Should We Continue to Fund the War on Drugs? Amy Chamberlain Paul Fleischer Alcione Frederick Nick Hager Do you remember? Prohibition, the move to decrease alcohol consumption in 1919 National Prohibition Act (Volstead Act or 18 th Amendment) was passed by Congress in 1919 The law prohibited the manufacture, transportation and sale of beverages containing more than 0.5 per cent alcohol, particularly beer Beer consumption reduced dramatically Prohibition Consequences However, this created the market for hard liquor Moonshine, bath-tub gin, home brewed spirits, etc.
In addition, the following happened: An increase in: Substance-related deaths Government spending to enforce the law Judicial caseloads Prison population Violent crime, including murder The alcohol production and distribution became decentralized and democratized Organized crime boomed as criminals jumped at the chance to quench the demand for liquor However, most of the production and distribution was done on a smaller scale by average citizens The End of Prohibition When the American people saw what Prohibition was doing to them, they supported its repeal through the 21st Amendment in 1933 Made the rules and regulations surrounding alcohol control a State matter
Within a few years, the production and consumption of alcohol fell by 50% Instituted the Three -Tier System: Producers, wholesalers, retailers Drug War Clock as of Friday 10/22/04 Money spent on the War On Drugs in 2003: $19.179 billion at a rate of approx. $600 per second People arrested for Drug Law offenses this year: 1,279,214 People incarcerated for Drug Law offenses this year: 191,773 History of Drug Laws 1875 Anti-Opium Ordinance, San Francisco the smoking of opium was forbidden in opium dens 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act at face-value this was a law for the orderly marketing of opium, morphine, heroin, and cocaine in small quantities over the counter, and in larger quantities on a physician's prescription in the
course of his professional practice only 1936 - Reefer Madness is released and shown to school children as a deterrent for drug use 1937 Marijuana Tax Act - purpose of the Act is to levy a token tax of $1 per ounce for authorized transfers on all buyers, sellers, importers, growers, physicians, veterinarians, and any other persons who deal in marijuana commercially, prescribe it professionally, or possess it History cont. 1960s Counterculture revolution!!! Recreational drug use becomes fashionable among young, white, middle class Americans 1970 - Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act - consolidates previous drug laws and reduces penalties for marijuana possession. It also strengthens law enforcement by allowing police to conduct "no-knock" searches 1971 - Soldiers in Vietnam develop heroin addiction 1971 - Nixon declares war on drugs. At a press conference Nixon names drug abuse as "public enemy number one in the United States." He announces the
creation of the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP) Controlled Substances Act Schedule I (Most Dangerous) PCP Ecstasy Heroin Marijuana LSD Quaaludes Peyote Magic mushrooms
Schedule II Codeine Cocaine Coca leaves Amphetamine Crack Morphine Oxycodone Opium poppy and derivatives Controlled Substances Act Schedule III
Anabolic steroids Barbituric acid and derivatives synthetic THC in sesame oil/soft gelatin Testosterone Morphine combos Codeine combos Schedule IV Valium Barbitone Propacet Halcion Schedule V (Least Dangerous) Codeine preparations
Ethylmorphine preparations Opium preparations Whos using? According to the DEA, there are approx. 30-40 million US citizens who have used an illegal drug within the last year or so this number, however, is speculated to be significantly higher The U.S. has 5% of the Worlds population but consumes 60% of its illicit drugs Drug Usage Among Children Since 1992, federal surveys indicate an increase in adolescent drug use The Office of National Drug Control Policys plan for budgeting drug control during the years 1998-2003 included spending less than 12% on youth prevention 12% of the 100 billion planned The Research Triangle Institute reported that DARE students were no less likely to
use drugs than students who were not involved with the program In 1975, 87% of youths said it was very easy or fairly easy to obtain marijuana. In 1998, 89.6% said it was easily obtained The Cost of The War on Drugs Historical Drug Control Funding by Function (Budget Authority in Millions) FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 1998 FY 2003 FY 2004 Function Actual
Actual Actual Actual Actual Request Request Total 8,179.0 9,760.1 10,703.0 10,401.4
11,485.0 11,239.0 11,679.3 Drug Treatment 2,002.5 2,230.8 2,296.8 2,549.4 2,604.1 2,691.4 2,941.4 Drug Prevention
1,913.7 1,960.9 2,103.3 *The Domestic Law Enforcement Category consists of money used for the criminal justice system, other research, and intelligence. Whats More Important Prevention or Enforcement? FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002
FY 2003 FY 2004 Function Actual Actual Final BA Final BA Enacted Request Request Total 8,179.0
9,760.2 10,703.0 10,401.4 11,485.0 11,239.0 11,679.3 Drug Treatment, Prevention & Research 3,929.8 4,316.1 4,499.7
Represents money allocated, does not include outside budget spending, in reality, figures are closer to $18 - 20 billion a year Costs of Incarcerating Drug Offenders Costs to incarcerate a drug-dealer is as follows: Arrest + conviction - $150,000 Additional Prison Bed - $50,000-$150,000 Yearly Housing - $30,000 (Note: the avg sentence is 5 years, which raises the # to $150,000) Approx. max. total = $450,000 Cost if estimated 30-40 million yearly drug abusers were imprisoned $10-$15 trillion Incarceration Rates According to the Department of Justice there are approx. 2 million people incarcerated in the U.S.
