Can War on Drugs Stops Drug Trafficking

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History often repeats itself, and that certainly holds true here in the US. All the way back in 1875, San Francisco had banned smoking dens for opium which was a law aimed at Chinese Immigrants. In the 1910’s, California, Maine, Wyoming, and Indiana all outlawed marijuana. During the 1920’s the US decided to make the sale, production, and use of alcohol entirely illegal. Even though this was done with good intention it still turned out to be ineffective. All of this experimentation that the US did was a complete failure and led to an increase in crime, more violence, and more alcohol and drug related deaths, including those caused by unsafe alcohol and drug production.

This all occurred around one hundred years ago in a past that the government should have learned from. So why after over a hundred years, has this pattern of criminalizing drugs and passing legislation to further punish citizens continued in the US only to cause more turmoil and hurt for the people of the US. It is time for the misery that this cycle has caused to end, and turn a new leaf in the US and its drug policy to one that benefits the people and instead of causing harm.

This fight against drugs has persisted for years in the US. However it was officially announced in 1971 when Nixon officially declared the “War on Drugs”, which was an extreme government tactic to target and imprison both users, and dealers of drugs. This “War on Drugs” policy increased government spending for weapons, gear, and equipment to supposedly combat the impact that drugs had on the country. Over 50 billion USD has been spent fighting this “War”. This however was a huge waste of taxpayers money and turned out as no surprise to be a complete failure just like all the other attempts of combating drugs. The effectiveness of stopping drugs from being sold and coming into the US has been very poor with a 90% failure rate according to a finding at Stanford University.

Another negative effect that criminalizing drugs has is it actually makes them stronger and potentially more dangerous. As shown in the prohibition era, it led to production of alcohol to be more potent to maximize profits according to an article published by Christopher Coyne and Abigail Hall. In this article, they describe how this increased potency and unsafe production lead to poisonings, and accidental overdoses. This concept was explained by Richard labeled the “Iron Law of Prohibition,” which states that as the illegality of something increases, so does the potency of it. This law that was applied to alcohol prohibition, is also applied to drugs that were criminalized further by Nixon’s “War on Drugs.” A study done by the CDC found that overdoses and drug related deaths have spiked in years since Nixon’s declaration. Clearly this “War” is not helping people from dying or being poisoned by these drugs, but instead it is making it worse.

This “War” also does not stop drugs from entering the US as was intended. The supply of drugs and consumption in the US remains constant, despite efforts by the DEA and military. This phenomenon is known as the balloon effect. When drug production or trafficking is stopped in one country or location, it is moved to another location or trafficked in through another source. A prime example of this was shown in the 1980’s during the US’s efforts to stop Columbian trafficking of cocaine. With this effort, the traffickers who operated in Columbia, instead just moved production of cocaine and trafficking to Peru showing no slowing down in the supply of drugs coming into the US which again, shows the lack of effectiveness of US drug policy.

The criminalization of drugs has also shown to cause a mass incarceration of US citizens and has led the US to have the most people within its prisons in the entire world. With over 2 million people incarcerated, over 200,000 people have been imprisoned for drug related offenses. Many of the people in the prison system do not come out as functioning members of society, and are often barred from returning to normal jobs and lives because of the record they carry because of the outrages drug charges the they have been convicted of all because of how drug users and dealers are treated as horrible criminals when they should instead be needing help from society and the government.


Cite this paper

Can War on Drugs Stops Drug Trafficking. (2021, Mar 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/can-war-on-drugs-stops-drug-trafficking/



How does the war on drugs affect society?
The war on drugs has led to increased incarceration rates, particularly among marginalized communities, and has failed to address the root causes of drug addiction. It has also diverted resources away from public health and harm reduction approaches, further exacerbating the negative impact on society.
What are the pros of the war on drugs?
The pros of the war on drugs are that it decreases drug use and drug-related crime.
What country has decriminalized drugs?
Portugal has decriminalized drugs and has seen a decrease in drug use.
What is the goal of the drug war?
Positive thinking has been linked with better health outcomes, including lower rates of depression and anxiety. Additionally, positive thinking can improve your problem-solving skills and help you to better cope with difficult situations.
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