When Ronald Reagan and George Bush first declared a War on Drugs in America, they opened a bunch of chaos, crime, social injustice, and a lot of heartache in the black community. The Drug War policies and laws that was implemented, violates human rights, and force police officers to aggressively pursue nonviolent criminals. This system was perfectly designed to gain social control rather than relieve neighborhoods from drugs, which have a lot of citizens questioning was this a major success or failure. Since the war on drugs have been declared, Americans have experienced nothing but an elevated level of mass incarceration, while drugs and violence have reached an all-time high in our communities. The prisons in America are leading the world
users also found that they built up a tolerance to oxycontin and other prescription opioids and that 's where heroin comes in. heroin is an opioid like oxycontin though lots of people who built up a tolerance to prescription painkillers moved on to heroin and today more americans are addicted to heroin and die from it than ever before. The abuse and misuse of opioid products containing oxycodone and hydrocodone, including brands such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and Lortab increased significantly in the early-to-mid 2000s, doubling between 1998 and 2008. In 2002, 6.2 million Americans were abusing prescription drugs, and emergency room visits resulting from the abuse of narcotic pain relievers had increased dramatically. The misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers was responsible for more than 730,000 emergency department visits in 2009, a number that nearly doubled in just five
Over the past few years, the addiction of heroin has increased due to varieties of reason in different communities across the United States. The majority of media attention is focused on suburban, white, middle-class heroin abusers, meaning that the majority of America’s effort and resources to end the Heroin Epidemic is mainly for the White Community. Resulting in a dramatic increase of deaths caused from Heroin overdose in the minority communities in the past seven years. In the article, “How the Heroin Epidemic Differs in Communities of Color” by Sarah Childress, mentions how certain minority communities lack medical access for Heroin overdose (e.g. Naloxone) and knowledge of laws to protect the drug users from incarceration, Maryland’s
The War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration The United States incarcerates at a higher rate than any other country in the world. In fact, the U.S. alone is home to 25% of the world’s prison population; this, however, wasn’t always the case. The rapid growth of the U.S. prison population can be traced two decades back to the declaration of the War on Drugs by President Ronald Regan in the early eighties and previously mentioned by President Richard Nixon. In an effort to reassure White Americans’ of their elite positioning in the underlying racial caste system in a time where inner-city communities were facing major economic collapses, the Regan administration called for the reinforcement of the sale, distribution, and consumption of illicit drugs,
As of September 26, 2015, there is a total of 93,821 inmates in prison for drug offenses, which is equivalent to 48.4 percent of the prison population. The use of illegal narcotics has been an issue within the country for decades; however, is incarceration the way to solve this problem? I think not. During the late 1960’s, poverty was a substantial issue within urban cities and secluded rural areas. On the other hand, recreational drug usage promoted by fashionable young, white Americans as a symbol of social upheaval and youthful rebellion coincided with the deprivation within many of these areas.
In the 1980’s the introduction of Crack Cocaine which was much more addictive to the users and more profitable for the drug dealers than Powder Cocaine. The prompted the administration to create Reagans War on Drugs which was supposed to make a major difference in the use of illegal drugs. By giving a much stiffer penalty to drug dealers for possession an even a moderate amount of illegal drugs. The fear of jail time was going be a deterrent to reduce the sale and illegal drug use. A minimum five year jail sentence would be handed out to someone caught with 500 grams of powder cocaine or with five grams of crack cocaine.
Cocaine was seen as more sophisticated and whoever was caught with it, would not face the reprimanding as someone who had crack rock. Being that cocaine was much more expensive compared to crack rock, communities of color were being targeted. Blacks representation in the media is continuously negative. Whether they are being portrayed as slaves, thugs, criminals, violent, animalistic, etc. Blacks are overly represented as criminals in the media.
