The Failed War on Drugs Essay

The Failed War on Drugs Essay

Length: 1077 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In 2010 the U.S federal government spent 15 billion dollars on the War on Drugs. This equals a rate of nearly 500 dollars per second and does not include state spending or housing costs for those jailed in this failed War. Despite all the money spent and harsh drug sentencing policies, drug use in America has been on the rise for several decades. With increased drug use comes increased drug related crime, increased HIV infections and of course the ever increasing costs involved in a war that simply cannot be won in the traditional sense. While it is true that the War on Drugs as a policy is fundamentally broken, there is currently a trend towards new types of policies which could offer more effective solutions.
The War on Drugs has created more problems than it has solved. While effectively filling our prisons over capacity, it does nothing to address the source of the problem leaving those incarcerated with the threat of going back soon after release. From 1980 to 1996, incarceration rates in America grew by 200 percent. The reasons for this appear to be dominated by drug offenses, which grew by ten times during this time frame. As a country we incarcerate people at an extremely high rate, the cost of which is neither cheap financially nor does generally lead to rehabilitation. In Alabama for fiscal year 2010 the annual total cost of state prisons ran a total of 462.5 million, with an average annual cost per prisoner of 17,285 dollars. The prison population in Alabama consisted of 51% serving time for non-violent and drug related offenses, and those numbers stay similar no matter where you look in the United States. With recidivism rates similar to other offenders, nearly 51.8% will return to prison within three years. This cr...

... middle of paper ...

...ver, there is a solution as demonstrated by Portugal. Not only a solution, but a cost effective means of talking a human issue involving families that deserve a chance to be free from addiction, as well as prosecution.

Works Cited
Blumstein, Alfred. “Population Growth in U.S. Prisons, 1980-1996.” Crime and Justice 26.17 (1999): n. pag. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Greenwald, Glenn, Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful.Drug Policies (April 2, 2009). Cato Institute Whitepaper Series
Steenhuysen, Julie. "UPDATE 1-HIV Rate among US Intravenous Drug Users Falls-CDC." Reuters. N.p., 01 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2013
"The Price of Prisons: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers." Vera Instute of Justice. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
United States. Office of National Drug Control Policy. The White House. N.p., May 2009. Web.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana

- There have been 20 million arrests since 1965 for the possession of marijuana, also known as cannabis. The amount of crime and arrests for possessions of the illicit drug has increased due to the prohibition. Cannabis was a major cash crop for the industrial production prior to its illegalization. It has been estimated that the United States spends approximately $7.7 billion each year to prohibit the use of marijuana alone. Currently the number of people incarcerated is six to ten times higher than European countries (NORML)....   [tags: cannabis, failed war on drugs]

Strong Essays
1355 words (3.9 pages)

The War on Drugs is Failing Essay

- The War on Drugs is Failing “Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance… for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and make a crime out of things that are not a crime. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principle upon which our government was founded” Abraham Lincoln On January 16, 1920 the Eighteenth Amendment was ratified by thirty-six states and became part of the Constitution. The intention of this new amendment was to lower alcohol consumption by Americans....   [tags: George Bush's War on Drugs]

Strong Essays
1223 words (3.5 pages)

Underdeveloped Countries and the War on Drugs Essay

- Underdeveloped Countries and the War on Drugs With the presidential election peering around the corner, it is time to bring back an age-old topic which has been troubling United States citizens for decades, the War on Drugs. Politicians have long quarreled over what sort of action should be taken to combat the world’s drug problems, and it is time that this issue surfaces again. Despite increased efforts from every government faction imaginable, the drug problem subsists, if not worsens....   [tags: Drugs Third World Politics Essays]

Strong Essays
3666 words (10.5 pages)

Essay on The US War on Drugs in Latin America

- The US War on Drugs in Latin America Introduction The United States has a long history of intervention in the affairs of one it’s southern neighbor, Latin America. The war on drugs has been no exception. An investigation of US relations with Latin America in the period from 1820 to 1960, reveals the war on drugs to be a convenient extension of an almost 200 year-old policy. This investigation focuses on the commercial and political objectives of the US in fighting a war on drugs in Latin America....   [tags: Drug Drugs Essays]

Strong Essays
3419 words (9.8 pages)

The War On Drugs Essay

- ... The “justice” system that we currently use is hugely profitable for certain large corporations such as the for-profit prisons. These for-profit prisons feed off of the fact that these young minorities are being locked up at rates higher than ever before. In turn when these rates happen to go down and profits start to dip, these businesses turn to the police to do something about it. If they don’t do something about it, or if people try to push back against the for-profit prisons, they use their leverage as a huge source of employment for the people in the areas that these mega-prisons are located and suggest that they may be forced to shut down and leave the community high and dry....   [tags: Illegal drug trade, Prohibition, Crime, Prison]

Strong Essays
1061 words (3 pages)

Essay on The War On Drugs And It Is Failing

- ... Ford 's Special Message to the Congress on Drug Abuse, 1967). His letter called for drug traffickers to serve a mandatory of at least three years for the first offense, and a minimum of six years for each subsequent offense. He also proposed that they should be held without bail until their trial. Presumably, because their bail money would be coming from the profits they earned selling the illegal drugs. He also wanted laws to be passed that required all cash found on a violator be forfeited, and recycled back into the police force....   [tags: Drug addiction, Drug, Heroin, Illegal drug trade]

Strong Essays
1803 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about The War On Drugs And America

- The War On Drugs Around fifty percent of the inmates in federal prison are serving time for drug charges. The war on drugs started in the 1970s under the Nixon administration, but is still a very big issue in the government today. According to Nationwide Trends, an estimated one in three adults have used drugs in their lifetime and more than 22 million Americans 12 years and older, use illegal drugs. Drugs are a very disputed part of our society today. This essay will address liberal and conservative opinions on the war on drugs....   [tags: Liberalism, Conservatism, Illegal drug trade]

Strong Essays
1120 words (3.2 pages)

War on Drugs = War on Terrorism??? Essay

- War on Drugs = War on Terrorism??. The United States’ new claim in today’s world of propaganda and mind-warping media is that The War on Terrorism = The War on Drugs. Recently simple anti-drug slogans have been manipulated into aggressively and often erroneously exaggerated media assaults. ( The United States claims that each person can help fight terrorism by choosing not to buy or use illicit drugs, and the government itself can help fight terrorism by implementing a more effective War on Drugs throughout the country....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
2462 words (7 pages)

The Legalization Drugs Essay

- The Legalization Drugs The dawn of the twenty first century has ushered in a new age of optimism and wonder. Despite the proclamations of television, all is not in well in our part of the world. Our societies have succumbed to the modern holy war on drugs. Being fought against our own citizens and citizens abroad, an international effort to eradicate drug production and use has undoubtedly failed leaving in its wake social unrest and political chaos. Assault, property crime, racial and economic marginalization, murder, corruption and many other undesirable things are burning through society fueled by the drug war's cold and inhuman policies....   [tags: Drugs Legalization Health Essays]

Strong Essays
2193 words (6.3 pages)

Drugs Essay

- The United States is by far the richest and most powerful country in the world. We citizens take for granted luxuries that people of other countries can only dream. Yet in our society there are serious social issues that for reasons unknown are not being addressed. One of the most important issues that typical politicians are afraid to address is that of what to do with the nation’s illegal drug problems. Although we hear terms like "The War on Drugs" and "Drug Treatment", a fresh approach to this issue is needs to come soon....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1461 words (4.2 pages)