Preview
Preview

The Failure of the War on Drugs Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1021 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In the early 1980s, policymakers and law enforcement officials stepped up efforts to combat the trafficking and use of illicit drugs. This was the popular “war on drugs,” hailed by conservatives and liberals alike as a means to restore order and hope to communities and families plagued by anti-social or self-destructive pathologies. By reducing illicit drug use, many claimed, the drug war would significantly reduce the rate of serious nondrug crimes - robbery, assault, rape, homicide and the like. Has the drug war succeeded in doing so?

In Illicit Drugs and Crime, Bruce L. Benson and David W. Rasmussen (Professors of Economics, Florida State University, and Research Fellows, the Independent Institute), reply with a resounding no. Not only has the drug war failed to reduce violent and property crime but, by shifting criminal justice resources (the police, courts, prisons, probation officers, etc.) away from directly fighting such crime, the drug war has put citizens’ lives and property at greater risk, Benson and Rasmussen contend.

“Getting tough on drugs inevitably translates into getting soft on nondrug crime,” they write. “When a decision is made to wage a ‘war on drugs,’ other things that criminal justice resources might do have to be sacrificed.”

To support this conclusion, Benson and Rasmussen compare data on drug law enforcement and crime trends between states, and debunk numerous misconceptions about drug use and criminality.

One of the most prevalent misconceptions, Benson and Rasmussen, contend is the notion that a large percentage of drug users commit nondrug crimes, what might be called the “drugs-cause-crime” assumption implicit in the government’s drug-war strategy. If true, then an effective crackdown on ...


... middle of paper ...


...easy” to obtain rose by about 20 percent.

This failure is due in large part, Benson and Rasmussen explain, to drug entrepreneurs’ adoption of new production techniques, new products, and new marketing strategies in response to greater law enforcement. Their “innovations” include lengthening the drug distribution chain and using younger drug pushers and runners (to reduce the risk of arrest and punishment), increasing domestic drug production (to avoid the risk of seizure at the border), smuggling into the country less marijuana and more cocaine (which is harder to detect), development of “crack” cocaine (a low-cost substitute for higher priced powdered cocaine and for marijuana, which the drug war made harder to obtain), and development of drugs with greater potency (because they are less bulky and because punishment is based on a drug’s weight, not its potency).


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Failure of the War on Drugs Essay - In the early 1980s, policymakers and law enforcement officials stepped up efforts to combat the trafficking and use of illicit drugs. This was the popular “war on drugs,” hailed by conservatives and liberals alike as a means to restore order and hope to communities and families plagued by anti-social or self-destructive pathologies. By reducing illicit drug use, many claimed, the drug war would significantly reduce the rate of serious nondrug crimes - robbery, assault, rape, homicide and the like....   [tags: Critical Thinking Essays] 1021 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
War on Drugs is a Dismal Failure Essays -      With a bipartisan vote of 263-146, the House recently approved a bill that included $1.7 billion to combat the drug cartels of Columbia with additional military aid.  In doing so, they perpetuated what could be one of the United States' most misguided policies of recent history. At least some Republicans can give themselves a pat on the back for attempting to remove the Columbian aid from the $13 billion foreign aid bill.  Unfortunately, today's drug war is largely a Reagan-era Republican creation, so intoxicating that even the vast majority of liberals mindlessly defend it.  Regardless, both parties now overwhelmingly champion the war on drugs, leaving its opponents a mix of unlikely...   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]
:: 5 Works Cited
2869 words
(8.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Success and Failure in the US-Mexico War on Drugs Essay - Illegal narcotic drugs represent a $60 billion market in the U.S., and this year alone the State and Federal governments will each spend roughly $20 billion in attempting to stifle this market. The amount of money involved in the drug trade, substantially inflated due to prohibition, makes both systemic corruption and violence inevitable. The illegal drug trade is a sophisticated international network, and while no nation’s involvement is limited to one economic function, one relationship is crystal clear: Mexico serves as a high-volume channel of drugs into the United States, and drug traffickers will go to great lengths to continue serving the American consumers as long as the...   [tags: Essays Papers]
:: 17 Works Cited
2850 words
(8.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
How Successful Is The War On Drugs? Essay - 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 initi...   [tags: Illegal Drugs, War on Drugs]
:: 2 Works Cited
995 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The War on Drugs Essay - Despite an estimated $1 trillion spent by the United States on the “War on Drugs”, statistics from the US Department of Justice (2010) has confirmed that the usage of drugs has not changed over the past 10 years. Approximately $350 billion is spent per year on the “war on drugs”, only $7 billion is spent on prevention programs by the federal government. The war on drugs is more heavily focused on how to fight crime, instead of how to prevent it. Crime prevention methods may not be immediate, but it is the most efficient and effective long-term....   [tags: Drugs, argumentative, persuasive]
:: 9 Works Cited
1522 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Failure of Plan Colombia - Background Plan Colombia is a long-prevailing foreign aid package bestowed to the country of Colombia from the United States. This foreign aid package grants substantial financial assistance to Colombia, intending to fight the “War on Drugs” and to reduce the trafficking of narcoleptics, but there is a multitude of other factors and implications, both unintentional or indirect and intentional due to ulterior motives. To accomplish the goals of Plan Colombia, most of the aid has been provided in the form of armed forces....   [tags: War Against Drugs]
:: 11 Works Cited
2908 words
(8.3 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
America's War on Drugs: Policy and Problems Essay - America's War on Drugs: Policy and Problems In this paper I will evaluate America's War on Drugs. More specifically, I will outline our nation's general drug history and look critically at how Congress has influenced our current ineffective drug policy. Through this analysis I hope to show that drug prohibition policies in the United States, for the most part, have failed. Additionally, I will highlight and evaluate the influences acting on individual legislators' decisions to continue support for these ineffective policies as a more general demonstration of Congress' role in the formation of our nation's drug policy strategy....   [tags: America Drug War Politics Narcotics Essays]
:: 25 Works Cited
4902 words
(14 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Why All Drugs Should Be Legalized Essay - Abraham Lincoln once said: “Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”(Lincoln) When most people think of prohibition, they think of the 18th amendment of the constitution; the alcohol ban in the 1920’s....   [tags: legalization, prohibition, law, war on drugs]
:: 3 Works Cited
1460 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
America's Unjust Drug War Essay - The argument over drug reform and the current prohibition has been going on for years. It seems to be an argument between a wise parent and a young teenager, but as generations change more and more of the parents seem to switch sides. While prohibitionists say the mainstream drugs like cocaine, heroin, LSD, and marijuana are harmful and immoral, legalizers argue the opposite (Rachels 223). While they are both valid and interesting arguments the drugs named above still remain illegal. Many organizations and respected citizens have come to America’s attention in their support for drug reform or complete legalization of certain drugs....   [tags: Drugs]
:: 5 Works Cited
1168 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The US War on Drugs in Latin America - The US War on Drugs in Latin America Introduction The United States has a long history of intervention in the affairs of one it’s southern neighbor, Latin America. The war on drugs has been no exception. An investigation of US relations with Latin America in the period from 1820 to 1960, reveals the war on drugs to be a convenient extension of an almost 200 year-old policy. This investigation focuses on the commercial and political objectives of the US in fighting a war on drugs in Latin America....   [tags: Drug Drugs Essays]
:: 23 Works Cited
3419 words
(9.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]