Is The US Policy On Drug Prohibition Effective?

The Federal Government, while trying to protect us from our human nature, developed harsh anti-drug policies with the hope of eradicating drugs. At the time, these policies seemed simple enough: we will impose penalties on those who use substances illegally, we will intercept drugs coming from other countries while ending all drug cultivation in the States, and we will even try to prevent foreign governments from growing these substances. The idea of the Drug Prohibition surely made sense: lower demand of drugs by law enforcement, and reduce supply through domestic and international means. Unfortunately, the Drug Prohibition led to heavy costs, both financially and otherwise, while being ...

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The estimated cost to the United States for the "War on Drugs" is $200 billion a year or an outstanding $770 per person per year, and that figure does not include the money spent by state and local government in this "war" (Evans and Berent, eds. xvii).
The second cost of this "war" is something economist like to call opportunity costs. Here, we have two resources which are limited: prison cells and law enforcement. When more drug crimes take up law enforcement's time and when more drug criminals take up cells, less ability to fight other crime exists. This becomes significant when an estimated 35-40 million Americans use drugs per year. In 1994, law enforcement arrested some 750,000 people on drug charges, and of those 750,000, 600,000 were charged merely with possession. Sixty percent of the prison population are drug offenders (Wink). The police, therefore, most work to find these 35 million "criminals," thereby exhausting their resources. Also, in major urban centers, the ...

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75% of personal property crimes were committed by drug abusers. Studies also suggest that these people, when placed on outpatient drug therapy or sold drugs at a lower price commit much less crime (Duke). Even the DEA admits that, "Drug use was common among inmates serving time for robbery, burglary, and drug offenses" ("Crime, Violence").
Drug Prohibition has been very costly, detrimental to our relations with other countries, and harmful to users and society alike. All this while trying to battle an enemy who is not as dangerous as it is currently believed by most of the American public. The unpleasantries of the history of Drug Prohibition also show us how the public has been ...

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Is The US Policy On Drug Prohibition Effective?. (2006, May 15). Retrieved April 7, 2020, from
"Is The US Policy On Drug Prohibition Effective?.", 15 May. 2006. Web. 7 Apr. 2020. <>
"Is The US Policy On Drug Prohibition Effective?." May 15, 2006. Accessed April 7, 2020.
"Is The US Policy On Drug Prohibition Effective?." May 15, 2006. Accessed April 7, 2020.
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Added: 5/15/2006 03:59:17 PM
Category: Legal Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4855
Pages: 18

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