Unit 5 IP - Running Head: THE WAR ON DRUGS 1 The War on...

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Running Head: THE WAR ON DRUGS 1 The War on Drugs: Is it Effective? Warren Synecky ENGL107-1004A-01 September 8, 2010
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Running Head: THE WAR ON DRUGS 2 Abstract The war on drugs is a war that has been fought for more than a century, and with little results. We are spending a huge amount of money on this effort while prescription drug abuse numbers climb, alcohol related deaths continue to rise, and our prisons continue to be at maximum capacity with a large number of those prisoners being non-violent first time drug offenders. With so many other important issues that our government needs to focus on; economy, public school systems, and global warming to name a few, now is the time to overhaul our ineffective and costly war on drugs.
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Running Head: THE WAR ON DRUGS 3 The War on Drugs: Is it Effective? Should drugs be illegal? That is a subject heavily debated. Some people feel that doing drugs is a matter of morality, some feel it is a matter of legality, and some feel it is a matter of personal choice. One thing that I feel no one can argue against is that our current war on drugs has been ineffective and needs a serious overhaul in order to have any legitimacy. The United States has the highest percentage of its population in prisons at approximately 738 per 100,000 citizens. This comes to equal 2.1 million according to Walmsley (2007), with approximately one quarter of those being non-violent drug offenders. Having this high of a percentage of our citizens being incarcerated for a non-violent crime causes numerous issues. One issue is having so many of our citizens in prison, many on non-violent offenses, causes a huge problem with having prison orphans. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 56% of State and Federal prisoners have children. Many of these prisoners are sent to a distant facility, making it nearly impossible to maintain any type of family cohesion. Another main issue with the current war on drugs is the seemingly double standard in what we classify an illegal and legal drug. It is perfectly acceptable to drink alcohol in the United States, even though a 1998 U.S. Department of Justice report shows 40% of all violent
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Unit 5 IP - Running Head: THE WAR ON DRUGS 1 The War on...

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