Assessing Success of Drug Policy

In: Social Issues

Submitted By cgleds01
Words 2641
Pages 11
Research and analyse debates on the current 'war against drugs' and its success or otherwise, globally and/or locally. Explain the debate and present an argument, supported by evidence, for either the continuation of a 'war against drugs' or for an alternative.
The use of prohibited drugs has been predominant in Western society since the 19th century, with cannabis introduced to the United States in 1839, while opium was introduced to Europe and the United States through trade with China. These drugs were initially used for pharmaceutical benefits, but over time various legislatures introduced laws to administer, regulate and prohibit the use of various drugs. The declaration of ‘war on drugs’ took place in the United States of America (USA) in 1971. The historical response to the ‘war on drugs’ has been prohibition: the complete banning of drug use. This approach, which involves strict enforcement of illegal drug laws, has proven costly and ineffective (RCAP & RANZCP, 2004). This essay will focus on Australia’s current drug debate regarding the legalisation of certain prohibited illicit drugs. Whilst examining the Australian position, this essay will use international examples to illustrate how the current strategy fails and survey workable solutions. Firstly, this work examines the historical position of the ‘war on drugs’. It will outline the history of drug use in Australia and the nation’s current drug policy. This essay will then discuss the criminal, social, health and policy issues surrounding the debate regarding the legalization versus prohibition. Having addressed these points this essay concludes the prohibition of certain illicit drugs has failed comprehensively and legalising, controlling and regulating drugs should be the new Australian drug policy.


The ‘war on drugs’ is fundamentally a viewpoint voicing…...

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