War on Drugs in 2003 Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1332 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

¶ … War on Drugs

In 2003, the United States Federal Government spent over $19 billion dollars on the War on Drugs, a rate of approximately $600 per second, and the budget since has been increased by over a billion dollars (Drug pp). And state and local governments spent at least another $30 billion (Drug pp).

For the year 2005 arrests for law violations are expected to exceed the 1,678,192 arrests of 2003, in fact, someone is arrested every twenty minutes (Drug pp).

In the year 2002, 45.3% of the 1,538,813 total arrest for drug abuse violations were for marijuana, resulting in a total of 697,082 and of these, 613,986 were for marijuana possession alone (Drug pp). Since December 31, 1995, the United States prison population has grown an average of 43,266 inmates per year, and roughly 25% are sentence for drug law violations (Drug pp).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on War on Drugs in 2003, the United Assignment

The Financial Action Task Force, FATF, hired Peter Reuter, a well-known economist who has done extensive work on illegal drug markets, to find the size of the world illegal drug market (Economics pp). The United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, UNDCP, opened its data bank for the research, which resulted in an estimated range between $45 and $280 billion (Economics pp). According to the United Nations, "profits in illegal drugs are so inflated that three-quarters of all drug shipments would have to be intercepted to seriously reduce the profitability of the business" (Economics pp). Currently, only 13% of heroin shipments and 28% of cocaine shipments are intercepted (Economics pp). The United Nations reports that in 2001, a kilogram of heroin in Pakistan sold for an average of $610, while in the United States it averaged $25,000 per kilogram (Economics pp). The United States Office of National Drug Control Policy claims that the cost of heroin at the retail level declined from an estimated $1, 974.49 per gram in 1981 to $361.95 per gram in 2003 (Economics pp). Moreover, the average purity of heroin in the U.S. market increased during that time as well, going from a retail level of 11% in 1981 to an average of 46% in 2003 (Economics pp).

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the $18.822 billion spent by the federal government on the drug war in 2002 breaks down as follows:

Treatment (with Research): $3.587 Billion (19.1% of total)

Prevention (with Research): $2.548 Billion (13.5% of total)

Domestic Law Enforcement: $9.513 Billion (50.5% of total)

Interdiction: $2.074 Billion (11.0% of total)

International: $1.098 Billion (5.8% of total)

Economics pp).

In other words, 67% was directed to supply reduction, while 32.6% was directed toward demand reduction (Economics pp).

Since 1982, the total justice expenditures has more than quadrupled, from $36 billion to over $167 billion, resulting in a 366% increase, while the average annual increase for all levels of government between 1982 and 2001 was 8% (Economics pp). Local police spending represented 30% of the Nation's total justice expenditure, and State corrections accounted for the second largest portion, 23% (Economics pp).

The latest statistics from the United States Department of Justice report that there are now more than two million men and women behind bars in the United States (Incarcerated pp). And contrary to popular perception, violent crime is not responsible for the quadrupling of the incarcerated population in the U.S. since 1980, actually violent crime rates have remained constant or declined over the last two decades (Incarcerated pp). According to the Human Rights Watch, the single greatest factor behind the growth of the prison population has been the national "war on drugs" (Incarcerated pp). The number of incarcerated drug offenders has increased twelve-fold since 1980, and in the year 2000, 22% of those in federal and state prisons were convicted on drug charges (Incarcerated pp). Moreover, although blacks account for only 12% of the U.S. population, 44% of all prisoners in the United States are black (Incarcerated pp). HRW says that the national war on drugs has been the primary… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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