ECON 430 War on Drugs Assignment 1

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ECON 430 War on Drugs

Assignment # 1

How do you define psychoactive and addictive drugs? Follow the links below and list five drugs that the US Government identifies as the most addictive drugs. Why are they defined as the most addictive? Is there anyone or more of them that the US Government does not seek to limit its use?

In some situations psychoactive and addictive drugs will be used to alter a person’s mental state in order to exploit them, for example, with the use of date-rape drugs.

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. 

US Government rate addictive drugs Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence.

heroin

lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

marijuana (cannabis) This drug is changing and is changing in the eyes of the government.

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy)

methaqualone, and peyote

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/Fact Sheets/pseudoephedrine fact sheet 7-16-10 0.pdf

Highly Addictive Drugs http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/commonly-abused-drugs-chart

List the main Goals and Objectives of the National Drug Control Office? List five of these goals and explain their rationale. Specifically, why does the US government feel that the use of illicit drugs such as Cocaine and Opium ( Morphine) should be controlled?

The United States approach to this matter is sociological, i.e., exploring how the interconnection between culture, social institutions, groups, and individuals function to create drug-related phenomena.

The popularity of these beverages exploded simultaneously with the increased use of cocaine in medical treatment. Although scientists, doctors, and lawmakers did not concern themselves at the time with physical dependency to cocaine, they grew very concerned about the more psychological effects, which included psychoses, hallucination, and depression.

How does the US Government propose to control the supply and use of or the spread of illicit drugs in the USA?

Shift Resources Into Programs That Work

Make Treatment Available on Request Like Any Other Health Service:

Prevent Drug Abuse By Investing in American Youth and Providing Them with Accurate Information

Focus Law Enforcement Resources on the Most Dangerous and Violent Criminals:

International Drug Control Efforts Should Be Demilitarized and Focus on Economic Development

Restore Justice to the US Justice System

Respect State’s Rights and Allow New Approaches to Be Tried

Make Prevention of HIV and Other Blood Borne Diseases a Top Priority

Identify five (Using MEDIC 8) document social and psychological effects of drug use. Do you think that they justify the War on Drugs? Why or Why not?

Marriage/Relationships

Home/family life

Employment

Personality

Law and order

I don’t think that this justifies the war on drugs. I note this specifically because these issues are quality of life and subjective on individual perceptions. The government uses the war inappropriately by using the war on drugs to fight a battle in the poor impoverished areas in the country. Specifically the war on drugs put people of color in jail.

Medic 8 (http://www.medic8.com/drug-addiction-and-crime.html)

Module III

When did illicit Drug use attract National attention in the USA?

The Harrison Narcotics Act, passed in 1914, was the United States’ first federal drug policy.  The act restricted the manufacture and sale of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and morphine. The act was aggressively enforced.  Physicians, who were prescribing drugs to addicts on “maintenance” programs, were harshly punished. 

The U.S. also was beginning to witness similar consequences by the early 1900s. However, the U.S. experience with dependence and abuse of opiates was less often the result of recreational opium smoking but rather an unintended “side effect” of medical practice (Terry and Pellens 1928; Musto 1999).

Early Drug Czars. For the first quarter of the 20th century, Presidents Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson relied, primarily, on two men to address the nation’s concerns with drug abuse (see Table 1). Reverend Charles Henry Brent and Hamilton Wright represented the U.S. internationally and brought the drug issue, visibility in the U.S. Congress and the Oval office. For example, Hamilton Wright took the lead in crafting a U.S. policy to control opium and cocaine after returning from Shanghai, where he and Reverend Brent assured the other participating nations that the U.S. would follow the conferences’ recommendations to establish controls on opiates.

Was there any debate about how illegal drug use should be considered as socially deviant or threats to National Security?

The proponents of drug policy can’t be classified as Liberal, Conservative, Left, Right, Democratic, or Republican.  Many Liberals and Democrats, such as the 103rd Congress favor drug criminalization and supply sided efforts, while some Conservatives, such as Milton Friedman and William Buckley favor drug legalization.  There are, however, three prevailing views on addiction in America, which have derived from America’s views of alcoholism. 

Compare and Contrast these same questions for the United States and Sweden? Specifically, how did Sweden go from War on Drugs to Harm Reduction and how did the USA go from Crime Reduction to War on Drugs?

Sweden

History- Before Narkotikakungörelsen, a person’s use of drugs was considered a personal choice of the user and their doctor. Non-medical drug use was rarely seen, but did exist among medical personnel, bohemian artists, writers and jazz musicians. Often the drugs used were supplied by prescription.

