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War On Drugs

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War on Drugs is it working

The U.S. is spending money to stop drug abuse; this is called the "war on drugs". However, the methods used by the government are not working. . There are many proofs that the war on drugs is unreasonable. Some specific reasons that the war on drugs needs a new approach is that too much money is being spent every year compared to the number of problems solved, jails are becoming overpopulated by drug war victims, and people who have committed serious crimes do not have a place to occupy. Additionally, legal drugs that the government does not care about causes more problems than the illegal drugs they are fighting. The U.S. should find different ways to fight the war on drugs.

The U.S. spends an immense budget on fighting the war on drugs; however, recorded drug abuse rises and more problems are occurring each year. In 2003, the federal government spent over nineteen billion dollars on the war on drugs, and the state government on average in the U.S. spent over thirty billion (Greer). This budget has been increased by over 1 billion dollars in 2005. With these extreme expenditures the amount of people arrested each year still increases, with numbers arrested in 2005 expected to be over one hundred sixty-seven thousand eight hundred nineteen people (Schaffer). Also, the number of deaths due to drug war victims increases every year. There will be more than four thousand preventable HIV deaths due to drugs this year alone (Greer).

Another fact is, fighting the war on drugs this way is expensive due to people in jail, and costly in space available in jail. Drug offences make up 59.6 percent of all prisoners sentenced. Jails are overpopulated by drug war victims, and people convicted of more serious crimes don't have a "place to stay." (Schaefer) This causes problems because jails run out of room for criminals who have committed crimes more serious, such as robbery. Also, due to the fact that the drug war imprisons so many people, funds needed to support them in jail are given out by the government, this uses valuable money and resources ("War On Drugs." Wikipedia). For example, the cost to put just one drug dealer in jail is about four hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This is composed of conviction (one hundred and fifty thousand dollars), additional prison bed (fifty to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars), and a sentence of five years due to housing (one hundred and fifty thousand dollars). This money is enough to put two hundred people through school! (Schafer) If this is not enough, there is yet another reason the war on drugs is not working.

Legal drugs which the government does not pay much attention to, such as tobacco and alcohol, cause more troubles than the illegal drugs that the government is fighting against. Marijuana, which is the governments main target, is actually one of the least addictive drugs, causes minor intoxication, has very little dependence, and virtually no withdrawal. However, nicotine, which is legal, causes a strong dependence, builds up a tolerance, and causes a withdrawal (Schaefer). Another legal drug, alcohol, causes a strong intoxication and withdrawal, and also builds up a dependence (Greer). Legal drugs kill many more people every year than illegal drugs. Tobacco kills approximately three-hundred and ninety thousand people every year, alcohol kills about eighty thousand, all illegal drugs combined kill only four thousand five hundred people. This includes cocaine, heroine and marijuana. Aspirin kills just as many people as heroine, and no death due to marijuana has ever been recorded in the United States (Schafer). Hospitals say that the drug most hazardous to our health is tobacco, and a study at Rockefeller University showed that tobacco is more harmful than heroine (Schafer)

Although supporters of the war on drugs say that illegal drugs all lead to crime and potentially dangerous situations, this is not true. While the drugs may occasionally cause violent outbursts, alcohol is the only drug that commonly and consistently aggravates the user (Schaefer). Another argument is that drugs are a bigger problem in places where the fight against them is done differently, in England drug addicts get help instead of being thrown in jail, and in other European countries some drugs have been legalized. Drugs being a bigger problem there is false information. In New York, heroin and cocaine addicts suffer from tremendous medical problems, while In Liverpool, England, most heroin and cocaine addicts suffer few medical problems due to programs to promote health of addicts. In New York, most drug addicts are unemployed criminals, in Liverpool, most drug addicts are gainfully employed taxpayers and most addicts live with their families in stable homes and manage to raise healthy, well-adjusted children. This is all due



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