How Successful Is The War On Drugs? Essay

How Successful Is The War On Drugs? Essay

Length: 995 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The war on drugs has maintained an accumulation of prohibitions on illegal drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing strategies for drug offenders. Incarceration rates have also increased due to the increase of laws against illegal drugs. In Eugene Jarecki’s film, The House I Live In, Jarecki states that the penalties for crack users were harsher than penalties for regular cocaine users. This suggests that penalties are more of a double standard theory. The “War on Drugs” is more of a failure that places restrictions and prohibitions on drug offenders and has not necessarily shown a sense of equal stability; thus, leading to faulty sentences, misinterpretations of the real purpose of this initiative, and an overpopulation of prisons.
These sentencing strategies are more disproportionate when it comes to different drugs. For example, crack cocaine and regular white cocaine. “These guidelines have significantly required disproportionately long sentences for drug offenders for 20 years and have required significantly longer sentences for crack then white powder offenders (Radosh, 2008). White powder cocaine is no different than crack cocaine except for the fact that they are different in structure, form, and the way one consumes the drug. This just shows one of the major weaknesses in the way these measures are approached. The main intent when President Richard Nixon first used the term “War on Drugs” in 1971 was to imply the severity of drugs in the United States. This meant that an all-out initiative on drugs, drug trafficking, drug trade, sales, consumption and so on, would be carried out without a sense of leniency.
What most people did not anticipate from this “War on Drugs” was that the opposite would happen. Different circums...

... middle of paper ... overcrowded, and that does not seem to stop any moment. Sentences are more of a double standard theory when it comes to the amount of crack one person has to the amount of cocaine the other has. It will take more than just introducing a term as the “War on Drugs” to actually rid the United States of drugs. Just as it was said in, The House I Live In, drugs will never go away and they will always be there.

Works Cited

Radosh, P. F. (2008) RESEARCH ARTICLE. War on drugs: gender and race inequities in crime control strategies. Criminal Justice Studies, 2, 167-178. doi: 10.1080/14786010802159830

Schoenfeld, H. (2012). The War on Drugs, the Politics of Crime, and Mass Incarceration in the United States. The Journal of Gender; Race & Justice

Drug Policy Alliance. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The War on Drugs Essay

- Despite an estimated $1 trillion spent by the United States on the “War on Drugs”, statistics from the US Department of Justice (2010) has confirmed that the usage of drugs has not changed over the past 10 years. Approximately $350 billion is spent per year on the “war on drugs”, only $7 billion is spent on prevention programs by the federal government. The war on drugs is more heavily focused on how to fight crime, instead of how to prevent it. Crime prevention methods may not be immediate, but it is the most efficient and effective long-term....   [tags: Drugs, argumentative, persuasive]

Better Essays
1522 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on History of the War on Drugs

- ... This treaty would allow the U.S to extradite the cartel traffickers for a trial in the U.S. This caused Pablo to attack the government and this ultimately caused the Medellin cartel’s downfall. In the early 1990’s the cartel’s leaders were apprehended and the leader Pablo Escobar was killed in a firefight after having to run for his life. (PBS2). The Cali Cartel was an established in 1972 and prospered until 1992. After the downfall of the Medellin Cartel the Cali Cartel quickly filled their shoes becoming the most powerful cartel....   [tags: America's need for drugs]

Better Essays
915 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Problems with Alcohol and Illegal Drugs

- ... “The study done by Janet Reno to see if the jails could free up space for more violent offenders, found that 21.5% of the criminals in the jails were non-violent, first offenders. Very few major drug dealers are ever imprisoned” (Nation Briefs, New York Newsday, February 5, 1994, p.11). “In the New York State the prison Legalization of Drugs, Could it Help 4 Legalization of Drugs, Could it Help....   [tags: legalization, war on drugs, cost]

Better Essays
1556 words (4.4 pages)

War on Drugs Essays

-      Throughout history drugs have been nothing but a social problem, a burden per say. From Edgar Allen Poe smoking opium in an attempt to make his poetry more creative, to Vietnam soldiers coming back from the war addicted to heroin. Narcotics was not a serious issue at the time, only a small hand full of people were actually doing the drugs, and they were just simply looked down upon. It was not until the late nineteen sixties when recreational drug use became fashionable among young, white, middle class American citizens, that the United States Government “put it’s foot down”....   [tags: Illegal Drugs Narcotics essays research papers]

Better Essays
2346 words (6.7 pages)

The War On Drugs And Drugs Essay examples

- Selica Lopez English 101 Mr. Seberger March 18, 2016 The War on Drugs For decades there have been inaccurate assumptions on the drug policy that is enforced. This has caused the government to spend countless amounts of time and money on prosecuting drug users. The United States spends about $320 billion a year in its attempt to end drug use nationwide. The current policy on drugs has established the false assumption that making drugs illegal will stop addiction and drug related crimes. However, the “Iron Law of Prohibition” states that prohibition has led to higher dosage levels and dangerous modes of administration....   [tags: Illegal drug trade, Drug]

Better Essays
1765 words (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]

Better Essays
3419 words (9.8 pages)

The War on Drugs Essay

- States are under a burden that seems to be growing out of control. Since “the war on drugs” the prison population has increased exponentially, and the states are trying to keep up with the burden of housing, feeding, and giving medical treatment to prisoners. The state’s financial burden in becoming great and the government is starting to look at treatment measures that could save money. Substance abuse is an overwhelming factor in crime, for example 50% of homicides involve drugs and alcohol. (Parks, G., Marlatt, A....   [tags: social reform, legal reform, social issues]

Better Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

The Market for Illegal Drugs and The War on Drugs Essay

- In 2009, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while on a state visit to Mexico said something no other political figure had been courageous enough to admit at that point – that the war on drug is a failure. In her own words, she said: “Clearly, what we have been doing has not worked… our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade and our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these [Cartels] criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.” Taking a closer look at the economic forces that have been driving the supply end of this business as well as evaluating the economic costs of the war will give us a b...   [tags: economic costs of drug prohibition]

Better Essays
1032 words (2.9 pages)

Drugs In The Urban Community Essay

- The real America is filled with abandoned houses, prostitution, and citizens that have no hope on life. How can this lifestyle become a normal living condition. Some say there is no chance on restoring the communities that were destroyed from drugs. Is our government aware of the hardship and poverty while they send troops to war. The infestation of drugs overtaking communities results in corruption in neighborhoods, destroying families, weakening the school system and increasing the crime and violence rate....   [tags: Descriptive Drugs Gangs]

Better Essays
1987 words (5.7 pages)

All Drugs Should be Legal for Personal Use Essay

- All Drugs Should be Legal for Personal Use The war on drugs is costing us over 100 billion dollars to fight each year, and we’re only fighting a monster which we are making bigger with each punch. It’s not drugs, but drug laws themselves that have created this monster. Drug use is part of human nature, but the unimaginable wealth involved leads to the corruption of the police, judges, and elected officials. There is no reason to have the government regulating what goes into an individual’s body....   [tags: Legalization Drugs]

Better Essays
941 words (2.7 pages)