Argumentative Essay On The War On Drugs

1405 Words 6 Pages
Major companies in many different sectors all support, and spend money lobbying for, the continued criminalization of drugs. The continued criminalization of drugs is critical to the drug war, and includes strict punishments and sentences for those convicted of crimes involving drugs. It has been shown that groups such as private prisons, and prison guard unions lobby for strict punishments to increase incarceration, and reap the profits. These company’s contributions promote the war on drugs, by giving the state no incentive to scale back their policies. What many fail to realize, however, is the impact the war on drugs and subsequent policies has internationally.
America’s war on drugs has spread across the globe. This, however, is not necessarily
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The drug market is stronger than ever, yet the drug war has been in full force for several decades. The effects here in the United States, are quite similar to the effects internationally, but there are many solutions other than a drug war, to stop the use of drugs. Nobel laureate and economist Milton Friedman remarked on the issue, “However much harm drugs do to those who use them…seeking to prohibit their use does even more harm both to users of drugs and to the rest of us…Legalizing drugs would simultaneously reduce the amount of crime and improve law enforcement. It is hard to conceive of any other single measure that would accomplish so much to promote law and order” (Donohue 146). Friedman is right. Violence related to drugs, and incarceration on the rise in the United States, and this is well known. What is not well known, however, is alternatives to a war on drugs that work. The nation of Portugal has decriminalized all drugs. One can legally possess one gram of heroin, two grams of cocaine, twenty-five grams of marijuana leaves or five grams of hashish (that is, arabic marijuana), for example. Using the drugs in public areas is nothing more than a misdemeanor and a fine, similar to that of a parking ticket (This Policy is Working 1). This policy has been proven effective, as drug use is down in Portugal. Portugal also adopted a new policy in dealing with drug users. Instead of mass incarceration, people in Portugal who are addicted to drugs, get treatment. Instead of treating drug use as a criminal justice issue, it is treated as a public health issue. As a result, drug use is down (This Policy is Working 2). It is not impossible to imagine this scenario in the United

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