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Nevertheless, there have been tentative signals that the administration is receptive to new approaches as indicated by recent call for change in domestic policy. The US war on drugs is wide-ranging and includes interdiction, eradication and criminal enforcement activities; however, despite the efforts, narcotic trafficking continues at an alarming level. History and scope of the issue In 1914, the US regulated narcotics with the Harrison Narcotics Act in order to ensure effectiveness in provisions of the Hague Convention of 1912. The act became the foundation for unlawful drugs in the early twentieth century since the act cut off legal supplies of narcotics for many users effectively; thus, it was responsible for the beginning of illicit drug industry. There are arguments that legislative change aimed at regulating the marketing of opiates; however, the actual implementation of the Act turned out to be essentially prohibitionist. Subsequent legislation, starting with Jones-Miller Act of 1920 criminalized importation of narcotics; moreover, the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 placed marijuana in the category of opium and cocaine. These early pieces of legislation have been the beginning of the ever-increasing criminalization of these substances use and a focal point on supply curtailment through prohibitions and criminal penalties (Miron, 2008).
The 1970s saw major transformations in the legislature concomitant with the increase of illicit drug use, which was tracked by some individuals to the 1960s society of protests and social rebellion. At that time, the use of drugs transitioned from the domain of the marginalized Americans to the domain of middle class Americans. Thus, by 1975, most of the young individuals (55%) used banned drugs by the time they cleared high school (Saadatmand, Toma & Choquette, 2012). Illegal drug use reached fresh altitude during this era with the hippies, and the counterculture movement. The major impetus, which heightened response, to drug use was traceable to the migration of opiate drug use from the marginalized to the middle class. Nevertheless in the late 1960s, members of lower socioeconomic groups continued to be over-represented as heroin users, as well there was a greater representation within the affluent society (UNODC, 2010). Use of illegal narcotics has continuously been considered by the successive US administrations as a major social ill; nevertheless, Nixon administration viewed the problem as a national emergency and illicit drug use that was considered public enemy number one in the US. The Nixon government in 1970 approved a Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Prevention and Control act that consolidated several drug-related laws; though, the act decoupled marijuana from the category of cocaine and other opiates it notably expanded the power of police for search and seizure (Miron, 2008). Thus, placing drug control at the top of the national agenda began a legislative fury that produced several acts that aimed at increasing the scope, breadth and reach of illicit drug control legislation. Perspectives and Analysis of policy The war on drugs is not a tightly defined initiative but a loose set of policies and programs, which gained momentum during the Nixon administration with signing of Comprehensive drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act and the increase in resources allocated to the effort. Nixon formed and initiated the
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The two issues destroy the pillars of the society, potentially destroying inter community and intra community relations. For several decades, the fight against these two issues has been of great concern to media. This war on drugs and terrorism began actively in the twentieth century when the two issues began to significantly affecting the societal setup in various communities.
During the period, the operation has achieved mixed results, but the increasing incidents of drug use and supply has drastically undermined the credibility of the campaign.On the positive side, the war on drug campaign has increased awareness concerning the adverse effects of narcotics use in the society. However, the punitive enforcement approach used to control drug use and supply particularly in the United States and other countries has resulted to severe and adverse consequences, which have drastically undermined the success of the war on drugs.
Moreover, it is wrong to surmise that making drugs illegal leads to an increase in their abuse. This statement can be established by comparing the number of alcoholics to the number of drug abusers. The former are much larger in number, and this drives home the fact that legalizing drugs would lead to a much larger number of drug addicts. A telling example is provided by the enactment of the US Narcotics Act of 1914, which resulted in a major decrease in the number of drug users (Clark).
According to Global commission of drug policy (2011) US has spent $1trillion on this war and is considered as the longest and most in-effective war in which US is engaged. Expert’s estimates the cost has approximately run to $40billion annually. This war has not affected only American empire but also affected America’s many possessions and provinces, including most of the Europe who were forced to adopt same laws to penalize criminals explained by Johman (2000) .The first anti drug act which was carried by Nixon was in 1969 in which he banned cannabis entering in US from Mexican border.
Drugs are dangerous not only because of the financial and psychological effects on society but also because drugs are unraveling the social fabric by gripping our youth in a cycle of drug addiction and disease that can only ultimately lead to violence and harm.The criminal conduct associated with drug usage has high public costs. Even the successful prevention of drug supply has not helped in limiting drug related criminal behavior.
The most stringent law nor the broader use of the state’s police power have not deterred people from its used and this only manifests that the escalation of control and police enforcement is a wrong response. It only pushed the industry into the black market which begets another set of problems.
Efficiently confronting the drug problem involves both preventing the issue from arising through drug eradication and military involvement, as well as by providing remedial solution to the problem through different methods of treatment. A study on drug trade shows the role played by colonization in the growth of international opium and cocaine trades and the essay analyzes this. Furthermore, an analysis of the ways in which conflict and wars play an important role in establishing a drug market have also been discussed.