You are on page 1of 5

Halowell 1

Nathan Halowell
Ms. Aughenbaugh
English 12
15 April 2016
The Failing War on Drugs
“It’s not a war on drugs, it’s a war on personal freedom.”-Bill Hicks The War on Drugs is
a failure that has resulted in more lives lost then the vietnam war. 1.5 million people were
arrested in 2011 for drugs 50% of them were for marijuana. Nixon multiplied the funding for the
war on drugs by 7 and reagan tripled that. (The Culture High) The war on Drugs is a failure that
needs to be ended to save innocent people and addicts because drug culture is american culture.
The War on Drugs is a War on Marijuana with 85% of people who use drugs use
marijuana alone so therefore you could argue that the main focus on the war on drugs is
marijuana prohibition. Marijuana is a schedule one narcotic which means it is a drug with no
medicinal value, this also means it is more dangerous than meth according to the government
since meth is only a schedule two narcotic. Yet the US government has patents on the medicinal
properties of marijuana, and the last 3 presidents admitted to using yet they all enforced drug
laws hard, and opposite to what you would believe President Barack Obama has been harder on
the war on drugs especially marijuana then President George W. Bush. George washington grew
hemp for industrial uses which would now be illegal.(The Culture High) There are more
marijuana dispensaries than starbucks in the birthplace of starbucks. This to me proves that the
demand will always be there and where there is demand there will always be supply legal or not
which is why we now see a thriving black market with no end in sight. The only way to end this
black market is to end prohibition and control the supply. Industrial hemp which is what George

Halowell 2
Washington grew has less than 1% of THC and makes things like rope, textiles, papers, plastics,
and oils. US law made the cultivation of hemp illegal but it is allowed to be sold so therefore it
has to be imported. Hemp sales went from a few million dollars in the 90s to $75 million in 1997
to $250 million in 2004 and it was expected to be $350 million in 2005. (Legalization) 5.5
million people die from tobacco and 50,000 plus from alcohol each year yet 0 from marijuana.
This means the same amount of people who died from Hitler's anti jewish campaign die each
year from tobacco. 14.6 million people age 12 and up have used marijuana or hashish within the
last month, 98.6 million people have used at some point in their life, and Between 2002 and 2003
there was a 1.67 million increase in the amount of users. 81 years ago marijuana became illegal it
reached global prohibition by 1961 this is plain wrong and unconstitutional and needs to be
reversed, because I believe that the government choosing what you can and can’t put into your
body is a sign of a tyrannical government. (Evergreen)
Texas leads in arresting nonviolent drug offenders. African americans and white people
use drugs at the same rate yet african americans are arrested at 4x the rate.(The Culture High)
Sentencing reform act of 1984 created the US sentencing commission in 1985. Most federal
judges disliked this due to the unjust punishments on nonviolent offenders like drug users,
50/680 federal judges declined drug cases after. Some of those judges wanted legalization across
the board and others resigned.(Two Judges) The drug market was worth $322 billion in 2003.
American estimates to be spending $100 billion a year on drug enforcement. We spent over a
trillion dollars on the war on drugs since it started and more people are using now than ever,
100,000 people killed and another 22,000 people are missing in mexico due to the war on drugs.
President Richard Nixon multiplied the funding for the war on drugs by 7 and President Ronald

Halowell 3
Reagan tripled that. Even Motӧrhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister said that the only way to end
drug abuse is to legalize it.(Lemmy takes on the War on Drugs)
Due to the war on drugs steroids have become a schedule 3 narcotic in the 90s. Steroids
became illegal due to a baseball scandal. Congress tried to pass legislature while the DEA told
them it would be impossible to enforce and the FDA said that steroids if used properly are no
more dangerous then supplementing with vitamin c. Yet congress went on with their decision
making steroids illegal across the board it not mattering if it's something as simple and low risk
as testosterone or something as complex and dangerous as synthol, human growth
hormone(HGH), or dianabol. Schedule 3 narcotics include mostly medication for hormonal
imbalances such as estrogen or testosterone deficiencies. The problem with this means anyone
who wants steroids can still easily get them. A person can simply go to the doctors get a take
home urine exam bring it back with someone else's testosterone deficient urine and get
prescribed basic steroids. Also with more and more people making new products it is impossible
for the DEA to keep up with which is why you can google a word like steroids or synthol and
order them offline illegally. This is the approach most people take if they can't easily get a doctor
to help them. With the rise of steroid use it has given children a false sense of what can be
achieved naturally so this leads to the rise of supplement companies selling low quality products
with high prices because they can trick the young crowd into thinking they can be like their
favorite bodybuilder if they buy their products. (Bigger,Faster,Stronger)
The war on drugs is a failure that needs to be stopped for the simple reason of too many
innocent people have suffered during it as well as drug culture is american culture. We have
wasted over a trillion dollars of taxes to fund this war and more people are using now then ever.
We did this to push corrupt anti marijuana policy globally and when achieved The United States

Halowell 4
was the first to break these policies with colorado's road to legalization. Congress then made a
bad decision to add to this in the 90s with prohibiting any steroid use as well to continuing this
failure of a war on concept. This is why I truly believe that as Bill Hicks said “It’s not a war on
drugs, it’s a war on personal freedom.” I truly believe that if the founding fathers saw how the
government is trying to regulate what we can and cannot put into our bodies, they would be
sickened by what their ideals of a great country has got warped into, and how hypocritical that
the war on drugs truly is.

Halowell 5
Works Cited
Bigger, Faster, Stronger. Dir. Christopher Bell. Sport/Indie Film, 2008.
“End the War on Drugs.” The Progressive Dec. 2000: 18. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web.
2 Mar. 2016.
Harvey, Brett, dir. The Culture High. Phase 4 Files, 2014. Film.
“Legalization.” Illegal Drugs: America's Anguish. Robert Jacobson. 2006 ed. Detroit: Gale,2006.
Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.
Morton, Riley, dir. Evergreen. Hemlock Productions and Overlord Pictures, 2013. Film.
Treaster, Joseph B. “Two Judges Decline Drug Cases, Protesting Sentencing Rules.”
Government, Politics, and Protest: Essential Primary Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner, Brenda
Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 22-25. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 3 Mar. 2016.
“When Lemmy Took on the War on Drugs.” Daily Beast 29 Dec. 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in
Context. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.