The War on Drugs: A Call for Reform and Justice

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The War on Drugs in the United States has been a controversial topic that has had significant impacts on the lives of many citizens. The debate surrounding this issue is complex, with both proponents and opponents presenting compelling arguments. However, when we delve deeper into the realities of this so-called war, it becomes evident that there are various underlying issues that need to be addressed.

One of the key problems with the War on Drugs is the zero-tolerance and minimum sentencing policies that disproportionately affect certain communities, particularly African-Americans.

The lack of opportunities, coupled with systemic racism and police brutality, create a cycle of incarceration that is difficult to break. In fact, the statistics show that in 2011, there were more African-Americans in prison or under the watch of the justice system than there were enslaved in the United States in 1850. This alarming trend raises questions about the true intentions of the War on Drugs.

It is essential to question whether the War on Drugs is truly about combating drug abuse and addiction, or if it is a mechanism for mass incarceration and profiteering.

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The parallels between this war and war profiteering are striking, as both involve the exploitation of individuals for financial gain. Instead of focusing on rehabilitation and addressing the root causes of drug addiction, the current approach seems to prioritize punishment and containment.

The cycle of incarceration perpetuated by the War on Drugs does little to address the underlying issues that contribute to drug abuse. Instead, it leaves individuals ill-equipped to reintegrate into society upon release, leading to a high likelihood of recidivism.

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This not only perpetuates the cycle of incarceration but also fails to address the root causes of drug addiction.

Furthermore, the War on Drugs has become a lucrative business for corporations and private interests, with profits soaring as the number of prisoners continues to grow. The motives behind this war, whether based on racial discrimination or financial gain, raise serious concerns about the integrity of the criminal justice system. The challenge of exposing this corruption is compounded by the sensitivity of the issue, making it difficult to enact meaningful change.

It is evident that the current approach to the War on Drugs is not working. The focus on punishment rather than rehabilitation has led to a cycle of incarceration that is detrimental to individuals and communities alike. In order to address the root causes of drug addiction and combat the systemic issues that perpetuate this cycle, a new approach is needed.

Reforming the criminal justice system to prioritize rehabilitation and addressing the social determinants of drug addiction is crucial. This includes investing in education, job training, and mental health services to support individuals in overcoming substance abuse. Additionally, addressing systemic racism and police brutality is essential to creating a more equitable and just society.

Ultimately, the War on Drugs in its current form is unsustainable and ineffective. It is time for a paradigm shift in how we approach drug addiction and criminal justice. By prioritizing rehabilitation, addressing systemic issues, and promoting equity and justice, we can work towards a society that is truly free from the harms of drug abuse.


Updated: Feb 15, 2024
Cite this page

The War on Drugs: A Call for Reform and Justice. (2016, Mar 09). Retrieved from

The War on Drugs: A Call for Reform and Justice essay
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