Term Paper: Drug Law

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Drug Laws

Changes in Drug Legislation

The world in which we live, if nothing else, is one of constant change and crisis. These crises, such as in the case of illegal drug activity, have the very real potential of destroying society from the inside out, with the criminal justice system left in most cases to respond to, rather than deter these crises themselves. If we accept this assumption- that criminal justice agencies often must plan in response to crisis, or at the prompting of the legislature, community or other external stakeholders- then we must also assume change is constant. In this research, policies, changes and solutions will be the focus, in an effort to better understand the state of the war on drugs and the accompanying battle to create meaningful and effective drug laws.

Policies and Changes Surrounding the Rockefeller Drug Laws

The America of the early 1970s saw a boom in the illegal drug trade, coming off of a rush of demand for drugs after the drug hazed years of the 1960s. In response to this deadly industry, 1973 saw the enacting of the state of New York's response to the drug trade- the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The original intent of the Rockefeller Laws was to take out of society the "drug kingpins," those who distributed and sold illegal drugs, with a mindset that the end of the supply would lead to the end of the demand (drugpolicy.org). Following on the heels of Rockefeller were the Felony Offender Laws, which added strength to drug laws. The problem with these laws was not that they didn't work, but that they also led to the imprisonment of individual drug users, which swelled prison populations and turned ordinary people, many of whom were only occasional drug users, into convicted felons. Especially affected were minorities, who were among the biggest drug users at the time (nysda.org).

The change in the effect of drug laws, brought on by these two pieces… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/drug-law/1253246.