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Julia Borger Blog Post 11/9

I found the article “Four Decades and Counting: The Continued Failure of the War on Drugs” to be extremely interesting and eye-opening. I have never done much research or reading on the War on Drugs or the drug market in general, so I found many concepts surprising. I could not believe that nearly half of the 186,000 people serving time in federal prisons in the US are incarcerated on drug-related charges. This is such a staggering number that I think should be more publicized so people are aware of how many people are affected. Additionally, I found what happens to the individuals after they serve time in prison equally as surprising, with it haunting them for the rest of their lives, especially minorities or other disadvantaged groups.

Such a controversial topic that our country is divided on, such as the drug market, makes it difficult to make decisions and laws regarding it. On the surface, one may think it is a simple right and wrong scenario- drugs are bad, let’s get rid of them, however it is much more complicated than that, especially because of the money factor. I wonder if drugs did not generate as much money flow in the market, how the country would respond, if they would be more or less likely to ban them.

The statistics in this article are what make it so compelling, because the numbers do not lie. The fact that more people died in the United States from drug overdoses than from car crashes between 2000 and 2014, is astonishing. That should not happen, and should be a huge reality check for anyone reading. It also seems like launching the War on Drugs had some opposite effects than what it was hoping for, such as the spread of drug-related disease increasing as well as violence. I wonder what will happen to the drug market as the years continue, and how many more people are pulled into its world, willingly or unwillingly, and if we will come up with better ways to help those that are.

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3 Comments

  1. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    I agree that launching the War on Drugs seemingly, has only had negative effects, which is not what one would expect. Its crazy to me the factors that need to be considered when discussing drug policies and laws. While making drugs illegal should have helped eliminate drug use, instead the black market was expanded. And with the black market comes more violence, increased use, and higher potency of specific drugs, thus creating more problems that we did not face before

  2. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    I also think this article had very important numbers that are crucial to look at when considering what to do next with this War on Drugs. As you said, this is a topic that the US is divided on, and we need something concrete to help us understand the best approach. I think it’s clear that the prohibition has not helped with drug abuse, but it’s also hard to tell what would happen if we took away all laws against drugs.

  3. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I agree that the figures for the incarcerated should be publicized more frequently. If half of the incarcerated people in our country are there on drug charges then I think it is important to look and which drugs they are charged for and rethink our laws on certain drugs. I think that if we legalized certain drugs it will save a lot of lives. Both not rotting away in prison and having minimal opportunities after release. But also the drugs themselves can be more closely monitored and after if legalized.

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