Legalizing Drugs

Forty five years have passed since the American Government has declared a war on drugs. Do you feel safe living in a drug free America? Are children and young adults living in the United States protected from the drug cartels? Do the American schools remain free of illegal substances? The controversy of legalizing drugs has been ongoing for years with more than enough anti-drug propaganda and reasons to vote against legalization of drugs. As the communities, schools, and youth become heavily impacted by the sale, use, and overdose of illegal substances, more research is needed to dig deeper into the problems and understand the issue on levels other than the most obvious and superficial. It’s time to learn from the past, review the facts, …show more content…
Over the past 45 years drug statistics have shown that the drug war and its efforts to keep illegal substances out of the nation and hands of the American people is not working. The drug war is feeding the drug kings, inflating the price of illegal drugs, and increasing violence among rivals much like the alcohol prohibition supplied the bootleggers and organized criminals in the 1920’s. According to the DPA, the United States has spent more than $51 billion annually on the drug war. In 2014, the U.S. had the highest incarceration rate in the world with approximately 1.5 million arrests for drug law violations. Billions of U.S. dollars spent, millions arrested and still, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released drug overdose statistics in August 2016, showing a drug overdose death increase for the 5th consecutive year (Epi Data Brief, No. 74. P. 1). How many more years, how much more many, how many incarcerations and deaths are needed to prove the drug prohibition is counterproductive and ineffective? New Yorkers aged 15 to 34 had the largest increase in heroin related overdose deaths, a 248% increase since 2010 (Epi Data Brief, No. 74. P. 2). After 40 plus years the American Government’s declared war on drugs has not served its purpose, the Central Intelligence Agency reports that the United States is the world’s largest consumer of cocaine, Columbian heroin, Mexican heroin and …show more content…
Foreign policies have gone from a model of prohibition to decriminalization. The European and Latin American focus has been on prevention, education, and treatment rather than zero-tolerance policy. Five years ago 25 political leaders from across the world came together to form The Global Commission on Drug Policy. The approach steers away from prohibition. It advocates for policies that put public health, community safety, and human rights and development at the center. In 5 years the committee has developed recommended pathways to end the war on drugs, produced documentaries, and educated the world through evidence based written reports. As stated in The New York Times, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, said in an interview. “When you do something for 40 years and it doesn’t work, you need to change it.” Foreign policy continues to prove that manufacturing, selling, distributing, purchasing, and using mind altering substances is a battle that cannot be won by prohibition and a zero tolerance policy. According to United Nations reviews and the Voice of America news, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement in which he expressed the goals of the United States as “implementing alternatives to incarceration where appropriate, the use of drug courts, and sentencing reform to channel those who suffer from

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