern time, major disproportioned drug enforcement
Illicit drugs are drugs that have been considered illegal, such as, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, in some locations (Levinthal, 2016). Legislating drugs began around 1900. In essence, the government let society govern the use and opinions of drugs. Most of society looked down upon the nonmedical use of drugs. Furthermore, several acts were enacted to regulate the use of specific drugs as well as the federal prohibition of alcohol. But in 1933, Prohibition ended, making it legal to consume alcohol again. In the 1970’s, drugs were categorized based on their “potential for abuse” (Levinthal, 2016). Unfortunately, many of the illicit drugs are manufactured outside of the United States. As such, the war on drugs has to be fought on a global
The steep increase in incarceration rates during these years coincides with the Reagan administration’s enhancement of Nixon’s War on Drugs through the Anti- Drug Abuse Act of 1986. One key part of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act is the mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drugs offenses including discrepancies in sentencing between cocaine and crack cocaine. The version of the Anti Drug Abuse Act passed in 1988 provided monetary incentives for police agencies to implement the war on drugs through the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program (Byrne Program). These Byrne Program grants, along with civil forfeiture laws passed in 1984 that allowed police agencies to share in drug related assets, provided substantial resources and motivation for state and local law enforcement to focus on the drug
Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Frontline writes that the law allocated funds to new prisons, drug education, and treatment. But its main result was to create mandatory minimum sentences. The harsh sentences on crack cocaine use disproportionately affect African-Americans April 22, 2014.
Essentially, the war on drugs has demonstrated to be an exorbitant expense. The federal government in 2002 alone spent $18.822 billion in the form of expenditures such as treatment, prevention, and domestic law enforcement (CSDP, 2007, p. 54). However, given that the drug war has garnered meager results, this investment may be interpreted as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Alternatively, the money that has been allocated to arrest and detain drug offenders may also be a source of contention. CSDP (2007) “Of the 1,846,351 arrests for drug law violations in 2005, 81.7% (1,508,469) were for possession of a controlled substance. Only 18.3% (337,882) were for the sale or manufacture of a drug” (p. 23). Therefore, the individuals who are likely to enter the already overcrowded prisons may be users and the actual not distributors themselves. Thus, prison space that is intended to be reserved for murders and sexual predators is instead being occupied by substance
Chapter two introduces the policy problems related to the War on Drugs, as well as other policies that banned or limited other use of alcohol and drugs. Authors start with the history of the regulations of mood altering substances that began in colonial times, and then it escalated with “The Father of Modern Drug Enforcement”, Dr. Hamilton Wright. President Roosevelt assigned him to be the first Opium Drug Commissioner of the United States. Dr. Wright saw drugs as a big problem, according to the text the drug prohibitions started with his opinions on limiting drug use. In 1906 the Pure Food and Drug Act was signed and required the labeling of the ingredients of the products. There were other acts signed after that period, first we had The Harrison
On October 14, 1982, Ronald Regan declared illicit drugs to be a threat to U.S. national security and waged a “war on drugs.” He proclaimed, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new all-out offensive.” In other words, he along with his party used this drug war as a tactic to limit voting for people of color and reign them powerless in the American political system. Michelle Alexander recognized the true meaning of Regan’s declaration in her book "The New Jim Crow," arguing that, “the system of mass incarceration based on drug charges was created as a form of racial control and exists as a way to keep people of color in permanent states of economic, political, and social marginalization much as the Jim Crow laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” Following Regan’s declaration, a number of policies were passed in an effort to fulfill the War on Drugs’ inherent racial agendas of keeping minority groups powerless in the American political system, and as a result, leading to their mass incarceration. Again, I like how this links to your main
The initial thinking behind the creation of minimum mandatory sentences was created by congress to aim in the capture and imprisonment of high level drug traffickers, and deter others from entering into drug trafficking or using illegal substances, which would create a safer society. However, the nation prison has been expanded with low level street drug dealers, and the accessibility to illegal drugs is more obtainable then before the enactment of the mandatory sentencing act. In fact, the number of drug offenders in federal prisons has increased 21 times since 1980. Contrary to what congress has believed in the past about the dangers of crack cocaine compared to that in powder form has been proven to be untrue, but little has been done to reduce the number of prisons affected by that belief.
There are many other factors that are also considered, such as the current laws, the “degree of involvement in a crime, disparate law enforcement practices, sentencing and parole policies and practices, and biased decision making” (Mauer, 2011). Take for example the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The purpose of this act was to ensure mandatory sentences for serious drug traffickers involved in the preparation, selling and packaging of crack cocaine. However, Congress’s haltingly decision to address this concern left the penalty structure completely skewed. Although there is a distinct physical difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine, both share the same pharmacological roots. Since crack cocaine was cheaper to purchase and could be sold in small quantities, it was said to be more addicting. Although this theory was found to be false, Congress remained silent about it while the offenders were disproportionately sentenced. What this meant was that 500 grams of powder cocaine carried the same mandatory sentence as 5 grams of crack cocaine which was five years. And although there were White, Latino and African Americans cocaine users, 80 percent of those users sentenced in federal court for crack cocaine offenses were African American (Mauer,
The “War on Drugs” was about formulation of policies that will discourage production, distribution and consumption of illegal drugs. The Republicans were really fighting against the trade of illegal drugs. They wanted to see it come to an end because they saw it a great public enemy. The United States president Richard Nixon in 1971 declared drug abuse a number one public enemy during his message to the Congress on dug abuse control and
On September 21, 1969, President Nixon initialized the first of many anti-drug measures during his presidency. This anti-drug measure, Operation Intercept aimed to reduce importing marijuana to the point of elimination across the Mexican-United States border. This policy increased surveillance and, more significantly, mandated at least three-minute inspections of every passing vehicle passing the U.S. border from Mexico. This policy proved to be mostly a failure. In response to the policy’s shortcomings, in 1970, the Nixon admiration declared a war on drugs through the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. This policy extended previously laws set into effect in 1914 through the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act with a goal of enforcing
The Harrison Narcotic Act was proposed to Congress by Dr. Hamilton Wright. This particular Act was not made to criminalize the use of any drug. However, it was considered a tax law because there was a tax imposed on individuals that made or sold narcotics. Suppliers had the responsibility of registering with the Bureau of International Revenue once a year along with paying a one-dollar fee. Since medical professionals prescribed narcotics, they also had to register and pay the fee annually or they would be punished. Medical professionals could only prescribe these drugs for medical reasons and they had to possess records of distribution to patients for two years. However, it was not considered appropriate to prescribe a narcotic drug to treat an addiction, which was troubling for both medical professionals and addicts. The Harrison Act contributed to a large number of medical professionals being either indicted on narcotic charges or being forced to face prison sentences.