No drugs, no problems. That was the
original idea behind the war on drugs, which was declared in the year 1971 by
President Richard Nixon. He proclaimed:
“America’s public enemy number one is drug abuse. He said that in order
to defeat this enemy, an all-out offensive is necessary. Today, the numbers are
in. The war on drugs is a huge failure with devastating consequences. This is
why America should stop the war on drugs.
The first reason why America should stop
the war on drugs, is because it is simply not effective. In order to stop
people from taking drugs, America decided to target the supply side of them and
incarcerating drug traffickers. If you reduce the supply of anything without reducing
the demand first, it’s price will rise. This might lower sales for many
products, but not for drugs. Drugs will be consumed no matter what they cost. The
drugs market is not price-sensitive.
The reduced supply and higher price of drugs
then encourages more production of drags
and more traffickers, which then increase availability.
With a budget of around 30 billion
dollars, the US Drug Enforcement Agency has an efficiency rate of less than 1%
when it comes to stopped the flow of drugs into the US and inside the US.
Secondly, the war on drugs causes more
bad than good. Many of the problems we associate with drug use are actually
caused by the war against them. For example: gangs and cartels have no access
to the legal system to settle problems, so they use violence.
But where to war on drugs might do the most damage to society is the
incarceration of non-violent drug offenders. The United States of America have
5% of the world’s total population, but 25% of the world’s prison population,
largely due to the harsh punishments and mandatory minimums.
While it seems like there is no way out
of this maze, the United States of America should take a better look at other
countries and how they handle drugs.