What are the pros and cons of the war on drugs?

Answer

On the website ProCon.org, statements by the ACLU and by a former Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reveal that the major pros and cons of the war on drugs revolve around the effectiveness of mandatory minimum sentencing. This sentencing requires all courts to impose a minimum sentence for drug offenses, which is intended to be a deterrent to potential offenders.

An article in the Global Post explains that although there are numerous flaws in the drug war, which was started by President Richard Nixon, the major benefit cited by its proponents is deterrence. The article goes on to state that even marijuana can have psychological and neurological effects. However, opponents say that the drawbacks of the war on drugs far outweigh any benefits it may have, including deterrence.

The Drug Policy Alliance reports that more than $51 billion is spent on the national war on drugs each year, including millions spent to incarcerate American citizens over non-violent drug-related crimes, including possession. In fact, 88 percent of the people arrested for drugs are arrested for possession only, suggesting that the drug war doesn't actually put as many legitimate drug dealers behind bars as it does offenders.

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