Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Why America Is Fighting A Losing Battle On Drugs

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn why the USA is losing the war on drugs

In 1971 President Richard Nixon declared war on drugs. The thought then was drug trafficking within the United States would be reduced greatly in a short period of time through federal policing, which as we all know folks is total bollocks. The cost has been great not only in lives, but money and the health of thousands of Americans, mostly the poor and not so well educated. Which begs the question, if the USA maintain that it is due to the poor that the rise in drugs has continued, how they hell can they afford drugs, if they are so poor?

The monetary cost to the American taxpayers because of this legendary war on drugs includes the police, court personnel used to convict drug users and traffickers, and guards and other resources spent on prisons and punishing people that are convicted of drug offences. The total current cost of this is an estimated $40 billion a year.

These don't include other harmful effects that are hard to quantify. For instance, over the last 40 years the amount of students that have dropped out of high school has remained big, around 25%. Drop out rates are not so high for middle class white children, but are extremely high for black and Hispanic children that live in poor areas. Many factors explain the drop out rates, especially crappy schools and poor family support. But another vital factor in city neighbourhoods is the need to drop out of school to profit from the drug trade.

The total amount of people incarcerated in prisons in the U.S. has risen from 330,000 in 1980 to around 1.6 million as from today. Much of this increase is directly connected to the war on drugs and the punishment for people that are convicted of drug trafficking. About 50% of the inmates have been convicted of selling or using drugs. The minor drug traffickers and drug users that go to jail find less opportunities for employment after they are released from prison.

However, I just want to add a personal note, when you compare the likes of the USA to smaller places like Amsterdam for example, who by the way have made a lot of drugs now legal. When you compare their jail inmate percentages to America's it is actually quite startling. Which begs the question, which country is doing it right?

No comments:

Post a Comment