Term Paper: United States Has Waged

Pages: 11 (3075 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] When people are addicted it is doubtful that laws and threats are going to keep them from using (Rauch, 2002). This is one of the reasons this study is needed, to determine if the laws have a positive impact on the reduction of drug use and abuse or if they are simply spending tax paper money to produce a revolving door in jails and prisons (Rauch, 2002). It is not only illegally manufactured drugs that are at the focus of the laws against drug use, it is also the prescription drugs that are being abused currently. When Purdue invented a pain killer called OxyContin it provided relief to millions who suffered moderate to severe pain.

What Purdue did not expect was that drug abusers would learn how to defeat the time-release feature by crushing OxyContin and then snorting or injecting it, to get a heroinlike high (Rauch, 2002). A wave of abuse began in Appalachia and then radiated across the country, hitting rural areas particularly hard. Officials in Washington County, in the far northeastern corner of Maine, told The New York (Rauch, 2002) Times recently that OxyContin crimes there are 10 times more prevalent than in 1998 and that at least 1,000 residents are addicted. In suburban and rural Northern Virginia, armed robbers have been systematically knocking over pharmacies that stock OxyContin (Rauch, 2002). Even Alaska is now reporting problems (Rauch, 2002). The Drug Enforcement Administration suspects OxyContin abuse in 300 or so deaths in 31 states over the past two years (though in many of those cases, oxycodone was only one of several substances abused) (Rauch, 2002). Police and prosecutors have gotten busy confronting the spreading problem, as they should; but in doing so, they have also pushed the law to or beyond its intended limits (Rauch, 2002). In February, a Florida jury set a new precedent by finding Dr. James Graves guilty of four counts of manslaughter for prescribing OxyContin to patients who subsequently died (Rauch, 2002). He was also convicted of one count of racketeering and five of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (Rauch, 2002). On March 22, Graves was sentenced to 63 years in prison (Rauch, 2002). According to Ed Ellis, one of his defense attorneys, if the 55-year-old Graves loses his appeal, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Good, said Lester Daniels, whose son was among the four dead. "As long as he never sees outside prison walls, that's great for me (Rauch, 2002)," Daniels told the Associated Press. "He's slime. He's pure slime (Rauch, 2002)."

In addition to the war on drugs there is a faction that believes marijuana and other more "harmless" drugs should be legalized instead of prosecuted more stringently (Taylor, 2001).

This study proposal is designed to answer the question about whether the current anti-drug laws are effective in reducing the drug manufacture and use in America or not. There are many opinions on both sides of the issue but with the drug problem continuing there is concern that anti-drug laws are serving the opposite affect than they were intended to provide.

The nation "would markedly reduce our crime rate if drugs were legalized (Kasindorf, 1993)," U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said yesterday, upholding her reputation for provoking controversy with forthright comments on social issues. Elders, answering a question after making a speech on violent crime at the National Press Club, called for studies on the effects liberalizing drug laws would have (Kasindorf, 1993). "Some of the countries that have legalized drugs," she said, citing no specifics, "certainly have shown that there has been a reduction in their crime rate and there has been no increase in their drug use rate (Kasindorf, 1993)."

Those who want the drug laws to be less strict point to Holland as the example of how loosening the reins can actually do more to reduce the drug problem than anti-drug laws can do (Holland's Drug Policies: The Lesson for Canada

http://www.readersdigest.ca/mag/2000/08/think_drugs.html

BY GLADYS POLLACK). "Some twenty-four years ago, the Dutch government embarked upon an innovative experiment, a tolerant "soft drug" policy, whose repercussions today are wide-ranging In 1976, the Dutch Parliament liberalized its policy towards drug use, a policy differing broadly from that of its European neighbors (Holland's Drug Policies: The Lesson for Canada

http://www.readersdigest.ca/mag/2000/08/think_drugs.html

BY GLADYS POLLACK). The new drug legislation differentiated drugs such as heroin, cocaine and LSD, which were viewed as presenting "an unacceptable risk," from the "softer," less dangerous cannabis products (Holland's Drug Policies: The Lesson for Canada

http://www.readersdigest.ca/mag/2000/08/think_drugs.html

Possession of 30 grams of marijuana or hashish (supposedly enough to satisfy the average user's needs for several weeks) was decriminalized. With certain restrictions, the Dutch government also permitted sale of marijuana and hashish in licensed coffee shops. These shops were prohibited from advertising or selling more than 30 grams to one customer. The sale of hard drugs was illegal in the shops, as were sales to persons under 18 years of age. Importing, exporting and selling cannabis products remained illegal outside of the coffee shops (Holland's Drug Policies: The Lesson for Canada

http://www.readersdigest.ca/mag/2000/08/think_drugs.html

There is no question that arrests are on the rise, but this does not prove the laws are acting as deterrents. It only proves that the laws are becoming stricter. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dcf/enforce.htm www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dcf/d_arrtot.htm" [D]

METHODOLOGY

Participants

The participants in the proposed study will be drawn from two different populations. They will be drawn from college and adult populations located through data bases that will be purchased from advertisers of products. The second population will be drawn from those who are incarcerated currently or have been in the past for drug laws. The participants will be of mixed seriocomic backgrounds and they will be of both genders. There will be approximately 10,000 participants in the initial study population that will be narrowed to 1,000 for the purpose of the study participant population. The study will consist of as equal a number of gender and race as can be sorted from the respondents.

INSTRUMENT

The instrument that will be used is a survey questionnaire. There were several other methods discussed and rejected including in person interviews. The interviews were rejected because of the cost and time involved in collecting enough of them to make this a valid study. It was also rejected because of the removal of anonymity that it would provide by survey. This researcher believes it is important to promote honesty in the answers by the participants and providing an arena by which they can answer without giving their personal information will assist in that endeavor.

The survey will consist of three areas. The first area will ask about ethnic background, socioeconomic placement and general area of geographic location in the nation. The survey will then move to section two which will ask questions about drug use and knowledge of drug use. The third part of the survey will question the impact that laws have on the use or non-use of drugs.

The questions will be designed to determine how much of an impact anti-drug laws have on actual deterrence of drug laws. They will allow the participants to pencil in comments as well. The questions will ask if the participant has ever been incarcerated for drugs. If yes they will be directed to one set of questions, if no they will be directed to another set. Both sets will focus on how much impact or influence the participant believes the laws deterred them or will deter them in the future regarding drug involvement.

DATA

As the surveys come in they will be separated into three piles. Those that are incomplete will be placed in one pile because their information might be able to be used at a later date for a different purpose. The second pile will consist of those who have been incarcerated for drug involvement while the third pile will be those who have not been in trouble for drug use whether that was because they have not been caught or because they do not use or participate in drug involvement.

RESULTS

Results will be entered into a computer and will be analyzed by the answers they provide. Whether the person believes that anti-drug laws have any bearing on their participation in the drug world will be analyzed through their answers. Their answers will be yes, no and some of the questions will ask for the answers on a one to five type scale.

The answers will be compiled on the computer and then they will be added for the purpose of percentage scales. This will allow the research teeam to determine whether or not the anti-drug laws that are currently in place are serving as a deterrent for drug use and involvement.

The results of this study will serve to answer whether or not the current laws are working. It will also be useful to future studies if the current laws become changed and researchers want to compare the impact of the new laws compared… [END OF PREVIEW]

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