DRUG CONTROL POLICY: Is it successful?
In recent years, policymakers have expressed alarm about the growing problem in our economy due to drug control policies. The question is not whether we have the laws emplaced, but rather are they the right laws? Do the policymakers who put these laws into affect, keep making the same mistakes? It seems as if our policy regarding drugs as a whole, is flawed and needs a 'fine comb' revision. Federal and state legislators and have enacted and implemented policies that, while diverse in approach, are oriented toward enforcement. These policies include the prohibition of almost any use or possession of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and a wide variety of other psychoactive substances.
To make it more difficult to buy such drugs, strategies have been implemented that range from eradication of crops like coca in source countries, through interdiction of smugglers, to disruption of street markets and incarceration of dealers within U.S. borders. At the same time, governmental agencies have sought to reduce Americans’ demand for drugs through treatment of substance abusers and prevention programs offered through schools and over the media. Most expenditures on drug control at federal, state, and local levels combined have been directed to enforcement. A few years back while I was flipping through the channels, our federal government was launching an operation to not only keep imported drug traffic out of the United States, but to overload and overwhelm, the Country who was exporting it, by keeping it in their country. It was a huge failure because like everything else, criminals will find a way to accomplish their goals of exporting and importing into the United States.
Many critics argue that the toughness of that policy has done more harm than good. Some go so far as to suggest that drugs should be legalized. Such attacks have induced equally strong defenses of current policy by enforcement proponents, who believe that...