The War on Drugs is one war that America may not be able to afford to win. For over thirty years the United States has made a business out of fighting the War on Drugs an, to date, there is no end in sight. In this paper America’s War on Drugs will be evaluated. More specifically, it will outline our nation’s general drug history and take a look at how Congress has influenced our current ineffective drug policy. Through this analysis I will show that drug prohibition policies in the United States, for the most part, have failed. Additionally, I will look at the influences that are acting on the numerous government employees that make decisions to continue to support these ineffective policies in order to truly show Congress’ role in the formation of our nation’s drug policy. Finally, I will discuss the changes that are necessary for future progress to be made, mainly that of a general promotion of drug education and the elimination of our current system’s standards, beliefs and virtues, most of which are misinformed and in most cases, just plain wrong.
It is important to understand that before we look at the specific outcomes of Congressional influence and policy impact it is important to first discuss the general history and current situation of drugs today. Our present drug laws were first enacted at the beginning of the century. Interestingly enough, at the time, recreational use of narcotics was not even a major social issue. The first regulatory legislation was for the purpose of standardizing the manufacturing and purity of pharmaceutical products. Shortly after, the first criminal laws were enacted which addressed opium products and cocaine. Although some states had prohibited the recreational use of marijuana, there was no federal criminal legislation until 1937. In contrast, the use of alcohol and the argument over whether or not it should be legal was a major social issue in the United States in the early 20th... [continues]
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