War on Drugs Research

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Drug use and abuse is an expensive problem in the United States, both financially and socially. The War on Drugs has been an ongoing effort to combat drug abuse, drug use and crime associated with the drug trade. It's a war without a clear enemy. Anything waged against a shapeless, intangible noun can never truly be won — President Clinton's drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey said as much in 1996. (TIME 2009) Despite the trillions of dollars waged on the war on drugs and the countless arrest made related to drugs, it appears that we are fighting a losing battle. The drug battle is not a new concept it’s a battle that has been around since President Eisenhower coined the phrase “War on Drugs”. In 1954, President Eisenhower established the U.S. Interdepartmental Committee on Narcotics, made up of 5 committee members to battle drugs nationwide. Since his reign, many Presidents that followed took an oath to stop the drug trade and gain control of drug entry into the states. President Nixon established the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1973, which was initially created to eliminate drug smuggling in the US. Today, as the number one agency in drug combats their sole responsibility is to combat drug rings and domestic drug rings both at home and overseas along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). With a long list of anti-drug agencies and programs, drugs continue to play a major role in our society. So much so that recent polls show that the consensus is we have officially lost the “War on Drugs”. On drug policy, 76% believe the US war on drugs is failing. That included the vast majority of Democrats (86%) and Independents (81%) and even a majority of Republicans (61%). The most current statistic shows that among President Barack Obama supporters, 89% agreed, and among John McCain supporters 61% agreed. While it is clear that a belief that the war on drugs is failing suggests support for drug reform -- (Zogby 2008) Legalization of drugs,

has become a hot topic among politicians and law enforcement. It is with this attitude that many are suggesting the legalization of drugs, namely the “if you can’t beat’em, join’em” drug reform tactic. There are several legitimate arguments for and against the legalization of drugs and both with valid issues at hand. The drug legalization debate is being fought long and hard by both sides, with one goal in mind, to stop illegal distribution of narcotics. Proponents of the legalization of drugs are not just the drug users; proponents include both politicians and law enforcement. As with abused substances such as tobacco and alcohol, should other illicit drugs be legalized? Yes, by legalizing drugs the United States could single handedly combat over 70% of legal problems caused by the illegal use of drugs. Problems such as the crime rate, and the economy and a backlogged judicial system stem from the illegal use of drugs and stiff penalties on drug crimes. All of these problems are genetically linked to one another. Through the legalization of drugs, trillions of dollars could be made to continue to combat drug abuse, homelessness, and crime. As we all know it there is a large supply and demand for drugs, the drug market exists and is a very profitable business. By legalizing drugs the stigma is removed and those who use drugs for recreation and sell drugs can be taxed and regulated. The regulation and sale of recreational drugs would create jobs and raise money at both the federal and state levels. In addition, money allotted to combat the “War on Drugs” could be made available for possible use toward health care, education, social welfare programs, and alleviating the national debt. Drug dealers will no longer lead a lucrative lifestyle based on illegal drug sales; hence this decreases the crime rate and does what the drug laws are put in place to do. Put dealers out of business. Legalization will automatically eliminate direct and indirect costs resulting from drug...
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