Drugs and crime are literally everywhere. Drug abuse and crime go hand-in-hand. Drugs cause crime. Legalizing drugs is not the answer. Punishments should fit the crime. Repeat offenders should have harsher punishments. The history of drugs shows increasing drug use, abuse, and crime rates that relate to drug use and abuse.
The History of Drugs
“Human beings have always had a desire to eat or drink substances that make them feel relaxed, stimulated, or euphoric.” Drug history, Drug Rehabs.Org. Drug use goes far back in history when people used “strong medicine” such as herbal remedies. Herbal remedies were used for pain killers and other healing purposes such as ointments for cuts and bruises and liniments for sore muscles and backs. Medicine men were also the people to go to for health problems and aches and pains. As society progressed, new drugs and “pain relievers” were being introduced into the mainstream. Tonics that were the “cure all for various problems like male and female pattern baldness, warts, acne, and the common cold were sold publicly and usually made with alcohol and gave the consumer an effect from taking the tonic, so they assumed it was working and did not care. Alcohol was used as a pain reliever, usually as whiskey or brandy and was used for patients that had chronic pain such as back pain, cancer, and arthritis. People knew little of the consequences of the long term effects of drug use in the early years as they do in present times. “As with any drugs, some recreational drugs are addictive, most are harmful to one's health, and some are illegal in most places.” Drug Rehabs.Org.
Crime and Drug Use
Statistics show that drugs do cause crime. “In 2004, 17% of U.S. State prisoners and 18% of Federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs.” US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004. “In a 2007 study of 10 U.S. counties, 40 percent of the arrestees tested positive for marijuana.” Katel, P. 2009. Crimes are mainly drug-related and the majority of drug abusers are repeat-offenders. “Today we have more than 500,000, an increase of 1,200 percent . . . and a significant percentage of those are incarcerated for possession or nonviolent offenses stemming from drug addiction.” Katel, P. 2009. People, when under the influence of drugs are more susceptible to being influenced into doing things they normally would not, like committing crimes. Drugs reduce inhibitions and can cause euphoric hallucinations resulting in actions from the user that would not normally happen and can cause unsafe acts that can affect him or her and other people in his or her lives negatively.
Crime and Punishment
Lawmakers are repeatedly in the process of passing new and more stringent laws that will increase punishments for repeat offenders. Drug abusers repeatedly offend. Lawmakers are in the process of sharply increasing punishments so that repeat offenders will not be as likely to repeat these offenses. “Some of the most aggressive efforts were made in the name of combating drugs, a problem whose interstate and international dimensions justified federal intervention.” Law and law enforcement, 1993-1996. Statistics show that drug-related crime tops the list in arrests. *Estimated totals of top seven arrest offenses in the United States, 2007 Type of arrest Number of arrests
Total arrests 14,209,400
Drug abuse violations 1,841,200
Driving under the influence 1,427,500
Simple assaults 1,305,700
Disorderly conduct 709,100
Liquor laws 633,600
*United States bureau of Justice Statistics, October 1, 2002
Crime and punishment reform and proper education is needed in order to reduce drug abuse and crime.
The Legalization of Marijuana
Marijuana is a widely used drug and often referred to as the “gateway drug” and can lead to the use of...