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  • 1. Drugs are a big problem in America. Drugs are the cause of many illegal activities such as extortion and murder. In my opinion drugs consist of chemicals that you have to mix and alter, such as cocaine and heroin. Drugs are one of many reasons that the U.S. crime rate is so high. The government is working hard to get drugs out of schools and off the streets, however they’re not as successful as they hoped. Prohibiting the non-medical use of certain mind-altering substances has been a public policy goal of the federal government for more than a century. Drug abuse is a problem in the United States due to its economic cost, estimated to have been over $160 billion in 2000. This amount includes lost productivity, health care costs, and criminal justice expenditures. An estimated 1.6 million people were arrested in the U.S. in 2001 for drug violations. The control of certain drugs has been a public policy goal of the federal government and the focus of congressional legislative efforts for more than half a century. This “War on Drugs,” as it came to be known, can be said to have begun in November 1880 when the prohibition on the shipment of opium between the U.S. and China was agreed to in a treaty negotiations between the two countries. Congress enacted implementing legislation on February 23, 1887, providing a misdemeanor fine of between $50 and $500 for any U.S. or Chinese citizen found guilty of violating this ban. Since the beginning of time both political parties have opposed the drug
  • 2. scene. On the republican side Dick Cheney co-sponsored A bill to combat the production, sale, and use of illicit drugs. A bill to provide for a drug-free America .A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act to provide mandatory penalties for certain drug offenses involving the importation or exportation, or the manufacture, of controlled substances. Democrat Al Gore backed away from his earlier support of medical marijuana, saying he sees quot;no reliable evidencequot; that it is an effective pain reliever. Gore took a stronger stance against use of the drug. quot;Right now, the science does not show me, or the experts whose judgment I trust, that it is the proper medication for pain and that there are not better alternatives available in every situation,quot; he said .As you can clearly see both sides of the spectrum disagree with the use of drugs. When it comes to voting and the voters behavior many issues are at hand , when deciding who you would like to run our country. Voters opinions are affected by the views and believes of the candidates running for each office. Of course you wouldn’t nominate someone for office who’s been hitting the pipe, so the candidates have to uphold a certain image to the world, and disagree with any drug policies. The election process does not necessarily deal with the war on drugs , unless you are talking about the sandal aspect of it. In many cases the opposing candidate try to make there competition look bad by accusing them of having relations with drugs or other illegal things . When these things are said it will and can affect the outcome of the election.
  • 3. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign uses all media from television to the internet to discourage drug uses by the youth, increase the perception of risk and disapproval associated with drugs, and encourage parents and other adults to talk to children about drugs. The media campaign has been criticized on grounds of its implementation and effectiveness. Nothing that the total media campaign budget now goes beyond $1 billion since inceptions. The media is a main form of drug exploitation today , the media is the source to all the gossip and rumors and truths surrounding the drug scene, with not only everyday citizen but also celebrities and political figures. Each day there is always a headline dealing with illegal drug usage. Though people are aware of the deadly affects of some of these drugs, it seems to have little or no affect on the regular users. Depending on the age group, the public opinion on the drug society is usually a yes or a no, meaning people either agree with them or don’t. there is not a gray area on this subject. As of today there are more then 300 interest groups that fight against drugs and these groups are located in over 19 countries. The interest groups take this very seriously, and are dedicated to taking illegal drugs out of the scene for good. The U.S. government remains committed to the zero tolerance policy when it comes to the use of controlled substances. Efforts to enforce prohibition have been pursed even more intense in the 1980s and 1990s then there was in the 1920s. Total federal expenses for the first year on prohibition came out to be
  • 4. $88 million dollars. Drug enforcement costs about $19 billion dollars alone in federal funding alone. There are now about 400,00 drug offenders in jails and prisons , and more than 60 percent of federal prisons are populated by drug offenders. Many believe that congress should deal with drug prohibition the way they dealt with alcohol prohibition. And others feel completely opposite. Both views have a valid points, depending on how it is speculated and which points are used in making your decision on where you stand. All and all congress still aims against it and does not see how stopping the war on drugs will help our country in any way. The Obama administration signaled that it was ready to repudiate the prohibition and quot;war on drugsquot; approach of previous presidents. The new administration would embrace policies supporting federally funded needle exchanges. The aim, he said, was to establish a policy based on public health needs. In recent years, congress has taken an increasingly punitive stance toward drug addicts and casual users alike. Different approaches has been taken by certain countries in Europe and elsewhere that experiment with less restrictive policies like decriminalization and “harm reduction” programs. Congress received strong encouragement from Executive Branch to continue on its current plan. Other drug control issues likely to be taken up in the first session include nomination of a new administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration because of the confirmation of the current administrator as Under-Secretary in the new Department of Homeland Security. Other issues could also be the
  • 5. subject of congressional studies, investigations, and oversight hearings, if not legislation. These include state ballot initiatives regarding medical marijuana and drug treatment in lieu of incarceration, the effects of the state budget deficits on the states’ drug control efforts, and the impact of the anti-terrorism effort on the drug war. Other current developments concerning the war on drugs, both in the Executive Branch and elsewhere, are of likely interest to the Congress. The war on drugs issue is an issue all around the world. In the future I believe the government should start focusing on the people who demand the drugs rather than the people who supply them. When less people demand the drugs the less the drug dealers will want to supply causing the drug use rate to go down. Also in the near future I doubt any illegal drug will be legalized for sale. Although in my opinion marijuana should be legalized, my reasoning is because marijuana effects are those similar to alcohol which is legal and u can not be poisoned instantly. Marijuana may be bad for your body in the long run, however tobacco is legal and causes cancer as marijuana does not. The nations crime and drug rate will drop drastically if the legalization of marijuana passes and the U.S. will save money in the long run. In the future America, will spend more and more money on the war on drugs if it is not solved soon.