Narcotics Control

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Critical Issue Analysis: Narcotics Control
The use, production, distribution and control of narcotics, both legal and illegal, have been controversial discussion pieces for many years. It is a sensitive subject that has fueled efforts by both pro and con entities to change or rectify the issues for both sides.

I have selected two documents that support either side of the argument, and I will then attempt to analysis them using critical thinking methods. The first document concentrates on the control of narcotics in the US. America Must Continue the War on Drugs, Barry McCaffrey.

The focus of this document was based on how narcotics have influenced the US over the course of history, not just the present. The author describes how drugs have been affecting society for many years in different ways. How American society has been plagued with influxes of these products form different parts of the world, and every time they get control of the situation a new issue arises from somewhere else. His thesis goes on to describe that if narcotics such as marijuana were legalized, the manufacturers would seek other forms of drugs, more potent, to replace the lost market. Drugs are like technology; they change with the trends and popularity beliefs. They are always trying to improve their market worth, with the market being potential victims with a lethal outcome. The problems are also noted outside the US, where terrorists and other criminal organizations use drug proceeds to fund their activities, whether it be on US soil or overseas. This makes the problem worse when the proceeds go to weapons caches, prostitution, racketeering which are then in turn used to fund narcotics production. Drugs are a clear and present danger to our society, which needs to be rectified immediately, using all means possible. But the where do you start, the issue is so wide spread and with so many points of production and distribution, the problem becomes near impossible to control.

This next document concentrates on the legalization of marijuana in the US. Drug Use Should Be an Individual Choice, Thomas Szasz.
The focus of this document was based on how narcotic problems have escalated because of state and federal regulation of drugs and taking away the decision from the individual. The context of this issue could be perceived in two ways; the first being drugs for medicinal purposes and their distribution source moved to doctors and pharmacists and how this affects users and the other being drug control has forced production and distribution to move underground in order to avoid heavy taxation and price increase. This has caused many individuals to pursue cheaper and sometimes illegal alternatives. I will now analysis the two sides and using different critical thinking methods, develop an accurate depiction of this debate.

Both sides of the argument were very well presented and opinionated. Both had researched variable secondary sources to validate their thesis.
As for hard facts, the con side lacked little facts to back his statements, other than the control of drugs moved to the state in 1914.
The pro side had many facts to validate his paper, for example, in 1909; the Smoking Opium Exclusion Act banned the importation of sociable opium--providing the first national anti-drug legislation. Five years later, the Harrison Narcotic Act implemented more effective drug control laws. In 1911, the first International Conference on Opium convened in The Hague to control narcotics trafficking. These are just some of many facts and dates of referendums and changes in legislation to back the case made by the author. He also supported his document with medical research and facts like (the NIDA National Pregnancy and Health Survey estimated 1.5 percent to 2 percent of American infants in 1992 had been exposed to cocaine in uterus) marked a new and terrible stage in the history of drug abuse.

The pro side opinions were very aggressive towards the...
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