The Long-Term Effects of the War on Drugs
In the United States, the war on drugs has lasted for decades and it has done very little to effectively reduce drug use in this country. Instead, it has resulted in the United States incarcerating more of its own people than any other nation in the world. The U.S. has around five percent of the world’s population but close to 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population, and this terrible imbalance is explained almost entirely by the fact the country insists on locking up non-violent drug offenders –sometimes for decades.
The war on drugs doesn’t just create troubling statistics about people in prison — those statistics represent real lives that are shattered and families that are torn apart. If you or anyone you love is arrested for a drug crime, you need to talk with an Albany drug charge attorney as soon as you can following your arrest to explore your options for strategic defenses.
Unfortunately, the war on drugs has gone global, and it is having tragic implications in other countries as well. Just recently, the New York Times wrote of the destruction and loss resulting from “A Decade of Failure in the War on Drugs.”
The Tragic Impact of the War on Drugs
The Times reported on the consequences of the crackdown in Mexico on drugs and drug-related violence. In 2006, Felipe Calderón took office with promises of cracking down on drug trafficking and related offenses. He mobilized the army to fight a war on drugs, sending them into the street. This has resulted in the homicide rate more than doubling.
Within a decade, close to 150,000 people died and 28,000 went missing in Mexico. Drug cartels have taken over certain areas, including the Golden Triangle (Chihuahua, Durango, and Sinola) and inhabitants have had to flee their communities or remain silent to avoid certain death. Even tourist areas have become violent, with Acapulco now considered the most violent of all cities in Mexico and one of the most violent cities in the world.
All this murder and mayhem has not reduced drug trafficking from Mexico to the U.S., nor has it reduced the flow of guns traveling from the U.S. to Mexico. Jails are overflowing with drug criminals, but most aren’t big traffickers. Instead, they are people who were arrested for controlled substances worth less than 500 pesos or $30.00.
Meanwhile, in countries that aren’t fighting a hopeless war on drugs, like Portugal which has decriminalized drug possession for personal use while creating a treatment system, drug use is down and overdose deaths have been reduced.
Clearly, in both Mexico and the U.S., the futile drug wars have done more harm than good. Unfortunately, unless and until things change, people will continue to face incarceration for even minor crimes and the drug trafficking world will continue to be a very violent one.
For those arrested for any drug crimes, from trafficking to personal possession, getting prompt legal help may be your best option to avoid becoming a casualty of the drug war. The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC is here to help you — contact us today.