This is the legislation passed and practiced in US and its main objective is to ensure that drug use, trafficking and sale are reduced in US. Research has found out that US takes the lead in population size and budget set aside for combating drug usage as well as trafficking.
Among the issues included in US efforts is focus on drug policy enforcement in which sixty percent of the funds for drug use prevention are devoted while the other share of funds goes to treatment. Drug legislation implementation has been in place for quite some time though it has not been followed to the book. Casual drug usage has considerably declined but usage of hard drugs representing eighty percent of overall drug users has shown minimal changes. (Dorn, 1990)
Results of Drug Policy Implementation in US over the Years
By nineteen ninety six, the number of youths using drugs had greatly increased and republicans accused President Clinton for being soft on the drug issue. Drug usage as well as trafficking in US follows a natural cycle where cycle anticipation is essential in order to have control over it. This is what US government is lacking since although drug policy law is under implementation, some people are finding ways to undertake drug trafficking and usage. More funds are being allocated to drug control and in two thousand and three this area was allocated nineteen point two billion.
This did not make a considerable change to drug trafficking and usage since “The Economist”, reported that drug sale in retail has risen in US, amounting to about sixty billion dollars. A higher number of Americans which is approximately above thirteen million are still purchasing illicit drugs regularly. Extensive studies shows that despite implementation of drug policy, economic costs related to drug abuse are increasing and have gone up to one hundred and ten billion dollars. (Erringer, 1999)
US government has put in place several programs to identify particular areas encountering serious drug usage and trafficking effects. These programs are also given the task of implementing drug policy specifications by influencing Americans to reduce drug usage and also making them aware of dangers associated with drug usage. HIDTA is among the programs and it deals with assessing of problems related with drug trafficking and also goes ahead to design initiatives aimed at reducing or completely eliminating drug usage, trafficking and sale.
Research from HIDTA and several other drug control programs have shown that trafficking as well as usage of marijuana has greatly increased in US. Methamphetamine production had also shown considerable increase but implementation of drug legislation by federal government has made it to reduce. US methamphetamine laboratories researched on the level at which its production had decreased and realized that within the period between two thousand and two thousand and seven, it reduced by about ninety five percent. However, this decline is only experienced in methamphetamine production since it is still available in its crystal form particularly in Mexico and Oregon.
More effects are experienced in crime related to methamphetamine consumption which has been reported as one area posing a great threat to US law agencies. Among the areas where increased levels of drug usage and trafficking effects are reflected include children abuse, property crimes, and identity theft as well as person crimes. Indicators of heroin as well as cocaine trafficking and abuse have portrayed some fluctuation which is interpreted by the related rise in pharmaceutical abuse in US. Economic costs of drug trafficking and usage in US are carried forward to health services where treatment costs have greatly risen than before. Drug legislation shows limitation by failing to control growing operations of marijuana which is still being largely grown particularly in forest lands.
HIDTA has discovered so many marijuana plants whose harvest is normally distributed all over US. This increase in marijuana growing is encouraged by law allowing a small portion of marijuana to be grown in order to provide physicians with raw materials for drug manufacturing. Organizations involved in drug trafficking are also contributing a great deal to overall increase in drug trafficking and usage in US particularly those found in Mexico. One hundred and forty organizations which have connections all over US have been identified by HIDTA, showing that drug legislation is not being followed appropriately. (Maisto, 2003)
Effectiveness of drug legislation is reduced by opposing policies in which some Americans argue that drug usage legalization would considerably reduce legal consequences directly related to drug usage. However, this legalization would result to increased levels at which drug trafficking and usage is undertaken as well as harmful consequences. Drug legalization has recently gained substantial public support since it has managed to associate drug prohibition with negative perceptions particularly those related to alcohol prohibition.
Those people supporting drug legalization fail to focus on negative experience that illegal drugs cause on the entire American society. Drug legalization has been modified in order to get more supporters and has been renamed as “harm reduction” which practically means the abandonment of drug trafficking and usage prohibition policy. In contrast to drug prohibition policy attempts to reduce drug related harm by tightening restrictions, opposing proposals on “harm reduction” focus on softening restrictions concerning illegal drugs.
This has had great negative effects on levels at which drug prohibition policy has portrayed effectiveness since opposing campaigns are getting more support in US. “Harm reduction” supporters argue that drug policy particularly targets innocent users, which is contrary to research results where innocent users of drugs represent two percent of inmates while actual drug traffickers take a larger representation of forty eight percent. An experiment carried out on marijuana decriminalization to test the effect drug legalization would have on Americans showed that more people were adversely affected by marijuana intake which was depicted by more people visiting emergency departments. However, drug policy is still trying to reduce drug trafficking and usage as well as associated harm. (Cartier, 1999)
Drug legislation has shown some level of effectiveness in its efforts to curb trafficking, sale as well as usage of drugs. However, it has not managed to completely bring the problem under management as some people are devising ways through which they conduct drug trafficking without being caught by US based law enforcers. Marijuana prohibition has posed a great problem to drug policy implementation since a different law allows small quantities of marijuana to be grown in order to provide physicians with raw products for drug manufacture. Drug prohibition policy has managed to reduce usage of soft drugs but has not had much success with hard and addictive drug usage. (Hanson, 2005)
Cartier J. (1999): barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment; The prison Journal, New York: SAGE publications pp16-18
Dorn N. (1990): Drug markets and Law enforcement; British Journal of Criminology,
North Carolina: Oxford University Press pp13-15
Erringer E. (1999): Collateral damage in the war on drugs; International Journal of Drug Policy, California: Elsevier pp19-24
Hanson G. (2005): Drugs and society, New York: Jones & Bartlett Publishers pp25-31
Maisto S. (2003): Drug use and abuse, Michigan: University of Michigan pp47-49