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War On Drugs Essay

1542 words - 7 pages

War on Drugs
One trillion dollars has been spent in over forty years on the War on Drugs. During the 19 century, drug prohibition started to protect the public’s health. Since the war on drugs started, crime rates have increased. It has also created an illegal market, where the only way to solve a problem is violence. Therefore, it wastes millions of dollars in an attempt to keep drugs off the streets. By legalizing all drugs the government could lower organized violence and crime, save millions of dollars, and with the money saved the government could invest in programs to help those who are addicted to drugs get drug free. Lastly, more children are getting into the drug trade for ...view middle of the document...

There is still so much violence, especially between countries.
In the1920s, violence was not committed by people who were drunk. Most of the drug-related violence today is not committed by people who are high on drugs. The killings, then and now are based on rivalries. For example, Al Capone ordered the executions of rival bootleggers, and drug dealers to kill their rivals. In addition a 1989 government study of all 193 "cocaine-related" homicides in New York City found that 87% grew out of rivalries and disagreements related to doing business in an illegal market. (Schaaer) As a result, legalizing drugs will get rid of the illegal market, therefore lowering the violence and crime. 
Second, by legalizing all drugs the US government could save billions of dollars. The United States spends about $40 billion dollars a year on the war on drugs. Since

1981, $150 billion has been spent. That is a great deal of money we are spending, and it seems that the results are not what they were looking for.
Almost 75% of that is spent on apprehending and punishing drug dealers and users. What is not included is how many serious crimes are not looked at closely by authorities while they are busy taking down good citizens for possessing a small amount of Marijuana. $39 billion a year is spent on jailing these people. That number also
includes money spent on police, court personnel, and prison guards. Harry Levine, a sociologist at Queens College in New York, said that processing each of the 85,000 arrests for drug misdemeanors in New York City alone last year cost the city $2,000. That has also led to many people not being able to get an apartment or job because of the criminal record of having an ounce of marijuana. (Porter) The use of drugs in America isn't the problem, the drug control policy is.
With all of the money that could be saved, could be used to invest in programs that would help drug users. “Proven programs can greatly reduce the harm caused by hard –core drug users – and reduce our prison population too.” (Kleiman) Some basic facts aren’t looked at closely leading to more harmful punishments. Kleiman says that treating all “drug abusers” as a single group flies in the face of what is known as Pareto’s Law: that for any given activity, 20% of the participants typically account for 80% of the action. Because most users of addictive drugs are not addicts, they play into the fact that most of the money and drug related violence. If the right programs are put into place, even the heaviest users can stop using drugs. It seems that that there
are so many people who want to get help, but can’t afford it. If the government had more money to offer programs, there would be more sober people.
If people could get the help they need, it would also trickle down to the youth. In the past 40 years, 25% of high school students America have dropped out. (Becker) It is not the middle-class white kids, but African American and...

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