Synthetic Drugs: Coming to an Obuitary Near You!

Harrison Ward

Illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, crack cocaine, heroin, and others are all extremely dangerous. The adverse health effects of these drugs is their greatest drawback. However these drugs do have one positive quality for tomorrow’s potential drug users, the effects of almost all of these hard drugs have been well documented. Most everyone knows that meth is bad for you; thanks to school anti-drug programs, PSAs, parents, and word of mouth. When someone does meth or any other drug for the first time it is very difficult not to be somewhat moderately educated on the health effects and the high you will experience from that drug. If one googles: “effects of street drugs” the first page that appears is www.drugabuse.gov which contains a list of the 25 most commonly abused drugs. All of this information can dissuade someone from buying or using a dangerous drug. With a new breed of drugs called synthetics or designer drugs this is not the case. Synthetics are always changing to stay one step ahead of the law. Synthetics have very little consistency from package to package and even fewer health standards.

     Synthetic drugs are a new substance that mimics the effects of an already well known drug. For example Synthetic Cannabinoids, sometimes referred to as spice, claim to be a safe alternative to marijuana. In reality this synthetic alternative is far more powerful and far more damaging than actual marijuana. Spice is classified as a schedule one DEA drug, meaning it is illegal to buy, sell, or possess. The effects of Spice on the brain are currently unknown, however Poison Control has reported that those who abuse the drug have experienced: reduced quantities of blood to tdrugfactsspice2he heart, hallucinations, agitation, and in a few cases heart attacks (Commonly Abused Drugs). People who don’t understand how dangerous this drug have been known to have psychotic breaks and kill themselves after using the drug for about a month or two, such as 23 year old Jason Frame. Frame hung himself after checking himself into a psychiatric hospital due to his increasingly erratic behavior due to Spice ( Spice memorials).  Many of those who have suffered spice related deaths have killed themselves after using the drug for about eight weeks. One of the most alarming dangers of this drug is that people use the drug without fully knowing the side effects and how the drug will ultimately affect them in the long term.

     Bath salts are another legal and highly unsafe synthetic drug. Bath salts, like most synthetic drugs are labeled not for human consumption, however this is only a farce to avoid legal ramifications. Bath salts are labeled not for human consumption because besides being a bad copycat of cocaine, they can cause life threatening cardiac problems and psychotic breaks. Besides psychotic breaks, bath salts can cause some people to act in ways they would not normally even think of and in the case of Randy Eugene, can cause people to act in ways that they would never dream. Eugene was high on bath salts and attacked a local homeless man, as local police put it Eugene: “ had ripped off his clothes and refused police orders to stop eating Poppo’s flesh, [Eugene] showed behavior consistent with ingesting the synthetic cocaine substitute known as bath salts”( Face-Eating Cannibal Attack May Be Latest in String of ‘Bath Salts’ Incibath-saltsdents). These uncharacteristic psychotic are so common ABC news has a page dedicated solely to bath salt headlines. Bath salts cause a high because the drug  triggers a dopamine release in the brain that is similar to the high created by amphetamines or cocaine. However the high created by bath salts is ten times more potent than the high created by cocaine (Drug Facts). Bath salts and other similar drugs are normally easily purchased at a local gas station or corner store as these drugs are legal. If a certain variation of the bath salts are outlawed a new variation will pop up days later. making the drug nearly impossible to enforce.

Bath salts and Synthetic Cannabinoids are just the tip of the iceberg. As long as youth are uninformed to the effects of these synthetic drugs they will still be purchased and abused. If we as a community and as a country can ban together to educated the youth as to the effects of these drugs we can hopefully take them off the streets. If no one buys them there is no profit base, and if there is no profits the drugs will not be sold making the streets one step closer to being safe.

Works Cited

“Commonly Abused Drugs.” Drug Abuse. NIH, Feb. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

“DrugFacts: Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”).” DrugFacts: Synthetic Cathinones (“BathSalts”). N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

“Face-Eating Cannibal Attack May Be Latest in String of ‘Bath Salts’ Incidents.” ABC News.ABC News Network, 1 June 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

“Spice Memorials.” To the Maximus Blog. N.p., 28 June 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

What Drugs Are the Worst for Body?

