In 1960s, drugs had become a symbol of political descent, youthful rebellion and social heaviness throughout the entire generation (Alexander p. 215). These were the drugs such as the marijuana, cocaine and opium among others. We tend to find that the drugs are prohibited not because not because the risks that they lead to but because of everything associated with it. The first anti-opium laws were established in 1870s at the Chinese immigrants, the first cocaine anti-laws to the black men in 1900s while the first marijuana-anti laws were enforced towards the Mexican immigrants in the 1910s and 20s. More however, today the black communities are still subjected to drug enforcement which is not proportion and is associated with the sentencing practices.
Not until in 1971 when drugs became a social upheaval that propagated President Nixon to declare a war on drugs. He did this by increasing the size and presence of federal control agencies which implemented through measures such as compulsory sentencing and no-knock warrants to the traders and users of the same. However, Nixon faced some challenges in the possession and distribution of marijuana as some tended to decriminalize it for personal use but he fought fiercely against it. This has been backed up by parents from the reports of high teen use from 1970s.
The war on drugs in America has undergone a lot of challenges with those trying to enforce it. This has been a period of more than 40 years. Statistics have shown that irrespective of the attempt to eradicate drugs, they are still in plenty among the consumers. It touches and destroys so many issues of the things we care and value a lot. The following are some of the consequences as a result of drug war since those early years;
In consideration of how the drug menace has been dealt with, there has been a lot of racial discrimination in the process. The rate at which the black-Americans as compared to the white culprits are arrested with is quite amusing. This is because we tend to find that the rate is almost 13 times as that of white Americans. As a result, this creates that division as it is a clear indication of the level of race discrimination in the country.
If one is associated or linked up with drug trafficking, this leads to denial o0f education of the individual throughout the entire imprisonment period (Bullington P. 217). Also if the family of the convicted used to stay in public houses, they tend to vacate and find shelter elsewhere. This is according to the strict rules that govern the land. One is also denied the housing benefits.
From the statistics drawn out, there has been clear information that shows the prison and the entire jurisdiction sector is among the toppings by budgets in US. Much of the tax payer’s money has been allocated to fight this menace for a long time. This money could have been used to improve the current living conditions rather than using it in such economically unproductive ways.
There has been mass destruction that has result from drug use. People and mostly dealers tend to kill one another due to the huge profits they get from this business. Also if someone supposes that you handed him or her to the authorities, then this will result to nothing else other than death. Many deaths have been recorded since those ancient times.
Due to the fierce war on drugs going on, there has been shredding of the human rights mostly in the states. Police officers break into your house without following the due process. Property may also be seized out of your house. Some of the citizens associated with the offence are subjected not to vote either for life or for some period of time. More so unlawful and inhuman practices such as test of urine without your consent are also subjected to individuals of the same.
Instead of reducing the cases of drug offence, there have been a lot of associated killings in the name of fighting the menace. Many people have died and this has created some sort of bloodbath in the entire states. It has come from the violence and not only in the states but also in Mexico since 2006.
There also has raised issue of kid’s safety towards drug use. Instead of reducing the size of the teenagers who are consumers of the same, the number tends to be increasing day in day out. The suggestive and efficient method is to create an honest drug education by sincerely in a polite way exposing it dangers rather than using horrifying adverts to warn the kids on drug use.
Public health has also deteriorated with a high level. This has been accompanied by the high use of drugs in the country. Now and the n there are long queues in the health amenities to be treated of the same. This in turn has affected the economy at a very large percentage.
From the severe effects that drug use and peddling resulted to, there was a high need to start the drug war. Instead of using billions of dollars to fund the budget against the drug use, the money could have been allocated to a number of programs of which were more beneficial to the society. This money could also be used to improve the current education system in order to produce self-reliant individuals.
With the increased number of deaths recorded, there was this great concern of the government to take precaution measures. The measures included the enactment of laws to punish the drug peddlers and users heavily. As a result, this to some extent helped to reduce the drug use rate at a recommendable percent.
Due to so many deaths in the state, there resulted to an increase of street families which was a great concern to the government. This was due to the breaking of the families as children were left behind when their parents died or when they were imprisonment. This in turn called for measures to fight this drug issue.
There has been a depression in the value of property in the drug trafficking areas. People every day are tagging their property on sale with much lower prices as compared to the standard prices. This has resulted to diminished quality of life as people are trying their best to move in a more secure place which is a drug free zone. Were it not for drug trafficking, these neighbour hoods could have been a very prolific place.