In 1958, the punishments became harsher, setting a minimum fine and introducing up to six months imprisonment as a possible penalty. In 1962, the law was superseded by the Decree on Narcotic Drugs, Narkotikaförordningen, which increased the maximum prison term to two years. Amphetamines became the primary illicit drug until the late 1960s, when cannabis became more popular.

n 1982, the Misuser Act (LVM) made it possible for municipalities to place very seriously drug dependent criminals in mandatory treatment with restrictions for a number of months. The same type of law had been used only for very serious alcoholics in the past. Mandatory treatment, according to this law, has been used for a hundreds people per year; in 2007 it was used for 330 people with serious drug problems, and 219 with both alcohol and drug problems.

Current

Sweden has conducted a study in 2000 which supports the view that the new, tougher policy has had a preventive effect on drug use.

A report by the UNODC praised Sweden for having one of the lowest drug usage rates in the western world, and attributes this to a drug policy that invests heavily in prevention and treatment (including free community services), as well as in strict law enforcement.

USA-

History

Why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It’s not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs – but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs.

The first anti-opium laws in the 1870s were directed at Chinese immigrants. The first anti-cocaine laws, in the South in the early 1900s, were directed at black men. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest in the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Today, Latino and especially black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices.

Between 1972 and 1988, the use of cocaine increased more than fivefold.[4][4] The usage patterns of the current two most culturally popular drugs: amphetamines and ecstasy, have shown similar gains.

The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.

Current

The Pendulum is Shifting – Slowly – Toward Sensible Drug Policy George W. Bush arrived in the White House as the drug war was running out of steam – yet he allocated more money than ever to it. His drug czar, John Walters, zealously focused on marijuana and launched a major campaign to promote student drug testing. While rates of illicit drug use remained constant, overdose fatalities rose rapidly. The era of George W. Bush also witnessed the rapid escalation of the militarization of domestic drug law enforcement. By the end of Bush’s term, there were about 40,000 paramilitary-style SWAT raids on Americans every year – mostly for nonviolent drug law offenses, often misdemeanors. While federal reform mostly stalled under Bush, state-level reforms finally began to slow the growth of the drug war.

Final Exam

Identify at least three socially influential public figures that have used cocaine and or Opium in the past. Describe these influential social figures used Cocaine and or Opium in the past.

Opium users

Marcus Aurelius – The Roman Emperor initially used the drug for medicinal purposes, but likely became addicted to it at some point during his reign over Rome.

Charles Dickens -The author of A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol was addicted to opium for many years and used the drug heavily right up to the time of his death (by massive stroke).

Florence Nightengale – It was discovered after her death that the most famous nurse who ever lived was a notorious opium users.

Billie Holiday -Arguably one of the greatest torch song singers who ever lived, Holliday was never able to overcome her addiction to heroin. Also used opium while on the road appearing in sold-out concerts.

Whitney Houston also met an untimely early death that was caused by drug use. At the age of forty-eight, Houston was found dead in a hotel bathtub. The medical examiner found that heart disease and cocaine caused her death.

Psychologist Sigmund Freud thought that cocaine was a good treatment for morphine addiction. He also used cocaine extensively, and some historians think that he wrote much of his original psychology theory while under the influence of cocaine. It is important to note that cocaine was not illegal when Sigmund Freud was using it.

Inventor Thomas Edison was one of many people who used legal cocaine-infused patent medicines during the late 1800s. He credited Vin Mariani with helping him work long hours.

Who are the Parsees of India? Describe how the Parsees and the British profited from the distribution of Opium in World Trade?

The Parsees of India are a group of followers in India of the Iranian prophet Zoraster. They migrated to India to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims. In 1832 the British forced the Chinese to import British opium that was produced in British India. Which caused the first Opium war from 1839-1842.

Explain the possible impacts of legalization on the market for currently illicit drugs.

Advocates of drug legalization believe that the current policies regarding drugs have been harmful to individuals, families, and society as a whole. They strongly oppose current drug laws and policies for a variety of reasons. Some see the laws as an impingement of individual freedoms. Some see them as a colossal waste of government resources citing the opinion that the legalization of drugs could produce millions in tax revenues while at the same time putting drug dealers out of business and ensuring quality controls in the production of drugs. Some feel that legalization would reduce overall crime. Some argue that the laws are a form of institutionalized racism designed to keep minorities as a permanent disenfranchised underclass by keeping them in prison, addicted, or completely dependent on government aid. Others take what they view as a humanitarian approach, arguing that certain substances should be made legal for medicinal purposes. Some have chosen to refer to the issue as harm reduction instead of drug legalization in an apparent effort to soften the issue and give it a more humanitarian tone. Still others view the prohibition against drugs as an inherently flawed and impossible strategy that has exacerbated crime and violence and has contributed to a sense of despair and hopelessness for millions of Americans.

