War on Drugs and its Impact on Society

War on Drugs

The War on Drugs has had a big impact on United States society. The war on drugs is a campaign that is led by the US federal government, the purpose is to reduce the illegal drug trades. It’s impact caused racial profiling, drug overuse, and increased incarceration rates.

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Over half of imprisoned prisoners are drug offenders. The United States leads the world with incarceration, there is approximately 2.2 million people imprisoned. Being racially profiled is very common now in our society. Its a problem we suffer nationally. Usually targeted for color, race, ethnicity, and religion. Once Americas need for drugs got greater when cartels formed in Columbia. I believe drugs can destroy someone’s life and how it’s illegally used. Drugs should be only legal to the ones that medically need it and not to the ones that don’t.

People around the world are being profiled because the amount of money they have when being pulled over, which leads police officers to thinking its for drugs. Also they are being profiled because of their race or religion. Some police now a days allegedly pull over drivers because of their race or ethnicity, rather than the law or violations they have done. People of color often been through intolerance at every stage of the criminal system. They are most likely to be pulled over, searched, arrested, and convicted. This is mainly the case of drug law violations. Racial profiling is ineffective, it isolates communities from law enforcement, and limits community policing efforts. African americans are most likely to be killed by law enforcement than any other race, because they are stereotyped to be more violent and addicted to drugs. Racial profiling has been a big national problem for a while now, it happens every day in cities and towns across the country.

Incarceration is another serious impact on United States society. Incarceration is an act of being confined in prison or imprisoning someone. It’s become a big impact in U.S society because incarceration rates have increased. The U.S leads the world in incarceration with 2.2 million people currently in the nation’s jails and prisons. This results in a 500% increase over the last forty years. The cause of this big increase is not the change in crime rates, but in the changes in sentencing laws and policy. This caused a lot of stricter sentencing policies, however over the past decades when the incarceration rates got higher crime rates didn’t. Sentencing policies also resulted in a dramatic growth in incarceration for drug offenses. Mandatory minimums is a harsh sentencing law that keeps many people that are convicted of drug offenses in prison for a longer time. Back in 1986 people that got released after serving time for a federal drug offense spent about 22 months in prison, but by 2004 people that were convicted on federal drug offenses are expected to serve triple times the length they had severed back in 1986. Which adds up to 62 months in prison.

On the union level, people who are incarcerated on a drug conviction have made up just under half the prison population. Policy makers should really reconsider drug crime policies, because of the apparent low effectiveness of a heightened enforcement strategy that caused a ten times increase in the incarceration rate for drug offenses. Researchers show that those who are incarcerated in the U.S are mainly the most disadvantaged segments of the population. They are also mainly under the age of 40, poorly educated meaning not as smart, and often have drug and alcohol addiction, mental and physical illness, and lack of work experience. Also, more than half of the prison population is black or Hispanic, African Americans were incarcerated at 6 times and Hispanics at 3 times the rate for non Mexican whites. The appearance of high incarceration rates has a wide significance for United States society. The consequences of this new reality can’t be divided from the problems of social inequality and the quality of citizenship of the nations race related and ethnic minorities.

Drug overuse is another big impact on our society. As of November 8, 2016 California voters passed proposition 64. Proposition 64 is short for The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). California along with several states including Washington, Oregon, and Colorado have personal possession and the use of marijuana is decriminalized. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States and also around the world. People who support it and voted for it to be legalized, for medical or for general use, fail to see the greater costs of marijuana are not related to its being banned, but the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.

Marijuana should also not be legalized in other states because people can become addicted to it. People think being addicted to marijuana is a myth, but it’s very true. Studies show about 10% of those who use Cannabis become addicted, this number is higher among teenagers. For some people who try and stop taking this drug, a withdrawal syndrome has been described. This Syndrome consists of anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, depression, and changes in appetite. Legalizing marijuana has affected drug cartels as more and more states begin to legalize the adult use of marijuana, for recreational purposes. States have experienced a big upward shift in income from taxing legal activities that have to do with marijuana sales, and are cutting costs so they don’t have to apply hemp related laws.

However, effects of legalizing marijuana go way far from state government income. Places with dispensaries fear that there will be a lot more marijuana use. Some of the residents complain about the odor. The community worry that neighborhoods impacted by drugs and the war on drugs are not being asked to shoulder the burden and risk having dispensaries on their streets. This causes many areas with dispensaries economically disadvantaged and cause them to lack the political and economic power to discourage the location of these stores in their communities.

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