The previous decades saw increased the decriminalization of certain drugs, such as marijuana, as they began to be used more casually. However, the 1980s and the specifically the Reagan administration saw the “War on Drugs” start. Led by Nancy Reagan, the “Just Say No” campaign dominated the headlines as parents became concerned about their children using drugs (Goode & Ben-Yehuda, n.d.). Under new leadership, the government began to criminalize drug use to unprecedented levels.
The government publicized the emergence of crack cocaine as defense strategy to create a favorable public opinion for the drug war: “The media was saturated with images of black crack whores, crack dealers, and crack babies—images that seemed to conform the worst negative racial stereotypes about impoverished inner-city residents” (Alexander, 5). During the war, arrests and convictions for drug offenses saw an amazing increase, especially among African Americans. Because of the drug war, the United States now holds the highest incarceration rate in the world even surpassing more the world’s most suppressive nations. No other country imprisons more of their racial or ethnic minorities than the United States does: “The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of Apartheid” (Alexander, 6). The War on Drugs fueled mass imprisonment in the United States in which African American were the main victims.
The existence of mandatory minimums are a major issue in the United States today. Since the implementation of Mandatory minimums, the prison population has increased 800%. This massive rise in prisoner population has come with devastating economic and human costs. The death of Len Bias, the moral panic that ensued, and corporate looking to make a profit off of it, have all culminated in the implementation of mandatory minimums. Len Bias was an American college basketball player who had just been recruited to play in the NBA, he died in 1986 due to a heart attack believed to have been caused by cocaine use.
In the early 1980s, the United States declared an all-out war on drugs and over the past several decades the United States of America has traveled down a dark road when it comes to sentencing for drug offenses. One of the major tools that they used in this war on drugs is the mandatory sentencing laws. These laws were enacted in 1984 to help combat and get violent drug dealers off our streets. What these laws did was set a mandatory minimum sentence that stated if you are arrested for fifteen or more grams of crack cocaine, you would be charged as if you had five hundred grams of powder cocaine thus getting you a minimum of a ten year sentence in prison. If you are arrested for growing 100 marijuana plants under these draconian laws, you would be charged as if you were possession of 100 pounds of marijuana which carries a minimum of a five-year
Drug users being incarcerated Should all drug users be incarcerated? 80% percent of people in prison were charged with drug abuse or some type of drug related thing. All drug users should be incarcerated. Drug users become unstable and more aggressive, drug users become impaired they do not know what is going through there mind, and drug user are more likely to steal from people. Drug users are impaired and they are confused, they are unstable and aggressive, and they are thieves.
An example of criminal code violations in which it is apparent inequity in sentencing is the “war on drugs.” This so called war on drugs is a campaign to prohibit drugs, military aid, and military intervention, with the goal of reducing illegal drug trade. Since this war on drugs the nation has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people in prisons and jails for drugs offenses. In 1980, 40,000 people were either waiting trial or serving time for a drug related offense that number has increased to around 500,000 in today’s time (American Bar Association). The problem which arose with this drug war was the disproportionate law enforcement presence in African American communities.
As of 2014 “Heroin is now causing more deaths than car crashes or violent crime”. This concerning statistic was brought forth from Retro Report’s film “Heroin and the War on Drugs” published by The New York Time’s. The saddening video clip commences with the 1960’s when America’s heroin drug problem truly began to flourish. It voices Richard Nixon during his presidential campaign ad of 1968 where he stated “crimes of violence in America will double by 1972. We cannot accept that kind of future for America” and continues on by exposing the harsh drug laws implemented by Nelson Rockefeller.
All of the changes Ronald Reagan made during the war on drugs relating to unjust prison sentences and misuse of funds made diverse communities suffer and prison sentences absurdly large. Ronald Reagan misused funds by prioritizing the drug war over public safety and created an absurd law that made the prison sentences cruel and overpopulated prisons all across America. We have already made efforts to reverse the effects of the drug war, but there is still more that we can accomplish with open minds and support. The drug war was a devastating period in American history, it was irresponsible and would never have happened with the right guidance. The drug war was catastrophic and created a lot of problems in the United States, but