Why America’s Drug Policies are failing Essay

Why America’s Drug Policies are failing.

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            Drugs were invented so that they could cure and prevent diseases that affected humans. As much as they were used for a good cause some people whether by mistake or intentional discovered that some drugs stimulated them in a nice way and as this urges continued coupled with curiosity it led to the abuse of certain drugs whose continued over use has yielded  serious side effects. That is why policies have been formulated to make sure that these drugs are not being abused.

The controlled substance Act is a U.S law that regulates the usage of drugs with regards to their production, importation and distribution through the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The law further classifies the drugs into schedules1-5; where schedule 1 has drugs with the highest potential for abuse and interesting enough, alcohol and tobacco do not appear in this list.

The policies set are failing due to a number of reasons. To begin with, the public is not educated on the ranking systems so they have no idea if certain medicines which they may be using often as prescribed by the physician are a danger to their lives.

Fish (2005) prohibition leads to crime which the authority is not well prepared to deal with. As the government prohibits the use of drugs, people are developing new ways and other forms of substances to abuse. For instance, over the years, drug addicts have moved from using opium, to heroine, then to cocaine and now using marijuana with high THC levels the government is saying that heroine and cocaine use is reducing but that is not true as statistics; shown by the people who are being admitted in the drug rehabilitation centers is on the increase. The black market is not making the situation better as addicts to such illicit substances will go to any extent including prostitution which then leads to STDs or HIV to get money to buy the drugs.

When the government is trying to address drug problems, its policies are intertwined in that there is no clear distinction on what exactly it’s being addressed. Is it the increasing number of drug users, the health effects or the impact of crime to the society? Furthermore, the government has spent a lot of money in solving this issues and locking up people while it should be focusing on formulating constructive policies to handle these problems without using a lot of tax money as done by other countries Borton (2007).

The US drug policies have been in place for a long time and the price of illegal drugs example coca is still as high as it was twenty years ago. Moreover, certain drugs are available and this availability constitutes cheaper prices. Therefore we can say that prohibition is a policy that has really failed.

The war in preventing the entry of scheduled drugs from our neighbor Mexico was lost a long time ago and it is the government’s responsibility to come up with proper mechanisms of dealing with this issue. Gray (2001) this is not an easy task taking into consideration that the USA has business ties with Mexico.

To conclude, America needs to accept that drug use and business is a problem that is not going away any time soon and that proper ways of tackling and managing this problem need to be formulated.


Barton, L.V. (2007). Illegal Drugs and Governmental Policies

Nova Publishers

Fish, M.J. (2005) Drugs and Society: U.S. Public Policy

Published by Rowman & Littlefield

Gray, J.P. (2001) Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and what We Can Do about

it: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs. Temple University Press

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