“War on Drugs Really working? Commentary by Jon Tucker

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Is the War on Drugs really working, or is it just a money pit?

You hear it in the news all the time, “Police raid dealers hideout, seizes
300 kilos of cocaine”, or “Largest bust in the the Northern U.S.” or of
accounts of people getting caught with drugs. To the average American that
seems like a victory for law enforcement, but on the grand scheme of things,
is a cocaine bust that obtains 300 kilos really that much of a hurt on the
drug trade? If it doesn’t work now, will it ever work in the future? And,
what are our alternatives?

First off, to see if we are making a dent, you have to first look at the
demand. I’ve read studies that says 7 out of 10 people either smoke
marijuana, or have tried it for the first time, and of that 70%, roughly
more than half that do it on a regular basis. *Regular basis defined as
weekly user, that even counts for the weekend warriors* Okay so lets say in
a metropolitan area, 70% of the people are either trying for the first time,
has done it already, or are current users. Now roughly 55% of that is
current users. So a city of lets say Tampa, of 340,882 in 2009, 70% of that
is 238617.4 of either people trying it for the first time or already have,
or who continue to do it. Then you have the current users 131,239.57. Now
then, this is only statistical math, this doesn’t account for all cities,
and personal choices that have been made, but this will be the math we’re
following to explain the example. Now of those 131,239.57, say each one buys
a quarter ounce of pot per month, that is alone 8,202.47 lbs. a month, and
that is underestimated. So does a bust of 10 lbs. of marijuana being caught
affect the flow of pot? Maybe for that dealers connections for short while,
but as long as there is demand there has been someone there to fulfill it.
This isn’t even talking about different drugs such as cocaine, LSD, and
Ecstasy, which are more expensive and has higher risks.

So the question now is does it work, or will it ever work? Well, unless more
man power, and law enforcement would target on the suppliers and not the
middle-men, or even the big timers, there is no way of stopping it. The
demand is to high, the risk is still great, and more and more people are
trying it these days. Another reason why the “War on Drugs” isn’t working is
because wherever there is money to be made, it will be motivated by greed,
and it will find it’s way to the end user. The black market has always been
a lucrative business, and that is why the drug trade will never go away.

So what alternatives can we come up with to be more affective in combating
America’s drug problem? First take away the harsh laws. You take away the
laws that bans these drugs and you will take away the risk, you take away
the risk, the price drops, and so does crime. Drugs will no longer be
lucrative, so there for drug dealers will be less paranoid, less violent,
and would have to go into other forms of crime to make money. Drugs are a
gangs life line. You take away that ability to make that much money and you
take away their ability to expand and fight wars, thus reducing criminal
activity. Another way is to prosecute the dealers and rehabilitate the
users. What good does it do to arrest the dealer, when the demand is still
out there. How does arresting the dealers and users going to keep the demand
down? You arrest one dealer and put them away for a long time. Okay that’s
great, but now there is two to three more taking his place. You see you
haven’t taken away the demand. People who get caught with these drugs should
be put through more effective rehabilitation programs. Once the user is
rehabilitated, the demand has dropped significantly. Then you have really
made a impact.

With the billions of dollars spent on the “War on Drugs” little has been
done to slow down the mass amount of drugs being brought into the country
daily. More effective ways should be placed, and major changed needs to be
done. Take away the allure and you have taken away from the desire. To fight
a losing battle will only make you tired, and wastes a lot of useful energy
that could be put to better use. There are many different ways changes could
be made and that’s by writing letters, signing petitions, and rallying
together. Its not impossible, other states have shown that it works with
little problems, why cant we do this nation wide, and change the laws that
are in place now.