War on Drugs Essays

Submitted By louiselagreca
Words: 514
Pages: 3

In watching the John Stossel documentary on The War on Drugs (Sidewinder77, 2009), it is evident that the 40 year war has created more crime than the intended purpose of reducing the drug problem in America. Is the point of the drug prohibition to reduce drug possession which would reduce the drug problem? Instead it has opened up different doorways to other crimes as a byproduct of prohibition. The Department of Justice says that the illegal drug market in the U.S. is dominated by 900,000 criminally active gang members affiliated with 20,000 street gangs in more than 2,500 cities, (1) and that Mexican drug cartels now directly control illegal drug markets in at least 230 American cities.(2) Using the Alcohol Prohibition as an example, the crime rate had increased during those years of prohibition. I do think if America was to decriminalize current illegal drugs, the cartels would be reduced because there would no longer be a demand of the black market. In 2004, 17% of inmates from jail admitted that they committed their crime to get money for drugs. (2)
I do believe that users and sellers are two different animals, and users need treatment which is a Health problem and should not be handled criminally, but with Human Services. I working as a deputy in a jail, I interact with addicts daily, and don’t believe that jail is the solution for non-violent users. Based off of the Beauru of Justice Statistics Drugs and Crime in 2007 1.8 million people were arrested on drug violations. If that 1.8 million, only 17.5% were based on distribution/sale of drugs and 82.5% were on possession alone. 42% of the possession was for marijuana (3 and 4). If we were to decriminalize the use and or possession of drugs, the US could save billions of dollars on inmate housing for mere non-violent drug possession and could be used for rehabilitation and education. These statistic do not include DUI/DWAI which is criminally, and therefore any under-the-influence while driving should be handled criminally.
I am curious to see what Colorado will have for data in arrest statistics from passing amendment 62 in