This Is Your Country On Drugs Analysis

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Pages: 6

The Futility and Hypocrisy of War on Drugs in America
Ryan Grim’s book, “This Is Your Country on Drugs – The Secret History of Getting High in America,” demonstrates the complex relationship between the American people, their drugs, and their government. In his book, he displays his extensive research on the history of drugs and drug policies in America. With a professional tone throughout, Grim is unabashed to admit his past of using and enjoying drugs, while providing solid evidence to back up his claim that America’s government’s attempt to put a stop to drug use was ineffective and pointless, because the people would always find a new, non-illegal drug to focus on, as history has proven itself. “This Is Your Country on Drugs” offers a new
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As the government struggled to ban drug use and trafficking, the people consistently strived to look for new, not illegal alternatives. It had started with the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914, in response to the rapidly increasing level of drug abuse in the U.S., when the government aimed to control drugs through taxation. The act was the first major federal law to regulate drugs, with its purpose being attempting to manage the chaotic drug market in the name of public health and the common good. It required the distribution, importation, and manufacturing of narcotics and cocaine, which is not a narcotic, to be registered and taxed. A few years after its adoption, the Harrison Act was used to indict doctors and pharmacists of providing narcotics to addicts. However, as response to the government’s tight restriction, people turned to the black markets for drugs instead. In the 1920s, the Narcotic Act was tied to Prohibition of drugs, a mean to prevent the recreational use of prohibited drugs, during which a new drug appeared and quickly gained popularity amongst people, as well as unpopularity with the U.S. law enforcement, marijuana. Despite that, the growth, use, and trade of marijuana were legal, according to the federal law, until 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was officially passed. The act was suggested when the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) took notice of the rise in the amount of people smoking marijuana, which received support from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and it had placed a high tax on the sales and distribution of cannabis, which quickly gained dissent from the American Medical Association (AMA), particularly from Dr. William Woodward, the AMA’s top lobbyist. The AMA, which had been against the Harrison Act of 1914, was strongly opposed to the taxation on marijuana as well as this incursion into the doctor’s office. Another reason why the