Budget and Policy Paper
War on Drugs
Bridget Brown, Shaketra Jones, Matt Anderson, Jerry Carter,
and Lisa Rivers
October 20, 2014
More than 45 years ago President Richard Nixon announced and declared the nation is at war, that war was the "War on Drugs". Nancy Reagan campaigned heavily in the fight against drug use as well; her fight was that of teaching young children the slogan of “Just Say No”. The goals of the criminal justice system in the war on drugs have been a never ending fight against the sale of illicit drugs and that of combating drug abuse. We will discuss the increased resources spent on law enforcement and rehabilitation while making an attempt in understanding why the war on drugs has steadily increased. From a law enforcement perspective, the responsibility is to get rid of and stop drug trafficking business. This reaches across the range of drug activity. Law enforcement intends to disturb the drug marketplace by putting sellers and users alike out of business. By ripping to pieces drug trafficking organizations by weakening their leadership. The intention is to stop the structure of these criminal businesses by seizing and forfeiting the enormous profits and proceeds derived from their illegal activities. The war on drugs is an expression used to describe the American approach in reducing drug use and abuse in the United States. President George Bush SR, televised a national message that drug abuse was "our nation's most serious domestic problem" (Beckett, 1997: 6). President Reagan had diverted more than $700 million from education, treatment, and research to law enforcement programs to fight the war on drugs. Reagan also gave more money to prisons and to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the federal agency responsible for preventing illicit drug use (Kraska, 1990: 117). The federal government spends more than $20 billion fighting the drug war which does not include state and local government costs. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) goals of the drug war is to stop drug use before it starts by education and community action and educating youth to discard illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use; to reduce the safety of society citizens by reducing drug crimes and violence; to reduce health cost in America for illegal drug use; to treat America's drug users by providing treatment resources where they are needed most; to protect America's land, air and sea borders from drug threats and control; last, to break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply by disrupting the market and attacking the economic basis of the drug trade.
The fact is drug use not down since the founding of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); some forms of drug use are down like ecstasy, LSD, and so forth. The most popular going on in today's society is cocaine, crack, prescription drugs, meth, and so forth. Health costs of drugs and the drug war have increased every year, and drug users and abusers are more at risk of death and illness than before the war started; drugs are getting less safe. Drugs are still available more than before, and our borders are still not secure. Treatment is not available to the vast majority of people who need it, and most people who need it simply do not get it (Department of Government and Justice Studies (2013). This policy has failed to do what it needed to do. More research and review should be completed with the need to revise an implement a better way to control war on drugs. The United States of America has always been on the war path to eliminate the sale and use of drugs. It has been almost a century that the political war on drugs has been going on; even four presidents have rid the country with the fight against the sale and use of drugs. The drug users are still filling the courts, prisons, and hospitals. It is like a revolving door for...
References: Department of Government and Justice Studies, 2013. Retrieve by http://gjs.appstate.edu/media-coverage-crime-and-criminal-justice/drug-war
Katherine Beckett. 1997. Making Crime Pay: Law and Order in Contemporary American Politics, Oxford University Press. Published in the Crime and Public Policy Series, edited by Norval Morris and Michael Tonry.
Peter Kraska, “The Unmentionable Alternative: The Need for and the Argument against Discriminalization of Drug Laws, “ in Drugs, crime and the Criminal Justice System, ed. R. Weisheit (Cincinnait, Ohio: Anderson, 1990), 117.
Drug trafficking. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/drug-trafficking/
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