War on Drugs

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The fiscal and political debate of the effectiveness of the federal "War on Drugs" campaign, criminalizing the use of drugs which have long been considered a personal freedom akin to alcohol and cigarettes. This debate questions whether the United States War on Drugs campaign and the criminalization of drugs.

The control of drugs have been a part of federal government from the turn of the century. With the development of the hypodermic syringe in the 1800s and unprecedented levels of cocaine addiction, the federal government began regulation with the Food and Drugs Act of 1906, primarily focused on proper labeling and adulteration.[3]

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 would be the basis of controlling the manufacture, distribution, importation, possession, and use of certain substances. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was signed by President Nixon in 1973.

Arguments For

Yes, the War on Drugs is necessary

Key arguments for [citation needed] :
Drug use generally can deteriorate a person's life far worse than alcohol or tobacco
Some powerful forms of drugs such as cocaine and heroin are dangerous to people
Neighborhoods infested with drugs tend to be poor and have more crime
Violent crime rates have dropped significantly since the criminalization of drugs.
Addiction rates have dropped significantly since the criminalization of drugs.
Non-violent crime rates have dropped significantly since the criminalization of drugs.
Death and disease due to drug-related causes have dropped significantly since the criminalization of drugs.
Widespread use of drugs have dropped significantly.
Number of children exposed to drugs have dropped significantly.

The world has been made a safer place by fighting a war on drugs.

Are drugs dangerous?

Drug users spread diseases such as AIDS and commit violent crimes due to their incapacitated "high" state of mind. They disrupt the peace far more than alcohol and drunks.

Arguments Against

No, the War on Drugs is not necessary

Key arguments against:
Prohibition does not work
Waste of taxpayers money
Deaths caused by lack of regulation
Increasing prison sizes
Money flowing to criminals
Constitutionally illegal
Causes social problems

Prohibition Does Not Work

The prohibition of alcohol in the 18th amendment caused widespread social and economic problems. It was subsequently repealed in the 21st amendment.

Waste of Taxpayers Money

The war on drugs have only exacerbated the situation becoming incredibly expensive for state and federal government, putting grandmothers in jail for using marijuana as an effective pain reducing drug, putting young people in jail for small amounts of possession, creating a dangerous underground drug traffic system, and actually increasing the amount of danger to citizens who have been taxed for waste.

Neill Franklin, a former high-ranking narcotics officer says that legalization would cut 1/3rd of every law enforcement agency in the United States.[1] About $52.3 billion could be saved by legalizing drugs.

Drug-related Deaths?

15,233 Americans have died from the drug war.[1] Due to criminalization of drugs, they are forced into an underground market where purity and strength levels vary. There is a higher chance of overdose, and the fear of medical treatment from the possibility of being caught. This combination results in more deaths, not fewer.

Are drugs dangerous?

Several countries, such as Mexico[2], have now legalized small possession of drugs. Mexico's intentions are to decrease the prison population of non-violent offenders. This may lead to a decrease of violent crimes and accidents with fewer civil disruptions.

Drugs are a Social Problem, not a Legal Problem

Drug users have not been shown to be deterred by the legal consequences issued by state and federal government. The problem of drug addiction needs to be solved at a social, personal, and psychological level rather than a legal level.

Constitutional Argument

The United States constitution strictly prohibits the federal government from tampering with the freedoms of American citizens with regulations or laws that are not explicitly granted. The legal control of drugs is not explicitly granted.


 1  A Radical Solution to End the Drug War: Legalize Everything Sept 1, 2009 Richardson, John (Esquire)
 2  Mexico quietly decriminalizes drug use. Aug 24, 2009 Llana, Sara M. (The Christian Science Monitor)
 3  The Development of Drug Criminalization in America Unknown Date, Oppenheimer, David (Ezine Articles)

Need to add:

Is war on drugs worth it? Maybe not, new FBI data suggest. Sept 15, 2009 Jonsson, Patrik (The Christian Science Monitor)

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User Comments & Opinion


1 Voted Yes

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We need to fight drug crime. - jennyhooah (twitter) 0

1 Voted No

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#politics Waste of tax payers money. End the war on drugs. - thorie (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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