War On Drugs Research Paper

War On Drugs Research Paper-57
See also: Ending the War on Drugs: By the Numbers by Betsy Pearl Nationwide, communities face an unprecedented rise in substance misuse fatalities.

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There is robust debate about how to reduce the punitive aspects of drug courts, but today, policymakers and the public alike are increasingly adopting approaches that treat substance misuse as a health issue rather than a criminal justice one.

Unlike the justice system, which tends to place more emphasis on punishment than on treatment, harm reduction approaches focus on improving the well-being of all individuals and aim to reduce the risks associated with substance misuse.

More and more cities are expanding access to clean syringes, launching safe-injection facilities, and decriminalizing possession of controlled substances.

Public acceptance of these approaches was unthinkable just a few years ago.

In order to fully understand the public health consequences of marijuana use, however, more research needs to be done on the drug.

So far, research has been limited by federal prohibitions on marijuana, which impede funding for research in this area.Criminalizing substance misuse has also failed to improve health outcomes.A state-by-state comparison found that increasing incarceration for drug offenses did not yield any reductions in substance misuse, overdose fatalities, or drug arrests. To date, 30 states and the District of Columbia have liberalized their marijuana laws to some degree, and a majority of states have recognized marijuana’s medicinal benefits and legalized marijuana for medical reasons.Today, however, they are filtering into the mainstream.In fact, support for harm reduction spans the ideological spectrum.These strategies are underway in red and blue states alike, representing promising steps toward dismantling the country’s failed drug policy agenda.The rise of public support for harm reduction strategies cannot be separated from the fact that white Americans have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, though black communities are increasingly experiencing its effects.Instead, drug use was criminalized, and black Americans were locked up en masse.Four decades later, the number of Americans behind bars has grown by 350 percent.States that have liberalized their marijuana laws have done so to close these racial disparities, as well as to save on associated criminal justice costs.Legalizing substance use is one consideration to begin treating drug misuse as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice one.

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