Drug Reform

In: Social Issues

Submitted By emorton60
Words 2657
Pages 11
Drug Policy Reform

Eric L. Morton

Urban Policy/UST 458

Cleveland State University

Abstract

In the United States the prison population has increased from 300,000 in 1972 to 2.2 million

people today. One in 31 adults in the United States is in jail, prison, on probation or parole.

The American government currently spends over 68 billion dollars a year on incarceration.

Drug Policy and the incarceration of low-level drug offenders is the primary cause of mass

incarceration in the United States. Forty percent of drug arrests are for simple possession of

marijuana. Growing evidence indicates that drug treatment and counseling programs are far more

effective in reducing drug addiction and abuse than is incarceration.

Drug policies most often refer to the government's attempt to combat the negative effects of drug addiction and misuse in its society Governments try to combat drug addiction with policies which address both the demand and supply of drugs, as well as policies which can mitigate the harms of drug abuse. Demand reduction measures include prohibition, fines for drug offenses, incarceration for persons convicted for drug offenses, treatment (such as voluntary rehabilitation), awareness campaigns, community social services, and support for families.
Policies which may help mitigate the effects of drug abuse include needle exchange and drug substitution programs, as well as free facilities for testing a drug's purity. Political parties, the general public, interest groups (public/special), and the media are all

actors in public policy agenda setting. Policy comes about when there is a convergence of

ideology, beliefs, and interest applied through the medium of political power upon or by

policymakers, public interest groups, and/or the media to create a political climate…...

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