War on Drugs Essay

Submitted By ncaaballer120
Words: 1662
Pages: 7

War on Drugs Drug addiction is a problem faced by many people of the world today. The War on drugs campaign was started in order to define and further reduce the illegal drug trade and fight against drug dealers. The campaign was conducted with the help of participating countries facing many controversies which are still argued to this day. The laws put in place were intended to reduce the level of not only drug consumption but drug addicts. Drugs will always be a part of our culture so we are obligated to help the ones who seek help and guide others to do the right thing. Drugs can be classified in many ways: by the way they are dispensed, by their substance from which they are derived, by the form they take, and by the way they are administered. They can also be classified by their names. All drugs have three names which include their chemical name, a generic name, and a brand name. Once a drug enters your body it is absorbed into the bloodstream, from the bloodstream it is distributed to various tissues and organs. As the drug is broken down and used by the body it then goes through chemical changes that produce metabolites which have no effect on the body, finally they are eliminated. So now that we know how drugs are classified we are going to look at the illegal types of drugs that we are fighting today. The different types of drugs include anabolic steroids, barbiturates, hallucinogenic drugs, narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants. These drugs are more common when you discuss dependency. Drug dependency is a psychological and sometimes physical state formed by a compulsion to use a drug to experience psychological or physical effects which may take several forms including tolerance, habituation, and addiction. The War on Drugs dates back all the way to 1906 when the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed which targeted toxic drugs and was expanded to address misleading drug labels in 1912. The Act most relevant to the War on Drugs was the Harrison Tax Act of 1914, which restricted the sale of heron as well as cocaine. By 1937 Prohibition had ended and the very meaningful health regulation was about to come under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of 1938. In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act also came into play which attempted to tax marijuana which had not showed to be dangerous but that it might be a “gateway drug” for heroin users, not to mention its popularity among Mexican-American immigrants. When Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president in 1952 his administration defined the parameters of the War on Drugs. The Boggs Act of 1951 had already been established which consisted of mandatory minimum federal sentences for possession of marijuana, cocaine, and opiates which were later increased further with the Narcotics Control Act of 1956. Eisenhower is considered the first sitting president to literally call for a War on Drugs. By the year 1969 lawmakers claim that marijuana is a Mexican drug and was a slang term for the word cannabis, and that the proposal to enact a ban during the 30’s was racist anti-Mexican rhetoric. So when Nixon took administration he searched for ways to block marijuana from Mexico and took advice from radical activist which said to close the border. Operation Intercept imposed strict searches of traffic along the U.S.-Mexican border in an effort to get Mexico to crack down on marijuana. This was obviously foreign policy failure on his administration but it demonstrated how far they were willing to go. By 1970 the government took an even bigger role by passing the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Nixon, who called drug abuse “public enemy number one” in a 1971 speech, pushed for treatment especially for heroin addicts. Nixon also targeted the image of psychedelic drugs by asking celebrities such as Elvis Presley to help him send the message that drug abuse was unacceptable. Years later Presley fell to drug abuse, toxicologists found as many as fourteen prescribed