New version page

VCU HPEX 352 - Importance of Autonomy in Drug Policy

Upgrade to remove ads

This preview shows page 1 out of 3 pages.

View Full Document
Premium Document
Do you want full access? Go Premium and unlock all 3 pages.
Access to all documents
Download any document
Ad free experience

Upgrade to remove ads
Unformatted text preview:

Sukhmani SoniHPEX-352-903Importance of Autonomy in Drug PolicyThe War on Drugs is a complete failure in preventing drug related harm. As drug related harm increases so do those incarcerated for drug related crimes. Drug use is inevitable in a society, no matter what legal consequences there maybe, people always find a way to sell and use drugs and they always will. Instead of not accepting this reality we’ve made our prisons basically a very low end, extremely costly, inhumane club practically exclusive to POC with drug related charges.On the path to complete his PhD dissertation Dr. Ethan Nadelmann interviewed membersof drug law enforcement such as the DEA and border control when he realized the drug problem is usually blamed on what people know the least about. He realized the “drug war” is no one political, moral, intellectual issue but one huge rather complicated puzzle. The true challenge according to Nadelmann is to make a world that is safe with drugs and perhaps even beneficial tosociety with the correct education. Basically try to accomplish the exact opposite of the war on drugs is what Nadelmann is saying.When it comes to what drugs are legal and why, as stated in the ted talk there is no backing of science or health reasons, so why are some drugs that are known for killing millions ayear like prescription opiates legal but a drug with no record of overdoses such a marijuana still criminalized in half the US? Nadelmann goes on to state the legality of drugs has little to do withthe actual drug and everything to do with the user. Not shocking the “drug war” is fueled by race,in the 1800s when opiates and other drugs were all legal, the group with the highest number of opiate users were actually middle aged white women to treat pain, but as soon as chinese people 1started using opium pipes is when the US had its first drug prohibition. The fear was this non-white group of people were going to turn “americans” aka white americans into druggies, when in reality whites were already consuming illegal drugs before the were illegal. Same goes for the criminalization for coke was not fueled by the potential risk of death or high chance of addiction but to criminalize blacks. people in prison are incarcerated due to drug related crimes, it’s also⅘no secret the blacks and africans americans have the highest incarceration rate than any other race in the US. Naddlemann said the drug law disparities have nothing to do with the drug and everything with who is using them, which makes sense as to why crack cocaine is more criminalized than powder cocaine. Crack is more commonly found in minority communities for it is a cheaper version of powdered coke which in a way is the gold standard for the drug due to its effects, potency and most of all higher price that communities with high minority rates cannotafford as much. These type of users in lower income neighborhoods with higher minority rates are an easy and vulnerable target for drug convictions and are more likely to get into legal trouble, whereas wealthier and especially white communities do not face the same struggles and stereotypes that the american justice system has perpetuated over the years to target people of color. Well stated by Nadelmann, drug policies are centered around criminalization and not health. The reasons we need to focus on intelligent regulations according to drug policy reformist Ethan Nadlemann policy and the way as a society we view drugs. If we change how weview drugs to be in favor of safety rather than criminalization, drug related harm as a whole will decrease but these changes cannot effectively be applied without changes to our drug policies and vice versa. 2People always have found a way to use and sell drugs, and they always will. I strongly believe it is a reality our country needs to accept so we can actually decrease drug related harm. Once we accept this harsh truth we can start implementing a system of autonomy so people who do use/sell drugs can do so without motives that are not affected by our skewed justice system, but a government that assists in creating a safer environment for inevitable drug use that will actually reduce drug related harm. Countries who have adopted autonomy vs. paternalism by legalizing certain drugs and drug practices experience much less drug use, overdose, addiction, and violence. I believe we must legalize marijuana considering there has never been a reported overdose, legalize other certain drugs as well as the trafficking for them, and decriminalize all drugs and drug practices, if we really want to see a change in all forms of drug related harm.

View Full Document
Download Importance of Autonomy in Drug Policy
Our administrator received your request to download this document. We will send you the file to your email shortly.
Loading Unlocking...

Join to view Importance of Autonomy in Drug Policy and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Importance of Autonomy in Drug Policy 2 2 and access 3M+ class-specific study document.


By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?