Drug Policy Essay

Submitted By marcopolo241432
Words: 1544
Pages: 7

Drug Policy
Legalization of controlled substances is where I stand. If drugs where to be legal than less people would be in prison or in jail right now. Half the men or women in the prisons or locked up because of drug charges.
If people want to understand the evolution drug policy in the United States, they should watch the history channel documentary illegal drugs and how they got that way: Opium, Morphine, and Heroine. (Yaroschuk, 2001). Over a course of six thousand years, drugs went from a “blessing” to a curse. Drugs started as a pain reliever to reduce pain and also to feel joy. But by the 17th century it became one of the worst epidemics in history.
By the year 1900, ranges from two hundred thousand to a million people were addicted to drugs. In that time drugs were fairly legal. So it used to be easier to become more addicted. In 1842, China was forced to sign a treaty saying that they would no longer sell Opium to their own people. China attempted to end the Opium trade, but Britain declared war. Britain used the new technology such as: steamships, and more accurate rifles. The drug trade increased tremendously after the war. Morphine came just in time for the American Civil war. Inducing Morphine into the wounded soldiers helped reduce all of the pain. But afterwards the soldiers became addicted. In 1876, the city of San Francisco passed the first law making drugs legal. In 1906, the pure food and drug act was passed. This required the industry to label all of their ingredients. (Yaroschuk, 2001).
As a result, most medicine went out of business and addiction in America dropped. By 1913, Heroin replaced Morphine as the deadliest drug. Legislation to control drugs was the only answer back in the 19th century. In 1914, Congress debated a law to regulate Opium use and availability. The Constitution guarantees to use any drug a person wants. Congress wanted to prohibit drugs but it knew they could. A federal prohibition on drugs would be unconstitutional for two reasons. One is state rights: the other reason invasion on personal space.
Congress believed the government did not have the right to tell people what they can put into their bodies. The Harrison Tax Act was the first step to making drugs illegal nationwide. The new law says that “the only way Opium can be used is if it is prescribed, and the only way Opium can be sold is if you are a doctor with a license”. In 1925, Heroin was banned completely and also for medical use. In 1970, heroin use increased but no one could understand why. President Richard Nixon abolished the old drug control system based on taxation and he reinvents the drug laws. (Yaroschuk, 2001).
The Cato institute tries to make sure that the government does take all of ore freedom away. Cato also informs people on the public policies. They are for the people and not associated with the government. Cato is committed to expanding civil society while reducing political society. Civil society individuals make choices about their lives while in a political society someone else makes or attempts to greatly influence those choices (About Cato). Cato does everything through research.
In the article “How the War on Drugs Is Destroying Black America” John McWhorter stresses how drugs should be legalized and not prohibited. If drugs were to be legalized it would not be so hard on black America. The war on drugs takes away the potential for black Americans because selling drugs is their way of making money. Since selling drugs a quick way to make money, the rate of legal employment will be low. McWhorter says that “What will turn black America around for good is the elimination of a policy that prevents too many people from during the best”. I disagree with that. If drugs were to be legal it would not just affect black America but everyone in America.
McWhorter wants to reduce the length of sentences for possession of crack cocaine and legalize marijuana. Because the illegality of drugs keeps the prices