The Drug War
KateLyn Laswell Am. Mon. B.
The War on Drugs has cost the U.S. trillions of dollars. The results of that $2,500,000,000,000 comes from an increase in prison population, lawyers, special agents, court proceedings, police, equipment and more. One of the most frustrating things about this War on drugs is that so much has been sacrificed, yet all of it wasn't close to meeting any real goals of the war. Instead of getting better, things have actually gotten worse. Conflict between the states and federal government has erupted because of it. This is because The U.S. Constitution has a Supremacy Clause that states federal laws as supreme to the state laws. But the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that powers that aren't granted to the federal government are given to the states. So the states try to create their own drug laws. They also use the Nullification theory, where the states can invalidate any federal law they feel is unconstitutional, which to certain states, they feel the governments laws on drugs are unconstitutional.
This war on drugs has lasted since President Nixon declared it so in 1971. Over the last 40 years none of the goals of the drug war have been met. The war hasn't had the drug users population go down, and despite all the money and effort, 82% of people believe we are loosing the war on drugs.
There have been attempts to "craft regulations that fall in line with federal priorities." The Justice Department is working with state governments that legalize marijuana. This includes "departure from former policies that conflicted with state legalization of pot", "a fundamental change in the Federal government's marijuana policy", and "a possible signal that the drug war is changing and might be ending."
The Drug War has been going on for years with little results to show for it. It has restricted the U.S. from doing many things it could have without spending all the money to try and stop the war from progressing. If The War on Drugs could finally meet its end, the U.S. could do much more. For example. give 122.7 million children low-income health care for 10 years straight or even provide 43.1 million students with grants worth $5,000, also for ten years.
Some drug users or rebellious citizens believe that in continuing the use of drugs and lengthening this war, it will somehow restrict the government, like "standing up to the man" but what many fail to realize is that they are just hurting themselves. All the money spent on trying to get this under control could have been used in many different ways to benefit people from all ages. Some may want the war on drugs to end by just allowing drugs to be legal, and fail to realize the catastrophic events that could ensue if done. There are many irresponsible people out there, and if they had the access to get drugs just as milk at the store, it would spiral society into chaos. This war will not end until Drugs are extinct. Until people realize they are just hurting themselves. This is a war that will come to an end, but the end could be very far away.