U.S. leads the world in Incarceration Rates The number of people behind bars in the United States for drug crimes alone now exceeds the number of people in prison in Europe for all crimes combined % Federally Imprisoned by Offense in U.S. 60.00% Drug Offenses 59.6% 50.00% Robbery 9.8% 40.00% Property Offenses 5.5% 30.00% Extortion, Fraud, Bribery 6.8%
20.00% Violent Offenses 2.7% 10.00% Firearms, Explosives, Arson 8.6% 0.00% Offense White Collar 1% Discrimination in Incarceration Rates Approx. of young American black men are either in prison or on parole. Most of them were arrested on non-violent drug charges The rate for incarcerated whites is less
than ten times the rate of blacks Arguments FOR the Drug War A state cannot tolerate or be involved with the distribution of immoral substances Recreational use of certain drugs is unhealthy and dangerous for the user's body Drugs are addictive, they rob the user of free will A drug user cant make an informed and rational decision to continue using drugs If illegal drugs were legalized, dealers would invent more dangerous and addictive drugs in order to maintain their profit Arguments FOR cont Drug use is dangerous to people other than the user, in the rise of health care costs, violence associated with the use of drugs and neglect of children by drug-addicted parents If drugs were legalized, the companies that manufacture and market them would be sued, as have the tobacco companies
Drug use negatively impacts the economy in the form of users missing work and doing poor work. Soft drugs, such as marijuana, are gateways to harder drugs cocaine, heroin Arguments FOR cont If illegal drugs are legalized, the FDA will have to be shut down, meaning that all health and safety restrictions on foods and drugs will be eliminated. Massive epidemics of diseases, overdoses and accidental drug interactions will occur Once legalized, corporations would advertise and promote addictive drugs to increase profit We have to protect the children Arguments AGAINST If the goal of a state is to protect citizens' health and well-being, drugs should be legalized so that their purity can be monitored Other countries that have experimented with degrees of legalization have had positive results: Prohibition vs. Legalization the U.S. Policy vs.
programs used in Europe Comparison of U.S. to Amsterdam & Holland: US: marijuana is outlawed Amsterdam: marijuana is legal, sales are regulated, selling to minors is prohibited Holland has 100s of shops where pot is tolerated US: 38% of adolescents have smoked pot Holland: 20% of adolescents have smoked pot Arguments AGAINST cont Drug legalization will decrease organized and disorganized crime by putting the distributors out of business Drug use is a victimless crime which means it should be legal W.O.D. facilitates police corruption, by injecting huge profits into the black market W.O.D is hypocritical because only certain drugs are targeted. Other drugs, such as alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are legal, yet cause many more problems than current illegal drugs Tobacco 390,000
Alcohol 80,000 Second-hand Smoke from Tobacco 50,000 All Illegal Drugs Combined 4,500; Marijuana 0 Arguments AGAINST cont Legalizing drugs will help keep more dangerous and addictive drugs from minors, for whom the deleterious effects are greater Drug legalization will enable users to be certain that they are receiving the correct drug The strict enforcement of drug laws has led to overcrowding prisons and the early release of violent offenders Legalization would prevent any government excuse to ban the industrial use of hemp which can be made into about 50,000 products In addition, The War on Drugs funds Terrorism and helped bring about 9/11 In March 2002, in a statement before the Senate
Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government, Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.) reported that opium production in Afghanistan [under the Taliban] accounted for 72 percent of production worldwide and was used to shelter Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda terrorists He similarly indicated that bin Laden provided protection to heroin-processing labs, was a part owner in numerous labs, [and] part owner of one load shipped to the U.S. Parallels between Prohibition An increase in: Substance-related deaths Government spending to enforce the law Judicial caseloads Prison population Violent crime, including murder
The alcohol production and distribution became decentralized and democratized Organized crime boomed as criminals jumped at the chance to quench the demand for liquor However, most of the production and distribution was done on a smaller scale by average citizens War on Drugs Increases N/A $18 billion annually; total $40 billion (including State) Largest prison pop. with 59.6% drug based Added 11,000 murders/yr during 1980s
Drug production and distribution is decentralized and democratized No criminal syndicate, however, there are large-scale operations Most are small-scale entrepreneurs In addition, theres a relationship between drug prohibition and law enforcement corruption Murder in America Homicides per 100,000 population 1900 - 1997 (FBI Uniform Crime Reports) 10 9 8 7 6 5
4 3 2 1 0 1900 1915 1930 1945 1960 1975 1997 What Prohibition Teaches Us Prohibition causes crime the consensus of opinion among criminologists is that "prohibition is shown to directly increase violent
crime, even in cases where it deters drug use. The more resources given to the fight against drugs, the greater the homicide rate" Prohibition encourages waste There will always be a market for mind-altering substances Profits from drugs sold in a similar manner as alcohol can go towards treatment and education Prohibition ignores the functional drug user The 40+ million that use drugs and still function in society What Prohibition Teaches Us cont No amount of legislation or social engineering is going to prevent some people from using substances others disapprove of According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Americans still generally use illicit drugs with the same frequency they have since the drug war began, despite harsher
sentences, increased funding for law enforcement, more prisons, expensive public relations campaigns and frightening trespasses on our civil liberties We agree with the widely held belief that the War on Drugs is the modern-day Prohibition and therefore should no longer be funded Sources Sources http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/cron/ www.addictiondoctor.com http://www.druglibrary.org http://www.drugwarfacts.org http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/index.html http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/statistics/statistics.shtml http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-38.8/37187.html#rid-37237
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