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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Essay on the War on Drugs Policy

According to RAND Drug Policy Research Center, illegal drugs are a $60 billion per day industry which is patronized by at least 16 million Americans.  Because of the level of usage of drugs among the American population the public has consistently considered that it should be one of its priority concerns.  In fact, from 1985 to 2001, drugs was consistently one of top ten answers when Americans were asked what they thought was the most important problem facing the United States (Caulkins 1).  

In view of such concerns, the United States government had made it a policy to prohibit the production, distribution and consumption of illegal drugs. The United States government had been involved in the campaign against drugs. It had become a policy of the United States government to prohibit the use and possession of cocaine, heroin marijuana, and other substances. Massive information campaign was launched about the dangers of the use of illegal drugs and efforts were made to encourage drug users to seek treatment and rehabilitation.  To ensure that the policy will be strictly enforced, the government made sure that the source of illegal drugs will be eradicated.  As a result, the campaign against illegal drugs extended to eradication of crops like coca, arrest of smugglers, incarceration of drug dealers, and disruption of street markets.

In the process, it had also spent billions of dollars in seeking to make America a “drug-free” country. It had also sent hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been in the possession of drugs or in the act of using drugs. However, the policy did not have significant impact on curtailing the use of drugs among the American population.  In fact, it had not created any impact at all aside from increasing the value of the illegal drugs in the black market.  As a result, many Americans criticized the policy to have done more harm than good to the public.

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I believe that America will never be a drug-free country.  In fact, no country in the world, or even a city in the world, will be drug-free.  The goal of the war on drugs which is to make the United States a drug-free country is just an impossible goal to achieve.  This is one of the reasons why the war on drugs policy is a failure.  By setting an unrealistic goal, the government had exposed itself to being a failure even at the time the policy was created.  

I also believe that the use of the word “war” in the government policy of controlling the use of drugs is just not apt.  It is a word that is too violent and deviates from the efforts of the government to rehabilitate and treat the users of illegal drugs.

I am in favor of the current policy of de-criminalizing the use of drugs.  I believe that the focus should be on the rehabilitation and treatment of drug users.  When the focus is on the demand side then there will be a significant impact on the supply side.  For example, if the demand for illegal drugs is low it will follow that individuals supplying drugs will be out of job.  On the contrary focusing only on the supply of drugs will not have effect on reducing the supply because the suppliers will continue to find a way to sell drugs if the demand will remain high.  However, by treating the drug users the government reduces the demand for drugs in the process. 

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5. Argumentative Essay on Causes of Drug Addiction

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