Although the issue of what to do about dangerous, possibly addicting drugs such as heroin and cocaine have long been issues within many countries, the approaches taken to stem the tide have had widely varying results. …
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America’s war against recreational drugs is an example of good intentions gone terribly wrong. While this country squanders over billions of dollars annually on the efforts to stop illegal drugs, trafficking and use continue. It has been said that trying to stop drugs is like trying to stop the rain, still, the ‘war’ continues and was a prominent issue for President Bush in his 2000 campaign. Soon after his election, Bush created a ‘drug czar’ and promised to end illegal drug trafficking. Of course this was an exercise in futility as it had been for previous presidents and became just one in a long list of Bush’s failures. Failing to stop drug trafficking was not his fault, however, because it cannot be done and, as this discussion will argue, should not be attempted.
With the number of Vietnam vets returning from war addicted to narcotics, President Nixon officially declared the opening of the War on Drugs in 1971, primarily directed against heroin addiction. The positive effects that were seen coming out of this early stage in the anti-drug movement has been attributed to the fact that a larger proportion of the funding available for this struggle was directed toward treatment, rather than law enforcement. Following Nixon’s resignation, the anti-drug effort gained a new focus, that of enforcing anti-drug laws and collecting the associated fines. This movement gained strength and direction under President Reagan in 1981 after the drug cartels in Colombia had violently made their presence known in Miami. The focus was finally turned to marijuana smugglers because of their connection to cocaine trafficking in the mid-80s.
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