Since this drug menace has been fought with, there has been a lot of strained people-police relationship. As the society is no longer happy as the tycoons who deal with drugs goes scot free while those who come from poor background end up serving in prisons. This is all in the name of fighting drug abuse but we tend to see it is not fair at all.
The economy of the nation has also deteriorated in a great way. The funds used in tracking the drug peddlers per annum add up to billions of dollars which could have been used in more productive ways.
With most of the leaders being hypocrites, they have earned disrespect from the people as their youths were all accompanied by drug peddling. Hence, people tend to find it acceptable for them enforcing strict rules while as them used the same drugs a time earlier. This includes leaders such as Barrack Obama, bill Clinton and George w. bush.
The fight on drugs being fierce and more every day. According to the statistics US may face labour shortage in the near future. This is due to the rate at which young people are being imprisoned of which most of them have the skilled labour and are more energetic.
As US has vowed to finish this menace to the eternal end. It has gone to an extent of even going beyond borders in the name that they are following the drug peddlers. They end up breaking the laws of the respective lands and this in turns reduces the cohesiveness between the two states.
There was need of coming up with a free mind nation. These active minds are use up of making concrete decision as they are not under any influence. Economically they move forward hence improving the current living standards.
From the drug hysteria, there has been a skyrocketing incarceration rates in this unpredicted drug war from the presidency of Ronald Reagon (Gray p. 18). The number of convicts behind the bar with drug cases increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997. There has been a lot of public concern about illicit drug use as seen from the campaign held by Nancy Reagon , Ronald Reagon wife who coined it the “ just say no”. He blocked the access of syringe and founded the DARE drug education program.
By 1980s, there was there were ruthless penalties towards drugs use and this rapidly increased the prison population as drug abuse had increased from 2-6 percent. The figure grew tremendously up to 1989 where it reached 64 percent of the total population.
During Bill Clinton era he advocate the treatment rather than incarceration he reverted the drug war strategies of his republican predecessors by continuing to escalate the drug war. He also rejected, with the encouragement of drug czar General Barry McCaffrey to end the federal ban on funding for syringe access programs.
In the late 1980s to early 1990s a movement emerged seeking approach to a new drug policy. In 1987 there was a founded drug policy foundation by Arnold Trebach and Kevin Friedman where they were later joined by activists, scholars and policy makers.
The war on drug has led to the militarization of the police with regard to the equipment they are using. By using mine resistant ambush, grenades, launchers and other weapons they tend to appear as army rather than the ordinary police to enforce law and order. This has not yet solved the problem of having a drug free society in the states.
In addition, campus police are receiving advanced equipment and weaponry from the program for free. This shows that the police are so much equip beyond the fighting of the menace. The combination of expanded police authority and expanded access to military- style weapons has created a perfect storm for police violence. As many stories indicating the militarization of the police and law enforcement has leaded even o harming of the innocent ones in the drug associated scenes.
The SWAT group have been raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night in the search of drugs and people have needlessly died during these raids (Musto p. 108). Families has been brutalised as when SWAT invades homes and throw flash bag grenades even in the exposure of small innocent children. Police officers should not be treating people as wartime enemies and the allocation of billion dollars to equip the police to fight the drug use should be withdrawn since it is not helping at all. It is a high time that the American police realize that they are fighting the drug menace but not waging war on people who live in them. Mainly they brutalize the colour and this shows they are not acting as according to the laws and within their jurisdiction of stopping drug abuse. This is evidential since there comes out some disparities.
Irrespective of all this equipment, the police have failed to end the drug addiction and the congress must end this unchecked expansion of military weapons into our civilian enforcement agencies by passing the stop militarizing law enforcement act. Better forms and ways of fighting the menace of drug abuse should be adopted. This will help in a great way to reduce the above well illustrated consequences that results from the drug war issue.
Works cited
Alexander, M. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colour-blindness, p.215. New York: The New Press, 2010.
Bullington, B., Alan, A. B. “A Trojan horse: Anti-communism and the war on drugs”, p.217. Crime, Law and Social Change (Springer Netherlands), 1990.
Gray, M. Drug Crazy: How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get Out, p.18. New York: Routledge, 2000.
Musto, D. The American Dream: Origins of Narcotic Control, p. 108. 1. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.