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How Successful Is The War On Drugs? Essay

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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...


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...ing 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 http://www.drugpolicy.org/new-solutions-drug-policy/brief-history-drug-war



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