War On Drugs

Definition - What does War On Drugs mean?

War on Drugs is the term used to describe a campaign run by the government of the United States of America for the prohibition of drugs. The main aim of this campaign was to reduce the trade of illegal drugs. In line with this thought, the War on Drugs set up several drug policies in order to discourage the creation, distribution, and consumption of harmful psychoactive drugs (including marijuana) and labeling those drugs as illegal.

The term War on Drugs was perpetuated by mainstream media and gained widespread popularity after former US President Richard Nixon made a speech on drug abuse prevention and control in 1971. This is when the term is said to have originated.

Hydrolife explains War On Drugs

The Office of National Drug Control Policy sees drug addiction as a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated with the right measures and believes that with more drugs being available on the streets, the more difficult it is to keep communities safe and healthy.

Today, in some American states, medicinal marijuana is legal and recreational use is legal in a handful of states. Marijuana continues to be (arguably) the most popular illegal drug. Given that marijuana continues to be illegal in a few states, the legal actions (including fines and plea bargains) in these states, according to criminal defense lawyer articles, depends on the age of the inebriated person and the amount possessed. However, it varies from state to state.

Since there are states that have varied degrees of marijuana legalization, the people who argue against the effectiveness of the War on Drugs are gaining traction, particularly with marijuana. The Global Commission on Drug Policy reported that the global War on Drugs has been a failure that has resulted in catastrophic consequences that individuals and societies of the world have to bear. Furthermore, it stated the urgency of reforms in the national and global drug control policies. It has been estimated by the Drug Policy Alliance that the United States of America spends about $51 billion annually on initiatives to end the War on Drugs campaign.

The former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan also speaks out on the catastrophic effects the War on Drugs has had. He argues that while drugs have destroyed many people, bad governmental policies have destroyed more with the destruction coming in various forms. One such form of destruction is the rise of intensity in violent narcotics trade that is extremely expensive to police and draining the government while filling the pockets of criminals and further sparking the ongoing debate on reassessing the legalization of certain drugs like marijuana.

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