Debate on the costs and benefits of the war on drugs

Debate on the costs and benefits of the war on drugs

Legalization of drugs

Pros to legalization of drugs in relation to crime reduction

  • The real issues can be addressed

Most of the illegal and legal drug use instances are majorly for recreational purposes. Despair and poverty are at the root of most problematic cases of drug use and it is only by addressing these critical underlying causes that there can be hope to significantly decrease the number of problematic users and in the long term reduce crime because most crime cases arise as a result of poverty.

  • Elimination the criminal market place

The market for illegal drugs is demand-led and several of people demand these drugs. The making of the production, supply and usage of some drugs illegally creates a vacuum into which cases of organized crime thrives. So by legalizing it, the criminal market will be eliminated.

  • Massively reduce crime

The prices of illegal drugs are determined by demand-led and unregulated market. The usage of illegal drugs is very expensive. This will only mean that some dependent users would resort to stealing to raise fund. Legalization of these drugs would us to regulate the market, establish a much lower price for the drugs and remove the need for users to raise funds through crime.

  • Drug users are a majority

Very recent study on drug usage shows that nearly half of all 14-16 year olds have used an illegal drug in their life and amongst young people, illegal drugs usage is seen as normal. By intensifying the war on drugs does not mean the demand will reduce. By legalizing it, we accept that drug use is just normal and it is a social issue, not a criminal justice one (White & Gorman, 2000).

Cons on the legalization of drugs in relation to crime reduction

(How it increases crime)

Legalization might increase crime in the short term by increasing criminal activities like robbery, kidnapping and extortion while having uncertain effects on reduction of violence.

It will not be easy for ex-criminals to find legal jobs, therefore this may increase other criminal activities that can hurt American citizens directly and might resolve to a life of crime.

The incentives to battle for territorial control and grounds will make the people involved result to criminal intent in order to gain territorial control and it will remain in place.

The Posse Comitatus Act

The Act simply states that whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both (Hohnsbeen, 1985).

The impact of the Posse Comitatus Act on the use of military force in drug enforcement activities

Low-level drug raids using SWAT Teams. When the police and the military are executing a search warrant in the event that there has been no formal form of accusation of a crime and rather, the police just act on the basis of a probable cause to believe that drugs will be present in the premises and it is allowed by the Act.

Militarization of domestic law enforcement. The most popular use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, and they are usually with force, unannounced entry into the home they hold a probable cause.

Southwest Border Counter-narcotics Strategy. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that was established in Latin American Southwest Border Section, functions in the strengthening of intelligence-driven investigations which target transnational criminal organizations impacting the Southwest border.

Does long term imprisonment of drug offenders lead to increased criminal behavior?

Prisons should not be used with having the expectation that it will reduce criminal behaviour of a drug offender.

On the basis of previous research, the excessive use of incarceration has enormous cost implications and no major results to be achieved off in relation to eradicating recidivism.

The primary justification of prisons should be that it should function to incapacitate offenders for reasonable periods of time in order to exact retribution because it is not guarantee that they will change the criminal behavior of the drug offender (Spohn & Holleran, 2002).

Also read Dear America - American Patriotism Essay.