The Effects Of Alcohol Prohibition On America 's Fight Against Drugs

1771 Words Dec 7th, 2016 8 Pages
As if the consequences of alcohol prohibition could not be forgotten soon enough, the 1970s unshackled the ‘safety at any cost’ mentality of policymakers in Washington with a regained sense of restrictive goodwill. Yes, a land world renowned for its respect of individual rights reinstituted coercive public policy historically marred with disaster and unintended consequences. The government of the United States, yet again in denial of bodily autonomy, demonized another inanimate object in an unfortunately familiar fashion. What was alcohol in the 1920s became drugs in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of respecting individuals’ right to determine what is best for their own lives, the government prohibited the use of these narcotic substances again at the end of a gun. Tough on drugs public policy such as three strikes, mandatory minimums, and overall harsh sentencing for nonviolent drug related crime became the new normal in America’s fight against drugs (Saadatmand et al. 285). The importance of this public policy can not be overstated. Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that the enforcement of drug laws has lead to an all time (and world record) high in domestic incarceration rates, but drug use continues to climb (Caulkins 730). Does this mean the War on Drugs is a failure? Quite simply, yes. An examination of this public policy, from an economic perspective, demonstrates clear consequences as a result of its implementation. The War on Drugs is a failure due to…

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