Arguing Against the War on Drugs
With our nation?s $14.8 Trillion dollar debt, it is necessary for us as a country to seek and destroy any and all inefficient programs implemented by our government. One of those said programs is the War on Drugs. With some major adjustments in our drug policies, the U.S could enjoy an exponential increase in revenue from the current expensive program.
This program that was brought forth 40 years ago is still very evident in our society today. One of the most noticeable and notable ways this ?war? is evident is The DEA, or Drug Enforcement Agency. This agency, created for the eradication and reduction of controlled substances (A stance that is considered contrary to the concept of civil liberties by organizations such as the Drug Policy Alliance, and Cato Institute.), wastes billions of dollars in tax revenue each year since its creation in 1973, and currently stands with an annual budget of $2.415 billion dollars. Regardless of the DEA?s large budget the organization?s efforts are hugely ineffective and wasteful; For example in 2005 the DEA seized a mere $477 million dollars? worth of drugs, which by itself would seem impressive, however when compared with the total value of drugs sold in the U.S. annually, 64 billion dollars, the DEA?s efforts prove less than 1% effective. The strict policies, and in some states, minimum mandatory sentences for drug possession and related crimes has resulted in an exponential boom in federal incarceration rates. The U.S currently leads the world in population within prison with more than 3 million prisoners actively serving time. Currently, four out of every five people that are arrested, are arrested for drug possession. This accounts for more than 30% of federal prison population to be occupied by drug offenders. One prisoner annually costs approximately forty-five thousand dollars of tax payers? money to house and feed.
In an effort to reduce the number of those incarcerated for drug offenses such as possession, I propose the decriminalization of the major drug of choice of the U.S, Marijuana. If Marijuana was decriminalized it would stop the unnecessary arrests for minor possession and instead institute a fine, similar to a parking ticket. This method effectively reduces a large percentage of people jailed, and avoids the pain of going through court. Another added bonus of this option would be the increased revenue from the fines.
Refute: It?s easy to say that the war on drugs is necessary, but when you discover its many faults, your initial thought may be misleading. The reality of the issue is that people are going to do drugs whether it?s against the law or not, and trying to combat the millions of drug users in this country is an exponential amount of effort wasted. With our current pathetic economy, we cannot afford to continue to spend large amounts of money on inefficient programs. Regulation and Decriminalization are our only answers to an outdated war on drugs