When did illicit Drug Use attract National attention in the USA?

The Harrison Narcotics Act, passed in 1914, was the United States’ first federal drug policy.  The act restricted the manufacture and sale of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and morphine. The act was aggressively enforced.  Physicians, who were prescribing drugs to addicts on “maintenance” programs, were harshly punished. 

The U.S. also was beginning to witness similar consequences by the early 1900s. However, the U.S. experience with dependence and abuse of opiates was less often the result of recreational opium smoking but rather an unintended “side effect” of medical practice (Terry and Pellens 1928; Musto 1999).

Early Drug Czars. For the first quarter of the 20th century, Presidents Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson relied, primarily, on two men to address the nation’s concerns with drug abuse (see Table 1). Reverend Charles Henry Brent and Hamilton Wright represented the U.S. internationally and brought the drug issue, visibility in the U.S. Congress and the Oval office. For example, Hamilton Wright took the lead in crafting a U.S. policy to control opium and cocaine after returning from Shanghai, where he and Reverend Brent assured the other participating nations that the U.S. would follow the conferences’ recommendations to establish controls on opiates.

Was there any debate about how illegal drug use should be considered as socially deviant or threats to National Security?

The proponents of drug policy can’t be classified as Liberal, Conservative, Left, Right, Democratic, or Republican.  Many Liberals and Democrats, such as the 103rd Congress favor drug criminalization and supply sided efforts, while some Conservatives, such as Milton Friedman and William Buckley favor drug legalization.  There are, however, three prevailing views on addiction in America, which have derived from America’s views of alcoholism. 

Compare and Contrast these same questions for the United States and Sweden? Specifically, how did Sweden go from War on Drugs to Harm reduction and how did the USA go from Crime Reduction to War on Drugs?

Sweden

History- Before Narkotikakungörelsen, a person’s use of drugs was considered a personal choice of the user and their doctor. Non-medical drug use was rarely seen, but did exist among medical personnel, bohemian artists, writers and jazz musicians. Often the drugs used were supplied by prescription.

In 1958, the punishments became harsher, setting a minimum fine and introducing up to six months imprisonment as a possible penalty. In 1962, the law was superseded by the Decree on Narcotic Drugs, Narkotikaförordningen, which increased the maximum prison term to two years. Amphetamines became the primary illicit drug until the late 1960s, when cannabis became more popular.

n 1982, the Misuser Act (LVM) made it possible for municipalities to place very seriously drug dependent criminals in mandatory treatment with restrictions for a number of months. The same type of law had been used only for very serious alcoholics in the past. Mandatory treatment, according to this law, has been used for a hundreds people per year; in 2007 it was used for 330 people with serious drug problems, and 219 with both alcohol and drug problems.

Current

Sweden has conducted a study in 2000 which supports the view that the new, tougher policy has had a preventive effect on drug use.

A report by the UNODC praised Sweden for having one of the lowest drug usage rates in the western world, and attributes this to a drug policy that invests heavily in prevention and treatment (including free community services), as well as in strict law enforcement.

USA-

History

Why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It’s not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs – but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs.

The first anti-opium laws in the 1870s were directed at Chinese immigrants. The first anti-cocaine laws, in the South in the early 1900s, were directed at black men. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest in the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Today, Latino and especially black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices.

Between 1972 and 1988, the use of cocaine increased more than fivefold.[4][4] The usage patterns of the current two most culturally popular drugs: amphetamines and ecstasy, have shown similar gains.

The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.

Current

The Pendulum is Shifting – Slowly – Toward Sensible Drug Policy George W. Bush arrived in the White House as the drug war was running out of steam – yet he allocated more money than ever to it. His drug czar, John Walters, zealously focused on marijuana and launched a major campaign to promote student drug testing. While rates of illicit drug use remained constant, overdose fatalities rose rapidly. The era of George W. Bush also witnessed the rapid escalation of the militarization of domestic drug law enforcement. By the end of Bush’s term, there were about 40,000 paramilitary-style SWAT raids on Americans every year – mostly for nonviolent drug law offenses, often misdemeanors. While federal reform mostly stalled under Bush, state-level reforms finally began to slow the growth of the drug war.




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