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The War on Drugs is a Failure. So What Can Be Done About it - Research Paper Example

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The War on Drugs is a Failure. So What Can Be Done About it

In addition, 60% of the total violence in the United States is related to drug prohibition which means that the prohibition of drugs only induces violence (Maginnis) The violence that resulted in the prohibition of drug is not new. It is usually the case when something is banned. The same was the case when alcohol was still prohibited. It was only lifted during the Great Depression when the government adopted a pragmatist approach to the problem due to the escalating violence associated with its prohibition and instead opted to make money out of it to help lift the country out of the depression by taxing it. As a result, violence associated with alcohol became almost non-existent. The same is also the case in gambling. Violence becomes the norm when it becomes illegal and so is with prostitution when it is outlawed. Violence becomes a natural consequence of a prohibitive policy because it creates black markets where the law cannot supervise but would become otherwise if the industry is legalized. The problem of violence in prohibiting drugs is compounded by the fact that a prohibitive policy corrupts institutions. Since a prohibitive policy threatens the industry of illegal drugs, it is inevitable that bribery, extortion, threat and other undesirable practices will sprout for the industry to survive. It is worsen by the fact that the enforcement of banning drugs comes with a price that drains public purse. “Federal, state and local governments spend roughly $44 billion per year to enforce drug prohibition. These same governments forego roughly $33 billion per year in tax revenue they could collect from legalized drugs, assuming these were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco” (Miron). ...
The prohibitive policy against drugs does not only forgo the government income from taxing it but instead make it spend to enforce a policy that is futile. The strange thing about rabidly banning drugs with draconian measure is that countries which prohibits it such as United States has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana abuse compared to countries which has a liberal drug laws such as E.U. and Portugal which has the lowest. In a study conducted by Cato Institute early April this year, it reported that policies that prohibit the use of drug is usually “based on speculation and fear mongering rather than empirical evidence on the effects of more lenient drug policies” (Szalavitz). The fear that legalizing illicit drugs will only exacerbate the drug problem did not actually happen. It showed that the legalization of drugs in Portugal has neutralized its ill effects which used to be its problem that is now pervasive in countries that ban illicit drugs. Consider the results of the Portugal’s policy of decriminalizing drugs. What was feared that the country will become a nation of drug addicts did not actually happen but in fact, helped solved the drug problem. Just when it was anticipated that drug use will rise, Portugal in fact “had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U”. The use of the former illegal drugs among seventh through ninth graders also fell from 14.1% to 10.6% and the drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds also fell from 2.5% to 1.8%. This development had a positive side effect on the curbing new HIV infection because it fell 17% because needles do not need to be shared anymore with legalizing the drugs (Szalavitz). Also, ...Show more


Experience has shown that the prohibitive approach towards drug is a total failure. Despite the draconian measures imposed against its distribution and use, the problem on drugs is still prevalent…
Author : lucie36
The War on Drugs is a Failure. So What Can Be Done About it essay example
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