Americas ' War On Drugs Essay

1093 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Americas’ War on Drugs: Forty Years Later
In June of 1971, Richard Nixon delivered a speech in which he proclaimed drugs to be “public enemy number one” in America and declared the United States’ on going “War on Drugs”. Reagan revamped this war in the 1980’s alongside his wife Nancy using slogans like “crack is whack” and “just say no”. Like many before them, they set out to put an end to drug abuse that plagued the nation by enforcing a “zero-tolerance” policy. Unfortunately, today, in 2016 drug abuse is still a cause for concern. Over the last 40 years the war America has fought against drugs has proven to be costly and ineffective. The federal government has treated the abuse of and addiction to illicit substances as a criminal infraction, when realistically it should be treated as a public health issue treated by mental health professionals. Ultimately, possession and use of drugs should be decriminalized. A decriminalization of the possession and use of drugs does not mean that drug dealers would be running rampant across the nation, they would still be subject to federal laws regarding the matter. People who are found to be in the possession of illicit substances however, would no longer be charged criminally under a certain of amount. This very process was introduced in July 2001 in Portugal. Drug use is not encouraged nor is it actually “legal”, but the nation’s government implemented a system that does not put non-violent drug addicts behind bars for addiction,…

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