Drug Myths, Laws, and Enforcement - The War on Drugs
By: Ally Smith
The War on Drugs has plagued the United States since the 1970s when President Richard Nixon took office and has yet to end. It is because of the War on Drugs that money is being lost, funds are being misused, and there is an overabundance of Black people in prisons. Therefore, the only proper solution to end this constant stalemate is to reconsider our viewpoints on drugs and be more cognizant of the intentional destruction it had on so many Black families, communities, organizations, etc.
The “War on Drugs'' is a campaign that was started up to cleanse the American society of the drug epidemic. The reason for this was because America had become so filled with drug users that it had threatened the population. Because of this, Richard Nixon created a way to “save” his nation. He launched the War on Drugs to try to wipe out the abuse of narcotics and other drugs by the American people. Under the Nixon administration, a “drug” constituted any substance except alcohol. This appears as a legitimate reason for the “War on Drugs'' campaign.
However, there was an underlying reason which has now lead to the mass incarceration of the African-American population and the significant rise in the misuse of taxpayer dollars such as, the constant building and expansion of prisons and jails to house the growing population of inmates that reside within them as well as perpetual usage of funds to attempt to start up rehab programs which have about a fifty-fifty chance at being successful due to “Drug Rehab Success Rates Vary Depending On The Individual and Addiction.” (drugrehab.us). Because the rehabilitation process that centers offer is not always set to work this means that in most cases the money that is given to these programs is wasted because people are not always getting clean and are relapsing more than they should be. Though President Nixon appeared and deceived the American people with the right intention to launch the War on Drugs campaign, his ulterior motive of mass incrimination amongst African Americans was working well into his favor.
Nixon, in his campaign against the War on Drugs, chooses to associate two major drugs at the time with those who he saw as threats. At the time it was black people and hippies and he then used crack/cocaine to associate with the black people and marijuana with hippies. Eventually, as time progressed hippies became less prioritized as a threat, thus leaving black people to become the main targets for Nixon. This then led to him causing the public to think that using crack was something that was commonly used by Black people.
Though the War on Drugs has many problems associate on the lines of immorality and deception the biggest problem with it isn’t the fact that it was used to target African-Americans and attempt a mass incrimination on them all, but rather it's the fact that it is costing everyone on all levels of social classes lots of money ( some more than others). It is essentially robbing the people of their funds, by continuing to carry out President Nixon’s vendetta against African-Americans. For instance, in low-income areas of poor cities such as Memphis, public schools are often run down and falling apart. This falls primarily on the fault of the War on Drugs because of the great number of tax dollars that are being turned towards fighting the War on Drugs that leaves only a small amount left for educational needs. Though the War on Drugs appears as if there is no possible end to it, there is a way to turn the War around and make it so that it benefits the economy and at least alleviates some of the stress it caused from appropriating funds from taxes.