The Global War on Drugs
The War on Drugs started in June 1971 when US president Richard Nixon announced drug abuse to be ‘public’s big enemy’ and raised federal funding for drug-control agencies and drug treatment efforts.The War on Drugs is a term used to refer to a government-led initiative that aims to stop illegal drug use, distribution and trade according to the article written by A&E. (A&E) In this short essay I will be discussing many points that deal with the war on drugs and how it affects children, low income households and ones that are no longer in the system.
One in three men will go to jail according to the first video “What It Looks Like” … Casualties are not always dead corpses, it can be damaged children. Some think mothers are not capable of raising a “man”, therefore some young male kids often go to the streets to find that “father figure”. It is some sort of comfort that they might have in their head that someone is protecting them while they are doing what it takes to bring some sort of food to the table. In Baltimore, children do not often get to experience their childhood. Due to the fact that there is a high crime in violence due to drugs or gangs.In the first video “What It Looks Like” what caught my attention was, one of the spokesperson obviously knows from right and wrong but due to his past actions he can not get a decent job therefore he has no choice but to sell drugs. He knows it is wrong but he also knows that his family needs to be fed. The “game” is rigged, people who deal in the corner usually do not succeed into being a big time drug dealer. Instead, they either end up in a black body bag or in jail.
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China always has more than any other country, not when it comes to inmates. One in every 100 American are in jail.There are over two million people incarcerated. The number went up eight times since 1970, it was a major increase in prisoners. Majority, if not half are serving time due to drugs. Everyone knows drugs are bad and selling them is bad and have major consequences. When there is no other choice but to resort to selling drugs people fall into a deep balck pit that is tough to get out of especially if time is owed. There is a huge difference in inmates who are charged with drug possession. Sad to say but caucasian people are less likely to serve time unlike minorities. Incarceration has become so common that it became a topic in Sesame Street. It is a tough subject to talk about especially with a child because their response might be “so mom/dad is a bad person”.
According to George Miller , crack babies are the most expensive babies ever and will overwhelm the medical and social work system throughout their life. They spoke down upon the drug addicted newborns before they even had a chance to grow. A lot of the babies that were exposed to cocaine due to the war on drugs were three times smaller than your average newborn. The bars are much lower for “crack babies” there are no high expectations for them when in reality alcohol is much more of a problem. Mothers that are users in jail do not realize that it affects both of their life. For example, one of the young ladies in the video got a c-section and sugar was put on her scar. A method that was used a long time ago that was not needed because there is new technology. Inmates pregnant or not might receive little to no medical attention when in need .Cutting cost has made a terrible impact on so many inmates. Medical spending dropped thirty million in Arizona. Due to that fifty people died the first eight months of 2013, when in the last two years the total deaths were thirty-seven.
The New Jim Crow is about how the system of mass incarceration threatens to undermine everything that people have worked for. In the last twenty years Amerikka has incarcerated more people than they did in their entire history, due to drugs in low income areas. The prison is basically compared to slavery now a days. The New Jim Crow makes the argument that the war on drugs has become a new system that operates like the old system. There was a report written for the Nixon administration that demonized black people and made them seem as monsters so elections could be won. President Nixon hyped up the publicity and made them think that black people were the number one issue and called the “war on drugs”. Nixon made it seem as if black people were disposable; he made a war on children and women and everyone that was vulnerable in the lower class. The system is designed to break you, you can not rehabilitate yourself once out of prison. You can not get a job because you have a felony, you can not get housing because you are a felon, you can not vote and make a change because you are a felon. The system makes it much harder for convicts to do anything, but supposedly they want them to reintegrate into society even though it is near impossible.
Portugal decriminalized all types of drugs, yet you can still get it taken if you do not obey the amount you are supposed to have. Second offences are punishable by community work or rehab. Prison time and criminal records have been replaced with art classes. They believe that jail is not a realistic approach for a drug addict. Europe is the only country that changed its structures to show that drug use is a health problem rather than a criminal problem.
How do we move on? Obviously big steps need to be made. The first step is admitting the system is corrupt and trying to rebuild something sane from scratch. The next step is to give the low income people a voice and actually help them as well as the children. What makes someone want to sell drugs? Not enough jobs? Discrimination? Maybe Amerikkka can take a look at Portugal and take notes on what works with them and what does not and try to compromise with people.