An Introduction to the War on Drugs

I had to write and present a paper last year for an anthropology class focusing on cultural conflict.  I decided, after many discussions with other students in the class, that a major contributor to the apathetic attitude toward the War on Drugs is the lack of a basic understanding of the negative consequences that have come along with it.  So I wrote a very introductory paper focusing purely on the negative global and domestic consequences of the War on Drugs, and I would now like to present that paper to all of you.

Abstract

In 1971, President Nixon officially declared a “War on drugs” in the United States. Since Nixon’s declaration, the United States’ drug policy has had many negative consequences on foreign, nations as well as within its own borders. Among those negative effects on foreign countries are: Multiple invasions and occupations by United States’ military, foreign aid ending up in the hands of corrupt soldiers, and the destruction of Central and South American crops.  Domestically, the war on drugs has lead to violations of constitutional rights, militarization of police forces, and the incarceration of over 95,000 non-violent offenders. Economically speaking, increased federal spending has contributed to the national debt exponentially. As the national debt goes up, the value of the dollar goes down, and ultimately, the global economy is affected by this devaluation.  Despite increased spending and increased military involvement, the war on drugs has done little to reduce recreational drug use among Americans. So long as the United States continues its aggressive policies toward drugs, the rest of the world will be forced to suffer the
consequences.

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