Whether the drug is illicit, for general use, or over the counter, abusing drugs can have disastrous consequences. Drugs can offer a brief escape from the mundane trek of everyday life. Many people use them to escape from their problems or use them just for fun. But used on regular basis or in large quantities these drugs can lead ones health on a serious downwards spiral.  This might explain why there were 120 prescription drug related deaths in the US every day in 2014 ( “Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet”).  Besides death drugs can cause psychological problems, liver damage, cancer and a myriad of other health issues. By reviewing the effects of drugs on the body it can help everyone to be a more informed about which drugs, both illicit, prescription, or otherwise are the worst for the body.

Prescription drugs aren’t considered by most to be some of the most dangerous drugs around. However prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States which accounted for 43,000 plus deaths a year ( “Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet”). The rate of prescription drug overdoses from 1999 to 2013 has doubled  ( “Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet”). The more and more Americans use prescription drugs to treat ailments the more people will die each year of preventable overdoses. In 2008 48% of Americans had at least one drug prescription and spent a total of $234.1 billion on prescription drugs ( “Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008.” ). As prescription drugs become more thBCK8FOODingrained into American society the potential for abuse of said drugs will increase as well. Recent studies have shown that teens are more likely to abuse prescription drugs than illicit street drugs (Prescription Drug Abuse Facts). One of the most dangerous qualities of prescription drugs in general is that people dismiss how dangerous these drugs can be, and the potential for overdose when using prescription drugs.

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A timeline of the damage of meth use.

Some of the most dangerous drugs for the body can be found in the first DEA drug schedule. These drugs include: Heroin, LSD, Peyote, Ecstasy, and Methaqualone. As defined by the DEA these drugs are so dangerous because they are: “ drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence”( “DEA / Drug Scheduling.”). These drugs have a very potent effect and are very addictive. After a few uses of some of these drugs the user can become addicted. After the user becomes addict they will need more and more of the drug to function normally. Once the person is taking the drug to feel normal they will need to use more and more of the drug to achieve the feeling of being normality. This will lead to a high likelihood that they will eventually overdose on the drug. This is why illicit drugs cause 17,196 deaths a year (Annual Causes of Death in the United States).  This vicious cycle of use is one of the reasons that schedule one illicit drugs are some of the most dangerous drugs in the world.

Both prescription and Illicit drugs are extremely dangerous, however the last drug on my list isn’t as dangerous as either of them based on the effects to one person’s body. However judging on the amount of people this drug affects every year in a negative way alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world. Alcohol is different than other drugs on the list, because alcohol can be used responsibly by adults with fully developed brains. However Alcohol is used by such a larger quantity of people that the potential for abuse is extremely high. Alcohol accounted for 43,342 deaths in 2013, that is 26,000 more deaths than all illicit drugs combined (Annual Causes of Death in the United States). Keep in mind these numbers only measure how many people alcohol kills, it doesn’t measure the amount of people abused by alcoholics, the amount of teenagers lives alcohol ruins, or the amount of people who were related to someone killed in a DUI incident. For these reasons Alcohol is by far the most dangerous drug around.

Drugs have their pros and their cons, drugs can be used to heal or to get high. Drugs are a powerful thing, and used incorrectly they can have catastrophic consequences. From prescription, to illicit, to recreational, drugs are all equally dangerous in their own way. By being informed about theses before mentioned drugs you can be more safe in the world and on the streets.

by: Harrison Ward

Works Cited:

Annual Causes of Death in the United States.” Annual Causes of Death in the United States.N.p.,                  Web. 29 Mar. 2015.

“DEA / Drug Scheduling.” DEA / Drug Scheduling. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

“Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 09 Feb. 2015. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.

“Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

02 Sept. 2010. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.

Why Legalizing Marijuina Makes Sense

 

Harrison Ward:

Marijuana, weed, cannabis, grass, reefer, hash, hemp, dope, pot, green, kush,  gunja, or Mary Jane. No matter what you call it cannabis it is deeply rooted in American culture. From movies like “Half Baked” to shows like “That 70’s Show” marijuana  may have a collected a bad rap along it multigenerational trek through American culture. Many seem to think marijuana is a dangerous drug that leads to life ruining consequences. However such a case can be made for cigarettes or alcohol. Cigarettes can ruin your lungs and are responsible for more than 480,000 a year in the US ( CDC. “Tobacco-Related Mortality.” ).  There has never been a recorded cannabis overdose. To overdose on cannabis one would have to smoke 1,500 pounds of marijuana in 15 minutes (CDC. “Tobacco-Related Mortality).  Marijuana is impossible to overdose on and can help treat affiliations such as: Epilepsy, HIV, Terminal Illness, Migraines, and Arthritis just to name a few. With all these benefits it seems ridiculous that Marijuana isn’t legalized both recreationally and medically. As Jeffrey Miron a CNN analyst put it: “Marijuana legalization is a policy no-brainer. Any society that professes to value liberty should leave adults free to consume marijuana” ( Miron, Jeffrey). Marijuana legalization is an issue that should be important to all of us, it can affect crime rates, the national deficit, and the nations health. By viewing comparative risk to other socially acceptable drugs, cost and health benefits it will be very easy to see that legalizing marijuana both recreationally and medically is clearly the right choice for America and its citizens.

As many people know, Marijuana has numerous health treatment benefits. Marijuana can help treat multiple conditions such as glaucoma and HIV ( Diseases/ Conditions- Medical Marijuana).  A recent article on Time magazine’s website has shown that in the doses that most marijuana users use cannabis the drug can actually revert the effects of tobacco use and can help increase the users lung capacity. In addition to increasing lung capacity among the average user, marijuana can also cut down the amount of seizures experienced by those with severe epilepsy ( Ferris, Robert). Medical marijuana can occasionally be the only medicine that works for some people with more severe conditions . A woman in Colorado was having on average 300 seizures a week, now with a medical marijuana prescription she is having only 2-3 a week (Ferris, Robert).   Marijuana also is a very effective drug for relieving the pain of those suffering of cancer. It can also be used in much larger quantities than prescription drugs since marijuana has no risk of overdose. An American dies of a prescription drug overdose ever 19 minutes,however with marijuana there has never been a recorded case of cannabis overdose (“Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet.” ).

Marijuana is not only a powerful medical tool,  it could also help jump start the economy. Legalizing marijuana and other drugs could reduce the national deficit by 8.7 billion dollars( Solman, Paul). If the US governmendeficitt were to sell marijuana or tax it, they would not only be able to regulate the drug but reap heavy profits as well. The Marijuana market may be worth only 8.7 billion today, but a recent estimate from the Huffington Post says that the marijuana industry will be worth 10.2 billion within 5 years, thats a growth of 300 million dollars a year (Stuart, Hunter). The Government would also be able to regulate the drug and help make sure that everything meets government health and safety standards. The added benefit of the US government making all of this money off the drug is it would pull out the profits from violent gangs. If the gangs had less money from drug running  the US government would have to spend less money fighting their large organizations. The combined reduction of cost from fighting crime and from the marijuana profit could do a lot of good for US citizens.

Many of the opposition would claim that marijuana will ruin your mind, that it cause you to be very forgetful, or lose IQ points. However the NIH would say differently, like most drugs used in large quantities marijuana will have side effects, but comparatively to other popular recreational drugs they are very minor. Heavy recreational teenaged users of marijuana did see a drop of IQ points, however if the drug is used responsibly by adults it will not show a lack of IQ points(What Are Marijuana’s Long-term Effects on the Brain). This news shouldn’t come as a huge shock since most drugs have poor effects of the health of teenagers, especially if used in large quantities. Knowing this the solution is to allow adults to use the drug how they see fit in moderation, just like alcohol. If the loss of a few IQ points in the most heavy of younger users is the worst side effect of the drug, then marijuana would ahead of cigarettes and alcohol in terms of safety by a mile. Every year 480,000 people die from cigarettes every year (CDC). Alcohol kills a staggering 88,000 people a year alone(Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use and Your Health). Thats 560,000 deaths a year compared to a loss of a few IQ points seems like a laughable contest. It is also important to keep in mind that alcohol and cigarettes have no medically value either.

