America's War on Drugs

by Zoe.Papadatos on September 4, 2013 - 11:43am

Forty years ago, the United States of America declared its ‘War on Drugs’. Its goal was to create a drug-free country by going after and prosecuting drug users and dealers. Forty years later, they finally realized that their war had not only failed, but created new problems within their communities.


An article from NBC news shows that a commission that includes former heads of state, a former UN secretary general, and a business mogul suggest that the US government should explore other means to control drug use such as legalizing marijuana and other substances. Instead of punishing drug users, the government should end criminalization of narcotics, undermine gangs and offer treatment to users.


I believe that most narcotics should be legal. By legalizing substances, drug-related gangs will dematerialize resulting in diminished crime and violence. Furthermore, instead of treating drug users as criminals, we could give them the proper care to better themselves and become essential members of society instead of throwing them in prison to deteriorate.  Speaking of prison, according to an article by Common Dreams, the United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. They imprison more drug law violators than all of Western Europe and spend 70 billion dollars on prisons. I believe that instead of spending all that money on prisons, they could fund schools and medical facilities to create a new population that have no need for prison. Unfortunately, the US government seems to have their priorities disorganized, to say the least.

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