5 Apr. 2017
The Ugly Truth:
Prohibition of Drugs is a Lost Cause
People, for many years have said that the War on Drugs is an absolute failure. “With almost a million people in jail, drug use is as widespread as it has ever been” (Miller 23). “Drugs, chemicals and natural substances which affects human body and mind when taken, have been used across the globe for many years” (Isralowitz and Myers 45). Clearly, people are doing drugs whether they are legal or not. Our government has since waged a war on drugs because of its negative effects, including addiction, crime and death. Yet these effects nevertheless have not been diminished by this campaign, finding the prohibition of drugs ineffective. It causes more problems than it solves.
While the government did make arrests and capture high profile suspects, those arrests did not stop these drug cartels. “If anything, it motivated the cartels to triple their operations, expanding their empires” (Kopp 87). Ammerman and colleagues maintain that as long as drugs continues to be a $100 billion dollar empire, the war on drugs will be never be won, because there is too much money to be made (49). It is for these reasons that drugs should be legalized to save money, reduce drug-related crime, and to make safer drugs available.
One of the biggest reasons drugs should be legalized is to end the war on drugs, thereby saving billions of taxpayer dollars. “Every year, the federal government spends $140 billion dollars to fight the war on drugs and an additional $37 billion to house these prisoners ($28,000/prisoner annually). For state and city governments, they spend a combined $200 billion for both the fight and housing” (Kleiman et al. 21). This war equates to nearly $400 billion spend by all three government branches on a war with no end in sight. With the money saved, government can expand programs to better serve the people. Education, human and social services, health and many other departments can extend their services to cover more people who are not receiving services due to lack of funding. Treatment and education programs can be made available to get users of drugs and teach children to prevent them from using drugs in the first place.
Prison overcrowding is another problem of the prohibition due to crimes related to drugs. According to Ted Godfried, “on Dec. 31, 2011, there has since been 1.6 million prisoners sentenced under the federal jurisdiction. Of these, 986,000 were serving time for drug offenses” (34). Ames and Sussman asserts, “state and city governments sentenced nearly 57 percent of drug offenders under their penal system” (71). These statistics shows that drugs sent about 60 percent of prisoners to federal, state and city government prisons. “Of these, 53 percent were sentenced for possession, which are nonviolent drug crimes” (Ammerman et al. 79). Therefore, if crimes associated with drugs were blamed for 60 percent of...