The Decriminalization Of Drugs In The United States

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The legalization of drugs has been at the center of interminable debate. Drugs have widely been perceived as a dominant threat to the moral fabric of society. Drug use has been attributed as the source responsible for a myriad of key issues. For instance, it is believed that drugs have exacerbated the already weak status of mental health in the United States in which some individuals suffering from mental illness administer illicit substances such as heroin or cocaine in an attempt to self-medicate. Moreover, drugs are blamed for turning auspicious members of the community into worthless degenerates. Thus, vast efforts have been made to regulate the alleged drug problem through various avenues. For example, programs have been created to steer …show more content…

For example, agencies have been established with the sole intent to manage drug use and distribution and technology has been exclusively developed to detect the presence of drugs. Yet, evidence has indicated that such exhaustive efforts have been relatively unsuccessful. First, it has been assumed that drugs have perpetuated violence in society and based on this rationale, it was believed that by the suppressing the pervasiveness of drugs that incidents of violence would simultaneously diminish. However, reality has failed to align with the expectations that had initially been anticipated. Research findings have suggested that the decriminalization of drugs would result in a less adversarial drug market in which conflicts have tended to arise among dealers as well as between dealers and buyers (Common Sense for Drug Policy, 2007, p. 21). Essentially, although drugs have been held accountable for gang violence and other acts of violence that have occurred within communities, the illegality of drugs indeed may have aggravated the situation. In addition, it has become evident that one of the primary objectives of the war on drugs, which is to limit supply and demand, has been largely ineffective. CSDP (2007) “According to the United Nations, profits in illegal drugs are so inflated that three-quarters of all drug shipments would have to …show more content…

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

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