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Essay on Failures of the Drug War

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American law enforcement has made drug enforcement one of its highest priorities for almost forty years. However, more people than ever are beginning to question the true benefits of the Drug War. The President of the United States, Barack Obama has even referred to the Drug War as an “utter failure” in the YouTube video “Barack Obama on Marijuana Decriminalization (2004).” These kinds of negative opinions on the Drug War are not unjustified. The Drug War has cost Americans 33 billion dollars and countless lives (Miron Par. 1). The Drug War is a poor alternative to combat drug use in America as evidenced by the history of Prohibition, the crime it creates, the harmful effects it has on the lives of users, and the numerous deaths it results in. The Drug War is a failed policy and the government must respond by legalizing all recreational drugs.
It is common knowledge in the United States that Prohibition is a failure. In the 1920’s alcohol was made illegal by the US government during Prohibition. Rather than preventing alcohol consumption, this only created organized crime groups and a black market for the substance. The policy did not only fail to alleviate the US from drug use, but also lead to the formation of organized criminal associations and dangerous substitutes for these drugs. The same issues apply when drugs are made illegal (Thornton 1). Today there is an immense black market
Gross 2
for drugs that helps lead to problems with prostitution, gambling, and even human organs. Society is suffering from the unsuccessful and costly results of prohibition. Although drug regulation has steadily been increasing, drug use and drug related deaths have increased steadily. Even though spending to combat the...


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...ition." The Independent Institute. N.p., 2011. Web. 21 June 2011. .

Nutt, David. "Ecstasy 'not worse than riding.'" BBC News. BBC News, 7 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 June 2011. .

Papa, Anthony. "Will Drug Lord Do Less Time Than the Average American Nonviolent Drug Offender?" HuffPost Politics. N.p., 1 Oct. 2007. Web. 21 June 2011. .

"Table 2: Drug War Statistics (1979-2003)." Chart. N.p., 2003. Web. 21 June 2011. .

Thornton, Mark. "Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure." Policy Analysis. CATO Institute. CATO Institute, 17 July 1991. Web. 21 June 2011. .


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