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Should the United States End the War on Drugs?

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Should the United States End the War on Drugs?

Should the United States End the War on Drugs?

Many have said that the war on drugs is a failure and needs reform. Others have lamented that the war on drugs is a war that cannot be won and valuable resources and money has been used up. Drugs are cheaper, purer, and more easily obtained than ever before. The war on drugs is futile. This paper will discuss why the United States should end the war on drugs.

The war on drugs has been going on for over thirty years. It does not appear that a lot of progress has been made. If the United States were fighting any other war, this long, with these results, they would change direction. The United States current drug policy has consumed tens of billions of dollars and ruined countless lives. According to Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform (2006), “The costs of this policy include the increasing breakdown of families, escalating rates of incarceration, political corruption, and the imposition of United States policy abroad. For United States taxpayers, the price tag on the drug offensive has soared from sixty six million in 1968 to almost twenty billion in 2000, an increase of over thirty thousand percent.”

Many believe that the drug war targets people of color and poverty stricken individuals at a disproportionate rate. The criminal justice system is filled with non-violent offenders because their drug use is perceived as behavior that is harmful to society. Statistics show that, drug offenders make up sixty percent of all federal inmates and account for a fifth of all state prisoners; most drug offenders are small fish in the narcotics trade and generally have no prior record of violent crime; three-fourths of all convicted drug offenders are people of color, a ratio vastly disproportionate to their share of drug users in society (Mercier, 2003). The war on drugs has shown that while communities with primarily people of color are heavily policed, and 1 in 4 African American males go to prison before the age of thirty, drug use in upper class white communities are not prosecuted.

It appears that what the war on drugs has accomplished is criminalizing the use and sale of drugs, overcrowding of prisons, billions of dollars

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