After careful review of all of marijuana’s benefits, legalization seems like a no brainer. It can be used to treat medical conditions when nothing else can, it is impossible to overdose on, and it can help relieve the pain of those with terminal illnesses. With the numerous health benefits cannabis presents, legalization would do America as a whole a great deal of good. Finally, the most compelling reason for marijuana legalization: the economic benefits. With an economic jumpstart of 8.7 billion dollars a year the marijuana market sure packs a bang for its buck. That 8.7 billion dollar will be worth 10.2 billion  in the next 5 years. With such an outstanding rate of growth marijuana could soon become a huge industry with many job opportunities and lots of room for economic growth. With all these benefits it is a foolish move not to legalize marijuana.

Sources:

CDC. “Tobacco-Related Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease          Control and Prevention, 06 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.

“Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use and Your Health.” CDC. N.p., 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.

Ferris, Robert. “These Are The 9 Reasons That Sanjay Gupta Changed His Mind About Marijuana.”     Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.

“Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 09 Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Miron, Jeffrey. “Why Congress Should Legalize Pot.” CNN. Cable News Network, 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

Stuart, Hunter. “If You Support Legal Marijuana, Memorize These 13 States.”The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.

What Are Marijuana’s Long-term Effects on the Brain?” Drugabuse.gov. NIH, 1 Dec. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.

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The Inside World of Drug Smuggling

Harrison Ward

Before we can fully understand America’s drug problem, we need to know where the drugs come from, and that means going south. Most people know of the most popular drugs such as Cocaine, Crack-Cocaine, Oxycontin, Marijuana, Methamphetamines, Codine, Heroin and countless others. These drugs are dangerous, but many forget that almost of these dangerous drug’s main ingredients are plants, plants mainly grown in South America. Before we can fully examine, the effects of drugs on the economy, the body, and on crime we first take a look at where these dangerous drugs originate.

Pablo escobar
A picture of Pablo Escobar in a cool suit.

The Drug trade is a $321 billion industry as it was valued by the United Nations in 2005 (Pollard ,Niklas). $241 billion of that comes from lower level dealers “hustlin” on the streets selling to users and addicts(Pollard,NIklas). With so much money to be made, cartels will resort to extreme violence to protect their turf, or their stake in trade. One of the most prolific and successful cartels to have a hand in the drugs trade was the Medellin cartel lead by the infamous Pablo Escobar. The Medellin cartel made large amounts of money that they reinvested back into more sophisticated methods of smuggling. At one point Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel were making so much money Escobar was spending $2,500 a month on rubber bands to hold all of his money(Sass, Erik). With so much money in the industry it is no wonder the Medellin cartel was willing to murder hundreds of government officials to avoid facing trial in the US (The Business). At the time of his death, in 1993 Escobar had a reported worth of $25 billion.

Global-cocaine-flows-WDR2010
The cocaine smuggling routes in 2008.

With such lucrative profits to be made, the drug smuggling and distribution rings, like any other industry have become increasingly more complicated and intricate. The main destinations of most of the drugs grown in South America is Europe and America. Since these two places have the biggest market for drugs, the most money can be made by smuggling the drugs there, where the substances can be bought for top dollar. However since most places in Europe and almost all places in America have banned drugs it can be difficult to get the drugs into the country. The US makes it a priority to make sure these dangerous substances don’t get into the country, that is why the Customs and Border Protections agency patrols 328 American ports, 21 of which are in California (At Ports of Entry). Not only is it difficult to smuggle drugs, it is risky business since you can face up to life in prison for smuggling if it is not your first offense. There have been 817,518 domestic drug arrest since 1986 (DEA /Federal Trafficking Penalties). With the stakes so high, the technology some of the cartels use to stay one step ahead of the law is remarkable. The Center for International Maritime Security described the situation as “Over time, they have acquired vast financial resources that allow them to invest in technologies geared towards providing them with a strategic edge. Drug cartels have learned to adapt to a changing environment where law enforcement authorities and militaries are also seeking to find their own effective ways of disrupting the flow of illicit drugs” (Ramirez, Bryon). These submarines are usually manned by a four man crew that carry about 7,000 kilograms of cocaine and make about $175 million per trip(Colombia’s Coke-Smuggling Submarines).

