The War on Drugs has been raging on since the 1970s when President Nixon declared drugs as America’s Public Enemy Number One. Since then Reagan increased the efforts against with a popular “tough on crime attitude” in which drug users, addicts, and traffickers alike were all treated as serious criminals. America now incarcerates more of its population per capita than any other sovereign nation in history. America’s jailing of its people has gotten to a point where the private prison industry is a lucrative and ever-expanding market; but if so many of our “criminals” are in correctional facilities, then why then does the United States of America still have the biggest drug use problem in the world?
Using tools such as empirical data, academic journals, economic ideologies, and utilitarian philosophy it is easy to see that the current “tough on crime” system the United States uses to combat drug use is plain not working. Mass incarcerations have led to fraudulent, corrupt, unethical and amoral private prison corporations and the suppression of America’s weakest peoples. Meanwhile, across the pond, countries like Portugal are experiencing great success with the decriminalization of drugs. The United States Government needs to acknowledge the flaws of its current system and acknowledge the potential of decriminalization.
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