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Rockefeller Drugs Law Argument

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Crack cocaine first hit the streets over twenty years ago, in 1983 (Ammerman 1999). No one had seen anything like it. The drug was cheap, easy to get and incredibly addictive. This one type of drug destroyed families, even whole neighborhoods. The communities that were most affected were the black and latino communities. These types of problems are what brought about the Rockefeller drug laws. These laws demonstrate that the punishment for the sale and possession of narcotics should be strict and severe.


Illegal drugs are substances that ruin families and affect people all over the world (McGinnis 1993). Drug abusers and dealers should know that they are contributing to the devastation and poverty that is troubling the U.S. and they should receive harsh punishment for breaking the law. Immoral acts that have a strong effect on the community and today's youth should receive harsh penalties. The Rockefeller drug laws prevent historical events, such as the crack epidemic that plagued America in the 80's and 90's from reoccurring. Under the Rockefeller drug laws, the penalty for selling two ounces or more of heroin, morphine, "raw or prepared opium," or cocaine was made the same as that for second-degree murder: a minimum of 15 years to life in prison and a maximum of 25 years to life in prison. This punishment is intended to deter drug users and dealers from continued involvement in drugs. Strict drug laws are supported on the basis that many of the perceived problems or flaws of society are caused by the use of drugs or drug addiction (Profile 1996). It has been indicated that the fear of getting in trouble with the law constitutes a major reason not to buy, use, or sell drugs. Many drug users commit murder, child and spouse abuse, rape, property damage, assault and other violent crimes under the influence of drugs (Ammerman 1999). Drug users, many of whom are unable to hold jobs, commit robberies not only to obtain drugs, but also to purchase food, shelter, clothing and other goods and services (Oakley 1990). Some of the effects of drug abuse to society are the spread of infectious disease, deaths due to overdose, effects on unborn children of pregnant drug users, crime, and homelessness (Leinwand 2003).





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