In some places, the more governments try and crack down on the problem the worse and worse the problem becomes. In some of the poorer countries, governments aren’t equipped to fight multi-billion dollar drug cartels such as the Medellin and Cali cartels. When Pablo Escobar was caught, a lot of evidence came from a rival cartel, “The Cali cartel began to attack the Medellin cartel — particularly Pablo Escobar — as their competition became more and more violent. They eventually would form the PEPES, or People Against Pablo Escobar, which specifically targeted Escobar’s homes, businesses and lieutenants” (The Business). When Pablo Escobar was threatened by the Colombian government with extradition, he resorted to murdering jurors, government officials, and police. Currently in Mexico while the Mexican government wages war on the cartels innocent bystanders are usually the victims. In Mexico between now and 2006, approximately 100,000 people have gone missing in kidnapping (Steinberg, Nik). These missing people are used by the cartels to smuggle drugs, conduct assassinations and other dirty jobs the cartels need done.

Overall the drug smuggling business is a dirty, dangerous, and extremely profitable. As efforts to stop the trade goes on, the more and more advanced the techniques used to smuggle the drugs become. When efforts are made by governments to stop the cartels, the more and more violent the actions of the cartels are to protect their multi-billion dollar industry.

Works Cited

“Trafficking Statistics.” Drug – Drug Traffic in the United States – Drug Rehab and Drug

Trafficking. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

“DEA /Federal Trafficking Penalties.” DEA /Federal Trafficking Penalties. US Department of

Justice, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

“At Ports of Entry.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Department of Homeland Security, n.d.

Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Steinberg, Nik. “Vanished: The Disappeared of Mexico’s Drug War.” Humans Rights Watch (2014): n. pag.

Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

“Drug Trafficking.” United Nations Office Drug Crimes. UNODC, 2014. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.

“The Business.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Pollard, NIklas. “UN Report Puts World’s Illicit Drug Trade at Estimated $321b.” Boston.com. The New              York Times, 30 June 2005. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

Gane-McCalla, Casey. “Top 10 Richest Gangsters Of All Time.” News One RSS. N.p., 2 Sept.2011.                   Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

Sass, Erik. “Profiles in Scourges: Pablo Escobar.” Mental Floss. Felix Dennis, 2 Dec. 2011.

Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

Ramirez, Bryon. “Narco-Submarines: Drug Cartels’ Innovative Technology.”Center for

International Maritime Security. N.p., 2 Aug. 2014. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Colombia’s Coke-Smuggling Submarines. Prod. Santiago Steelley. Vbs Ips, 2009. Youtube.

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What Does the War On Drugs Mean?

Drugs are surrounded by a certain astigmatism, they can save lives or ruin them. Drugs are a large part of American culture whether they be Crack Cocaine or aspirin. Prescription drugs can save lives and cure otherwise life altering conditions or syndromes. Prescription drugs are very powerful and not to be trifled with, prescription drugs caused 22,114 of the 41,502 drug overdose deaths in 2012 (Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet) . Illicit drugs, which are far more prevalent whengraphic 1 people think of drug abuse, caused 21.2% of emergency room visits in 2009. And those who die without medical attention is difficult to count but is more than likely very high. After analyzing these facts, it is very clear that these substances need to be controlled. People need to be educated about these substances, especially white males who are 21 and over, since they are the highest risk demographic according to the center for disease control (Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet). So what is being done to control drug use and how effective has it been?

