The War on drugs is a war on people and a war on progress, said Michael K Williams in his CNN piece, The war on drugs is war on people. Drug wars destroyed family’s lives, crowded our jails, prisons and robbed futures of black and brown communities”that’s what drugs do, they destroy people. According to Williams, the war on drugs has not made America a safer place. The war on drugs has a way of demonizing and silencing black youth generations, for at least 45 years. Studies show that in 2014, an average of 2.2 million people were incarcerated”raising the percentage to 350% over 4 decades. As of today, 60% of people behind bars are black or Hispanic. Studies showed 1 out of 3 men who are locked up in prison are black or Hispanic. Reports indicated that white men are less likely to end up in jail than black men. Bruce Western reported that 41% of all black males who dropped out of high school before the age of 30 have a higher risk of getting arrested and locked up in jail. The Justice Department claimed 1 out of 8 black males are locked up before the age of 30.
Jeffery A. Miron, a professor of Economics at Boston University gives his history about the war on drugs. Miron explained how the United States put away 38,000 people behind bars for drug possession and drug offenses. Miron reported that 1.2 million out of 1.5 million people are locked up in jail or prison for drug possession offenses only. Many arrests for possession occur because the arrestee violated some other laws”prostitution, theft, speeding, loitering, disorderly conduct, and so on”and was found to possess drugs. Thrus, otherwise law-abiding citizens who wish to purchase and consume drugs face minimal risk of arrest or other situation, Says Miron. Michael K Williams, a Brooklyn actor, speaks out about his experience and struggle with substance abuse. Williams claimed he received treatment to help control his drug addiction. Later, William said he would rather experience being jailed for his past addiction issues. Williams revealed how he overcame his drug addiction but never got to experience any arrests.
President Barack Obama focused on more drug offenses than any other president in the United States. The Department of Justice delivered a message to end any usage of private prisons. The United States Senator considered reducing mandatory sentencing by giving judges the opportunity to hand down sentences to fit each crime. First lady Nancy Reagan wanted to change current laws that interfered during the crack epidemic in the 1980’s. Reagan created a campaign called Just Say No to decrease demand. Although Reagan tried to send a message to the United Nations Audience on the 25th of Oct. 1988. Regan claimed to the United Nations Audience that the U.S had the highest ranking for drug abuse in the world. The war on Mexico continues with violent drug crimes and rival cartels. Anne Deslandes wrote an article on Guerro Mexico’s failed attempts on drugs. Deslandes, mentions in her article that Guerro, Mexico lost 2,318 people from violent homicide attacks involved with drug trafficking.
Deslandes talks about the war against poppy farming and crack downs from the National Army in Mexico. Deslandes explains how Mexico should legalize poppy production to farmers in Mexico that allow the farmers to cultivate their products– without being in danger from cartels and the Mexican government. A former president, Ernst Zedillo, encouraged law makers in Mexico, saying: Give the benefit of the doubt to those of us who have followed the wrong policy for many years. Later, Deslandes describes how lawmakers reached out to the national government hoping they would consider changing their policy to legalize growing the farmer’s poppy plants allowing them to use the opium for medical use and pharmaceutical use only. Statistics mentioned in Deslandes article show how legalizing the farmers poppy plants would decrease violence with drug cartels and the government. Deslandes explained that former lawmakers agreed to consider legalizing farmers to grow poppy plants and use their opium for medical and pharmaceutical use. Deslandes points out that decriminalization would cut out drug traffickers and weaken them.
Also, Deslandes argues for the legalization of marijuana because it decreased drug cartel profits. Reproduction of poppy plants and opium would also decrease its values to cartels. Deslander claims the farmers in Geurra Mexico came to a disagreement with the legalization of poppy plants. The farmers feared if their poppy plants were legalized it would become a major problem. Deslandes reported that 50,000 people in Mexico who rely on the production of cultivating their poppy plants, and without poppy farming, people would be out of a job”no reliable income. Deslandes solution explains that legalizing the production of poppy plants can decrease government raids. The former president- elect was on board with this law being reviewed and said he would not rule out the bill. Unfortunately, this agreement did not yet pass Today, the Mexican government and drug cartels continue fighting for territory. Cartels continue spilling blood and ruining the lives of innocent people to get what they want. In 2015, the Congressional Research Service report showed an average of 80,000 people who were killed by drug cartels in Mexico.
Drug cartels in Mexico make around 19 billion to 29 billion dollars a year in drug trafficking. The Sinaloa cartel is the highest-ranking dominant drug trafficking cartel in Mexico According to reports from the Council of Economic Advisors, opioid usage increased their costs each year”roughly $500 billion in tax revenue in 2015. Eight billion dollars alone was used alone for the criminal justice enforcement. In 2014, President Enrique Pena Nitro celebrated victory for arresting a former drug lord named El Chapo”the most successful drug lord in history for the Sinaloa Cartel. Patrick Redden Keefe mentioned how the Sinaloa Cartel makes an estimate between $18 billion dollars to $39 billion dollars a year importing and exporting drugs across the border of Mexico. Keefe described the total amount in revenue that all cartels in Mexico derive from importing and exporting drugs across the U.S border, estimated a total amount of $6.6 billion annually each year. Keefe states that the Sinaloa Cartel achieved a market share minimum of 40% and 60% with a total of 3 billion dollars. Leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Chapo Guzman, was known to be the most powerful and richest drug lord in Mexico of all time. Chapo Guzman’s organization made two times the amount Pablo Escobar did.
Close studies showed the Sinaloa Cartel now controls more territory around the Mexican border than any other cartel in Mexico. Keffer also claimed the Sinaloa Cartel to be the most successful organization in history today. Teri Moore described the legalization of marijuana and how it can benefit and reduce percentages of current opioid users. Moore also states that marijuana has reduced the social harms relating to opioid use. The University of British Columbia reviewed patient surveys which showed 63% of patients switched from opioid prescriptions to medical marijuana. Studies also showed 30% of the patients stayed on their opioid prescriptions. As a result, Moore mentioned medical marijuana legalization decreased by 23% of all opioid hospitalization visits. Moore explained how users are most likely unaware of their dosage intake and buy opioids illegally from the black market. Moore also explained how marijuana can reduce problems if people substituted their medications. According to the National Cancer Institute, lethal overdoses from medical marijuana cannot occur because the dosage is unknown.
In 2017, a study from the American Journal of Public Health discovered opioid rates in Colorado decreased after marijuana became legalized for recreational use. Moore detailed on how the black markets pricing for marijuana was no longer known for having unbeatable prices because Colorado and Washington state decreased their market prices for marijuana to eliminate the black-market value for their products. Moore’s pros for marijuana legalization would not only bring transparency to future business transactions but address how the war on drugs had failed. Moore claims the benefits of recreational/medical marijuana legalization can help users overcome dangerous addictions from opioids if they replace it with marijuana. In sum, legalizing drugs can help prevent crime from cartels and minimize violence. Doing so would reduce the number of people killed in drug trafficking-related incidents and help boost economies with legally medicinal and recreational use.
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