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Drug Crimes and Changes that Should Be Effected (Term Paper Sample)




Drug Crimes and Changes that Should be Effected
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Drug Crimes and Changes that Should Be Effected
Drug abuse is the single biggest criminal justice and public health issue in America. Drug crime is a crisis that slowly kills and suffocates American youths, children, and adults. Addiction has gripped US citizens and is dragging them down into jails and graves. Drugs pose a threat to families, communities, and the country. Substance abuse is affecting all the spheres of the American economy, and billions of dollars have been lost in fighting crime. The abused drugs include prescriptive drugs, also known as opioids which are pain killers, for example, Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, Xanax, and valium. Others include opioids such as heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, anabolic steroids, and club drugs, such as methamphetamine and marijuana. Some states have legalized marijuana, while others are yet to do the same. In 2019, CDC estimated that 68,300 people had died from drug overdoses across the United States. The numbers have risen over the years because of the growth of drug addiction in society. Phoenix and Mesa are the two leading cities in drug crimes. Drug crimes can be solved using appropriate policing systems.
In the 1970s, President Nixon started the War on Drugs that targeted the illegal drug supply chain (Drug Alliance, 2016). The chain includes users or addicts, offenders, sellers, manufacturers, and distributors. In the past, possession, use, manufacturing, and farming of marijuana had been criminalized. Hundreds of thousands of black people are still in jail over possession of even the smallest amounts of marijuana. In the 21st century, scientific research and breakthrough have shown that marijuana has medicinal values. It has been used as an effective painkiller, especially by patients who have cancer and other terminal illnesses. Hemp oil soothes the body and alleviates pain. Wealthy investors and the political class have reformed the laws on marijuana to allow its sale. Companies selling the drug are commercially trading on New York Stock Exchange, and they are making millions of dollars, but black people cannot do the same (Drug Alliance, 2016). It is ironic that black people have filled jails for possession of medicinal marijuana for almost a century, but they cannot be set free since the drug is legal.
The American war on drugs has focused on black people. It has unequal outcomes among the various racial groups. Indiscriminate use of force and the discrimination of law enforcement officers has affected the lives of people of communities of color. Latino and black people have borne the brunt of the war on drugs. The racialized American criminal justice system has used discrimination to put them behind bars. Almost 80% of persons in federal jails and state prisons are Latino or Black (BJS, 2020). One might think that all people of color abuse drugs, but the reality can be seen from the racial law enforcers. Drug addicts who peddle drugs to get money for the next dose are jailed for years. The unequal enforcement of laws associated with the use and possession of drugs along with their dependency is a subject that should be examined from the cause and not the consequences. The policing program and prosecution reform will focus on deterring drug crimes across the American nation.
The data on drug arrests varies across cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, and Hartford. Data shows the poor neighborhoods' drug dens where drugs are found (BJS, 2020). The rise and fall of drug-related arrests across America are attributed to the states that have legalized marijuana. Various states have laws that are related to drug arrests and prosecution. Other laws that vary include those that regulate the manufacturing and growth of drugs such as marijuana. In other places, the laws have different penalties for people who are using the drugs, in possession, selling, and manufacturing. For example, in Chicago city, heroin and opioids led to the number of arrests. In Denver, crimes related to methamphetamine possession lead the data, while Boston had high cocaine offenses.
In Chicago, there has been a significant drop in the arrests and incarcerations made on crimes associated with marijuana (BJS, 2020). The Civil Liberties Union signed an agreement with the police department to disallow the use of stop-and-frisk tactics. As such, the drug arrests for the possession of marijuana dropped. At the same time, the arrests made for the people looking for narcotics climbed up, which signaled that more people were actively looking for drugs. Most arrests were made in Garfield Park, the central point of Chicago’s opioid crisis. In some places, the laws on the manufacturing or growing of drugs are strict, meaning that the producers are fined more than the users. For instance, people growing marijuana without legal papers are fined a lot more than the users in some places. The aim is to deter the production of drugs by small-scale producers. However, it was observed that since marijuana became legalized, various states have had few drug arrests.
One feature of drug crimes involves the epicenters of sale, abuse, and growth. Drug crimes are thus related to altering the supply chain system. In the cities, most of the drugs are sold or redistributed at certain epicenters. In Boston, there the South End area is among the epicenters of cocaine. In the recent past, the neighborhood is undergoing gentrification, and arrests are made near brownstone homes worth millions of dollars (The National Academics of Sciences Engineering Medicine, 2020). The South End area also had the ‘Methadone Mile’, where treatment centers for drug addicts are based. Along that road, most of the overdoses, drug crimes, and arrests tend to occur there. In Denver City, the tents of homeless people are associated with drug use and high arrest. In the same city, young adults aged 21 years and below can be arrested if they abuse drugs (De Soto, 2018). At the same time, in Colorado State, law enforcers tend to arrest farmers of marijuana. There is a shift of arrest of users and possessors to the marijuana farmers.
Tourist attraction centers have also become a hotbed for drug crimes. Hartford has struggled with a synthetic opioid, fentanyl. Philadelphia has the highest deaths related to fentanyl since it is 30 to 50 times stronger than cocaine and heroin (Foundations Recovery Network, 2020). Some areas that have drug crimes are also ravaged by gun violence. The value of drugs such as heroin and cocaine is behind gun violence. The sellers usually work along with gangs that dominate empty lots and abandoned properties. The common location for most drug arrest crimes is usually around places that are dominated by lower-class people who include African-Americans and Latinos. White people tend to self-isolate from black people based on racial stereotypes. In cities and towns, the divides are glaring, but that does not exclude white people from getting into black neighborhoods for drugs (The National Academics of Sciences Engineering Medicine, 2020). The racial system also ensures that the laws are applied differently when it comes to judging both races when it comes to drug crimes. For example, a white man is not subjected to regular stop-to-frisk as a black man. If a black man refuses to frisk, he can either be shot or jailed, but a white man may not even be frisked. Therefore, if both possessed a drug, the white man would be free while the black man goes to jail.
Why Drug Crime is a Problem in Modern America
According to human rights organizations, drug crimes are penalized along with racial disparities. In the Western world, the United States has the highest number of incarcerated people. Their jails have more than 2.2 million people, and most of them are accused of non-violent crimes such as drug use and possession. Almost 60% of the incarcerated people were accused of having drugs (De Soto, 2018). The disparate rates of imprisonment of African Americans and white people show that there is a problem with fairness and drug law enforcement across the nation. Drug offenders in America face penal sanctions that are the most severe in the modern world. Drug sentences for petty offenders selling or possessing small drug amounts can compare or exceed the sentences for people who committed rape, robberies with violence, or even murder.
Proponents who support the imprisonment of drug offenders cite that the sentences remove traffickers and dangerous criminals from society. Their arrest and detention enhance community safety. However, critics argue that there are violent people in society who rape and kill people, but they are free because of their race. The immense use of imprisonment as a deterrent has failed to reduce the availability of drugs in the community and the streets. Drugs such as fentanyl that are lethal have found their way into the American streets, and they are killing more people than regular opioids such as cocaine and heroin (Foundations Recovery Network, 2020). In the recent past, law enforcers realized that another dealer takes his place if they arrest and jail an offender. The mandatory sentences that have been imposed on drug offenders have not played any role in the reduction of consumption of drugs. The crimes continue normally, which shows that drug crimes are rooted in social issues.
Jails and prisons have been used as legitimate deterrents against the abuse of crimes. The commercialization of America’s super jails means that offenders are used to offering free labor. American judges and magistrates have been socialized in a way that they do not consider respect for human dignity, principles of proportionality, an...

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