According to Wisotsky (1993), “War on Drugs” is a war not against its use, production and distribution, but a war set by the government against its people. It was not able to commit its success in prohibiting the proliferation of illegal drugs, but it has succeeded in curtailing the liberty and privacy of the Americans. There was too much exaggeration on the strategies enacted by the government that it neglected the fact that the people’s privacy is already invaded. The search and seizure operations are already harassing those who are suspected to be possessing illegal drugs.
Surveillance of the US mails were also implemented, wiretapping, and stopping of cars on public places were other examples of harassments that the Americans were experiencing when “War on Drugs” was enacted. There were 7,500 Congressmen, entertainers, clergymen, industry leaders, and foreign dignitaries who were investigated secretly for alleged illegal drug activities. Yet another form of harassment and invasion of people’s privacy was the extreme military surveillance providing the police forces with high-caliber arms that they can posses through the process of investigation.
The justice system had been giving offenders of the law on illegal drugs with excessive punishments wherein even members of the justice system are expressing protests against the government policies for drug users and dealers. (Wisotsky, p. 27) The federal government has been proud of the huge number of arrests made in accordance to the “War on Drugs” policy. However, the government has neglected the reality that these arrests are merely superficial and that there is a deeper predicament that needs to be addressed.
As a principal means of punishment for those who were caught violating the drug law, the US government has relied solely on this means to fight the drug war. But the ballooning number of incarcerated illegal drug violators is troubling. Two million Americans have been brought to prison in 2001 alone. And in comparison to any other country, the United States has imprisoned most of its citizens than any other nation in the world. (“Race,” para 3) Racism was also an issue that was connected to the “War on Drugs” policy. Research show that in the United States prisons, there was an observed 62.
7% blacks and 36. 7% whites incarcerated. Black men admitted to state prison on drug charges at a rate that is 13. 4 times greater than that of white men. In large part because of the extraordinary racial disparities in incarceration for drug offenses, blacks are incarcerated for all offenses at 8. 2 times the rate of whites. One in every 20 black men over the age of 18 in the United States is in state or federal prison, compared to one in 180 white men. (“Summary,” para 2) The “War on Drugs” policy is considered by many as the newest tool to generate new slaves in the form of prisoners.
The drug law has been superficial considering the number of blacks who are incarcerated. The disparity between these arrests and the extensive media hype creates an impression to the public that the blacks are the major offenders in the drug war. (Small, p. 31) “War on Drugs”: Success or Failure After 36 years when the first drug war policy was implemented, there is but a bleak hope that awaits the American society. The hundreds off billions of dollars spent by the US government were put to waste considering the fact that the number of arrests connected to illegal drugs continues to increase.
Moreover, drug syndicates are even making more profits. The more that the US government intensifies its policies and campaigns regarding the prohibitation of drug use the more the producers increase its monetary worth. As a result, they gain as much profit while the US government loses more of its people’s money. (Glenny, p. B01) The problem starts with prohibition, the basis of the war on drugs. The theory is that if you hurt the producers and consumers of drugs badly enough, they’ll stop doing what they’re doing.
But instead, the trade goes underground, which means that the state’s only contact with it is through law enforcement, i. e. busting those involved, whether producers, distributors or users. But so vast is the demand for drugs in the United States, the European Union and the Far East that nobody has anything approaching the ability to police the trade. (Glenny, p. B01)
Works Cited: Glenny, M. 2007. The Lost War: We’ve Spent 36 Years and Billions of Dollars Fighting It, but the Drug Trade Keeps Growing. Retrieved from www.drugpolicy.org/about/position/race_paper_crim.cfm.