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The War on Drugs is Failing Essay

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The War on Drugs is Failing


“Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance… for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and make a crime out of things that are not a crime. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principle upon which our government was founded” Abraham Lincoln

On January 16, 1920 the Eighteenth Amendment was ratified by thirty-six states and became part of the Constitution. The intention of this new amendment was to lower alcohol consumption by Americans. At the time each American consumed on average thirty gallons of alcohol a year.[1] This new amendment took away the license to do business from the brewers, distillers, and the wholesale and retail sellers of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption did taper off somewhat at the beginning of prohibition only to slowly rise back to pre-prohibition levels shortly before the end of the movement which took place on December 5,1933. Not only was the goal of prohibition never achieved, but it raised organized crime to levels of power unimaginable before and seriously disrupted both the legitimacy and revenue of the government.

Just as Prohibition incited many unsavory activities, so has the War on Drugs. The easiest way to show the connection between these to movements is an excerpt from an article pertaining to Prohibition in America during the 1920’s:

Bootleggers ran wild. Professional robberies began as soon as Prohibition did. Territories were divided by groups of organized crime that became the scum known as the Mafia. The territories were decided by violence and death, both against each other, as well as those in the public who may/may not have been innoce...


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...equipped with state of the art learning tools. Teachers will receive pay raises. Students will be in an environment conducive to learning. Not to mention violence in schools will diminish drastically. Public schools across America would phase out drug addicts by teaching drug awareness, tolerance and moderation.

It is quite clear that the War on Drugs is failing. A drug free country would be ideal. So would an alcohol-free country, a pollution-free country, and most likely a fast food-free country. None of these things will happen, so we have to make the best out of the situation as it is presented. The only practical method of dealing with this problem is the legalization of drugs. The government should take advantage of the money drug revenues will generate to supply the youth of America with the knowledge to make the right choice.


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