How to control the distribution of drugs has plagued presidents, law enforcement agencies, and governments the world over. In the 1960, as drugs became a bigger part of mainstream culture, and their use more accepted by youth. As a consequence death from overdoses became more and more common (A Brief History of the Drug War).graphic 2  The most dangerous part of drugs isn’t the effects on the body, it’s the amount of violent crimes drugs cause. In 2004 18% of federal inmates were in prison trying to obtain money to buy drugs (Drug Use and Crime).  In 2006, of the 15,087 homicides in America 3,868 were drug related. That is an average of 10 drug related murders a day or 25% of all homicides (Drug Use and Crime). Without context, these statistics are worrying, but otherwise these may not have a lot of impact on how we perceive the drug war. So why do these numbers matter? These statistics are the direct result of how drugs, both illicit and prescription are treated by law enforcement in America.

So why is criminalizing the possession of illicit drugs potentially harmful? In hindsight, the prohibition was probably the worst thing to happen to American law enforcement. It allowed the Mob to get a foothold in America and led rise to the most notorious gangster of all time: Al Capone.  In these modern times a striking parallel can be noticed, the sale of illegal narcotics is a lead source of revenue for gangs. This revenue goes to buy more guns and those guns are used to commit those 3,868 murders previously mentioned. Prohibition was a mistake, it led to speakeasies popping up and otherwise wholesome Americans serving years in prison. In 2014, similar statistics can be seen. In the Federal Bureau of Prisons 48% of prisoners as of September 27 of this year are in jail for drug offenses, that’s 98,482graphic 3 people. That number may seem low considering 2.3 million Americans are in prison, however the majority of prisons are privatized and many different corporations’ house American prisoners. Convicted felons have a difficult time getting jobs. If they can’t get money to fuel their drug addiction the legal way, they are right back on the streets committing crimes to buy drugs. Now this is a generalization and certainly not the case for all people, but this destructive cycle leads around and around contributing to the problems of violent crime and America’s crippled prison system.

At the end of the day, the war on drugs isn’t a war on drugs, it’s a war on Americans. The war on drugs started with good intentions: stop drug related deaths, keep people safe, lower crime, and help bring drug lords to justice. The war on drugs has done none of those things, 2.3 million Americans are in prison, that number is higher than any other country in the world. Now more than ever a vicious cycle of committing crimes to fuel your drug addiction because you’re a convicted felon and can’t get a job is occurring. We as a society can fix how drugs, and drug addicts are treated in America, but that is a complex topic for another post. After reviewing these facts, it is very clear that reform is needed. A committee formed by Richard Nixon made a unanimous decision back in 1972 that marijuana should be legalized (A Brief History of the Drug War). We know drugs are dangerous, we know mishandling drugs is dangerous, and we know poor drug policy is dangerous. Now armed with this information, it’s just up to you on how you’ll perceive drugs in America and how and if you’ll bring change.

Harrison Ward

Works Cited

“A Brief History of the Drug War.” A Brief History of the Drug War. Drug Policy Alliance,

n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2014.

“DEA.gov / Mission Statement.” DEA.gov / Mission Statement. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct.

2014.

“DrugFacts: Nationwide Trends.” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., Jan. 4. Web. 17 Oct.              2014.

“Drug Use and Crime.” Bureau of Justice Statistics. N.p., May 2004. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

“Organized Crime and Prohibition.” Organized Crime and Prohibition. Albany University, n.d. Web. 28 Oct.       2014.

“Federal Bureau of Prisons.” BOP Statistics: Inmate Offenses. N.p., 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Ferner, Matt. “If Legalizing Marijuana Was Supposed To Cause More Crime, It’s Not

Doing A Very Good Job.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, July 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.

“Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Oct. 2014.Web. 27 Oct. 2014.

“Thirty Years of America’s Drug War.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.

An Introduction To The Concept of Prohibition

When someone says drugs you may think of illicit substances that can ruin lives and skyrocket crime rates. Or you may think of powerful tools in modern medicine that can save millions of lives, and have help shaped today’s modern world. Whatever first comes to mind when you think about drugs, or whether you have strong feelings about them; either way you cannot deny their huge presence in modern society. Drugs won’t be going away anytime soon, so we might as well have more comprehensive policies for dealing with them in the mean time. For example when Portugal abolished charges associated with drugs charges violent crimes almost disappeared. This is the kind of reform we need in America.