How The Drug War Failed And How It Can Be Improved Credo High School/English Research Paper Research Paper

5581 words - 23 pages

Luther Gennert  Gennert 1 
Ms. Bliquez 
Research Paper 10A 
3 October 2017 
The Failure of the Drug War and A Better Solution 
“America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order 
to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive:” With 
those words, Nixon started the War on Drugs. According to the government, the 
purpose of the drug war was to eliminate all drug use, creating a perfect, drug-free 
utopia. Unfortunately, it has done quite the opposite.​ ​It channels money toward 
criminals, increases crime, makes it much more difficult for those in need to receive 
treatment, and holds a motive deemed quite sinister. 
The drug war is nothing but a blatant lie, fabricated as an excuse to take down 
the political enemies of the government, and it all started with Harry J. Anslinger. 
Anslinger was appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in the early 1930’s. At 
the time, rates of drug use were quite low, so the government was planning to defund 
the FBN. Anslinger could not stand the prospect of losing his job, so he came up with the 
idea of demonizing a substance in order to avoid being defunded. At the time, there was 
a lot of racism towards the Mexicans. He realized that they were the main users of 
cannabis. He used that racism to fuel a hatred towards it. He created the term 
“marihuana” to further associate the drug with the Mexicans (18 Adams). Before this, 
Anslinger had stated that cannabis was virtually harmless. He also came up with a 
copious amount of false information about it to keep the fire of people’s fear and 
hatred alight. Anslinger has been known to say such things as ​“Reefer makes darkies 
Gennert 2 
they're as good as white men.” “Marihuana is the most violence causing drug in the 
history of mankind. Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and 
entertainers.” or “You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother.” (Anslinger). 
At the beginning and throughout ​the Drug War, the government has used a wide 
variety of anti-cannabis propaganda to inflict fear upon the populace at large. With 
headlines reading things like “concentrated sin!”, “the devil’s harvest”, and “The 
Official TRUTH: If you smoke it, you will kill people.” One can see the utmost absurdity 
of this misleading and fraudulent attempt at swaying the minds of society (Teese). 
Unfortunately, as is clear from the current state of affairs on this subject, this corrupt 
propaganda succeeded in its nefarious scheme. 
The government said, in propaganda, that cannabis will kill you. Yet there have 
been no recorded deaths from it, ever. The amount that one would need to smoke in 
order to induce a lethal overdose is ridiculously high. You would need need to smoke 
around 88 kg in 15 minutes to reach a lethal overdose (Wing). That’s anywhere from 
20,000 to 40,000 joints. It is such a large amount that researchers have yet to learn 
exactly how much would cause...

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