There are differing opinions about how much enforcement the government should implement against the sale of illegal drugs. The war on drugs has been going on for decades, and while many people want to continue to make stricter drug laws that are enforced, others are ready to try a new approach. A new study concludes that the global war on drugs has failed, and that new tactics must be implemented.
The study was conducted by researchers at the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and was published in the journal BMJ Open. The study concluded that the price of illicit drugs is dropping while the purity of the drugs is increasing, meaning there is a greater market for the drugs today than a decade ago. The study also found that drug seizures have generally increased, meaning more effort and money is going toward enforcing drug laws. According to researchers, marijuana seizures by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration increased by 465 percent between 1990 and 2010, while heroin seizures increased by 29 percent.
Education, Prevention, and Treatment
Authors of this study and other professionals agree that our country is not effectively using its resources to curb illegal drug abuse.
“These findings add to the growing body of evidence that the war on drugs has failed,” said Dr. Evan Wood, who was involved with the study. “We should look to implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health rather than a criminal justice issue.”
Promoting education and the prevention of drug abuse will keep more people from getting caught up with this problem. Providing effective treatment for those who are already struggling with a drug addiction will help these individuals get their lives back and become contributing members of society, which will reduce the need for law enforcement in the first place.