Thesis: War on Drugs is counterproductive<br />Soaring incarceration rates; racial disparities<br />Creates violent but wealthy underground market; funds terrorism; corruption of law-makers and enforcers<br />Costs associated could be put to better, more productive use<br />Drugs are more readily available today and are more potent<br />Users are less likely to seek treatment for fear of arrest<br />Spread of HIV through unsanitary needles<br />Violation of civil liberties<br />
1875 - California passes law against opium, popular amongst Chinese<br />1883 - Congress uses constitutional power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises" to heavily tax imported opium<br />1906 - Pure Food and Drug Act requires all patent medicines containing drugs be labeled<br />1914 - Harrison’s Narcotic Act regulates and taxes importation and distribution of opium and coca leaves<br />1922 - creation of Federal Narcotics Control Board<br />1930 - Federal Bureau of Narcotics created within the Treasury Department <br />mid-1930s - new machinery allows hemp fiber to be more easily and economically separated from the plant<br />By 1937, 46 of 48 states have laws against marijuana; Congress passes Marijuana Tax Act<br />Early Legislative History<br />
War Declarations<br />late-1960s - recreational drug use rises among white, middle class<br />1968 – Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs founded and oversight moves from Treasury to Justice Department<br />1970 - Controlled Substances Act shifts focus from taxation to interstate commerce and creates “schedules”; Narcotics Treatment Administration founded– crime in D.C. decreases by 41%<br />1971 - soldiers in Vietnam become addicted to heroin; Nixon declares “War on Drugs”<br />1973 – Drug Enforcement Administration is established, consolidating agents from BNDD, the CIA, Customs<br />1976 – Carter and his drug czar campaign for legalization of marijuana<br />early-1980s – cocaine trafficking becomes prominent, violence ensues<br />1984 – Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign focuses on white, middle class children<br />
Modern Artillery<br />1985 - crack epidemic hits New York <br />1986 - Reagan signs Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which appropriates $1.7 billion to fight the crisis and creates mandatory minimum sentencing<br />1989 - Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) created under Bush, drug czar campaigns “denormalization”<br />1993 - NAFTA, signed by Clinton, greatly increases legitimate trade at U.S. / Mexico border, increasing the burden on Customs<br />1995 - U.S. Sentencing Commission recommends revising mandatory minimums, citing racial disparities in crack v. cocaine; for the first time in history, Congress overrides their recommendation<br />2003 - Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act signed: targets ecstasy, meth-amphetamines, and predatory drugs<br /><ul><li> 2009 - drug czar announces end to </li></ul> War on Drugs rhetoric, although no <br /> major policy or budget changes; <br /> Obama administration announces it <br /> will no longer bust clinics that <br /> legally dispense medical marijuana<br />
Hostages and Casualties<br />Incarceration<br />Drug-related Homicides<br />Over 10,500 executions in Mexico since beginning of President Felipe Calderon’s term on Dec 1, 2006<br />Someone is arrested for violating a drug law every 17 seconds, over 1.6 million this year<br />Drug offenders make up about 60% of total prison population; this is a 1200% increase since 1980<br />US Population v. Prison population disenfranchises blacks and Hispanics (blacks make up only 12% of U.S. population and 44% inmates) <br />US imprisons more of its population than any other industrialized nation<br />
ECONOMICS<br />According to American Corrections Association, states spend over $6 billion per year to imprison drug offenders<br />Drug trade is a $400 billion per year industry<br />U.S. Federal government spends more every year to combat drug trade, approximately $18 billion for 2009; states spent about $27 billion for 2009<br />Related criminal and medical costs in the US total over $67 billion per year<br />
Proponents of Prohibition: Counter-Arguments<br />“If the international community cooperates, we can and will win” (so far other governments have not fully cooperated)<br />“Demand can be reduced through raising price and lowering purity” (this has, empirically, been proven to the opposite)<br />“We are trying to fight $400 billion business on a $100 million budget; we need more money” (as shown, the more we spend, the greater the problem has gotten)<br />
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