In the US, the Drug Enforcement Agency conducts and orders over 30,000 arrests annually connected to the trading and circulation of illicit narcotics. More than 32% of total convicts in State Prisons in America are probably under the manipulation of drugs or in drug possession when the arrests are being conducted, and this figure is over 25% for Federal prison incarcerates. It is proven fact that drug trades and drug trafficking is a booming business, valued well above $50 Billion annually in Mexico, which also has found its way to the United States. It is speculated that the death of the drug supply business in Mexico would result in the country’s economy massive contraction by more than 63%. Illegal drug consumption is connected to a number of top causes of fatality in the US, including HIV contamination, murder, pneumonia, hepatitis, violent behavior, suicide, psychological illness, and motor-vehicle accidents. It is worth noting that there are more than 4,400 DEA detectives at present carrying out investigations devoted to combating drug deals and drug supply across the American territory. The following quantities of drugs were seized by the DEA in 2008, all inside the boundaries of the US: cocaine (49823.3kilograms), hallucinogens (9199693 units), methamphetamines (1540 kilograms), marijuana (660969 kilograms), and heroin (598.6 kilograms).
This system of unlimited allocation and imprisonment needs a similar unlimited provision of drug criminals. Drug traders have a reliable market of leisure consumers and addicts. Individuals who are addicted to drugs are motivated to use them in spite of limitations positioned on them by the public. The natural character of addiction dictates that no matter how costly or forbidden the drug is, an addict will carry on with his/her drug abuse. It is important to note that the synthetically puffed up cost of illicit drugs may actually encourage crime activities. 16% of state prisoners and 18% of federal prisoners testify on having committed their felonies to cater for their addictions on drugs.
Life is a vicious circle for these drug addicts. They start in the streets, then get arrested and jailed, and the cycle goes on and on. After incarceration and imprisonment, the drug addicts do not get the necessary treatment meant to assist in the management and reduction of their addiction. This unfair treatment of these drug addicts is not only unjust but also an expensive process that misuses money paid by the taxpayer. Communal treatment involving addicted individuals is among the least expensive and cost effective tactics of minimizing crimes that are related to drug use, which is approximately $25, 000 less per year than incarceration. A dollar utilized on drug addiction treatment produces about $18 in cost savings related to crimes. Meanwhile, a dollar spent on incarcerations brings forth a disputable $0.40. It is, therefore, obvious that the government should be in pursuit of the more logical, less expensive, and civilized tactic and procedure of treating the chronic problem of drug addiction. Nevertheless, the drug war has blinded the individuals who make policies and thereby fostered the continuation of the broken system, which lays emphasis where none is required and ignores issues that should not be ignored.
The underlying principles and fundamental policies of incarcerating drug dealers and the drug users adopted by the United States government and the lawmakers in the same manner take the assumption that disciplinary procedures enforced by the US prison and reformatory institutions will help prevent other individuals from committing similar offenses. On the contrary, the assumption has a lot of flaws and has miserably failed to take into consideration other alternative measures that could have been adopted to cure the problem. For the reason that the unlawful drug business is so luxurious and well-paying and since the drug prices are temporarily hiked due to prohibition, incarcerated dealers and key players are quickly substituted by other younger drug dealers. Currently, the rate of unemployment is quite high, standing at about 9.5%; this, therefore, means that a lot of young people have no jobs and any opening for drug dealers entices them to become engaged in the criminal acts of drug peddling, supply, and eventually using. In regions where the economic situation is bad off, recruitment into the drug empires is quite easy as no coercion is required.
Thus, from the research conducted by scholars and private entities, it is evident that the effort of combating drugs in the United States is unsustainable. Drugs reforms need to be carried out with aim to save the addicts; however, with the current rift in Congress, the amendment and passing of such a complicated and controversial policy may not be achievable at present. Nonetheless, there is still hope in the political dimensions that the current disputable drug war will eventually come to an end. Jim Webb, a US senator of Virginia, brought forward the controversial National Criminal Justice Act of 2009. It was meant to establish a nationwide commission on criminal justice, which would conduct public workshops to hear and evaluate people’s views on the criminal justice system and, therefore, undertake a complete review of the justice system, inclusive of the federal, tribal, local, and state governments’ procedures, criteria, policies, and costs incurred by the criminal justice.
In spite of the bipartisan support shown by congressmen, the controversial bill could not make it to the Senate floor in order for the voting to be cast to determine whether it could be passed or not. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that a political harmony is gradually developing; hopefully, soon the unnecessary War on Drugs will be eliminated and the focus will be shifted to others issues where more help and emphasis is required. It will, however, need several years of very hard work to achieve the goals of end in the war against drugs, but giving power to criminal justice professionals rather than ignorant politicians and lawmakers to make crucial policies is the best way to reform the United States’ prison system, which is in dire need of reforms, while at the same time, defeating the War on Drugs and introducing healthy and viable ways to cure addiction, supply, and general crimes associated with drugs.