In a few days, the United Nations will once again host a special session on drugs at its headquarters in Manhattan and the War on Drugs, the campaign which advocates for the reduction of illegal drug trade and the prohibition of drugs as well as intervention from the military, is on the spotlight. It will be remembered that at the last 1998 UN assembly, the goal was that by 2008, we will be living in a drug-free world. With clearly being a failure, critics are voicing out their views on the call to end the War on Drugs. Supporters of the campaign are in opposition, though. To have a clearer understanding of their take on this, here are the advantages and disadvantages to ponder about.
List of Pros of the War on Drugs
1. Lesser Illegal Drugs.
With the drive to have a drug-free world, countries like the United States and Mexico have collaborated to combat drug trafficking and transnational crimes. The government also became more serious and driven to eradicate illegal drugs that the War on Drugs made it possible for the government to strengthen its fight like spending money on spraying herbicides to destroy illegal plants such as Cannabis.
2. Deter Drug Dealers.
With the increase punishment and charges for criminals in drug-related cases, supporters of the War on Drugs say that it serves as a deterrent to these dealers and potential criminals. This is also because this campaign have brought about mandatory minimums, that is, a convicted criminal of drug trafficking will be spending an amount of time in prison and this is not a flexible law. With lesser drugs sold on the streets, the number of drug-dependent individuals will also be reduced since there will be lack of drug supply.
List of Cons of the War on Drugs
Critics regard this campaign as a movement that costs so much money and spends taxes paid by taxpayers in an insane way. Every year, the world spends more than $100 billion to go after drug dealers and drug lords while the United States alone spends approximately $15 billion a year on its war on drugs. Since the start of the so-called battle against drugs, a total of more than $1 trillion have already been spent.
2. Economic Productivity Decline.
With many incarcerated people from drug-related crimes in the United States, including young member of society, this means that almost the same number of people is the equivalent of individuals taken away from their jobs and businesses, not to mention, their families. This also means that the young people being jailed are deprived of their rights for education and later on for job opportunities. When these individuals are released, they will not be equipped with knowledge and skills that can lead to economic decline when it comes to production.
The War on Drugs will remain a debatable issue because of its flaws and the people who are not in favor of it. However, this campaign, if thoroughly studied and perhaps amended, the pros will outweigh the cons and the advocacy for a drug-free world is achievable.