Federal drug policy of the United States

Use of heroin peaked between 1969 and 1971, marijuana between 1978 and 1979, and cocaine between 1987 and 1989.[1] A major decline in the use of opium started after the Harrison Act of 1914 was initiated.[2]

An overarching effort to impose mandatory penalties for federal drug crimes took place in the 1980s. This caused many drug crimes that were common at the time to carry mandatory minimum sentences of 5 to 10 years in a federal prison.

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, legalizing the growing and use of marijuana for medical purposes. This created significant legal and enforcement conflict between federal and state government laws. Courts have since decided that a state law in conflict with a federal law concerning cannabis is not valid. Cannabis is restricted by federal law (see Gonzales v. Raich). In 2010 California Proposition 19 (also known as the Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act) was defeated with 53.5% 'No' votes, and 46.5% 'Yes' votes.[3]

Pursuant to regulations (34 C.F.R. 86) required by the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1011i), as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a drug prevention program which adheres to regulations in 34 C.F.R. 86.100. It has recently gained renewed attention due to Colorado Amendment 64.[4]

Drug policy beginning to relax in new millennium

A review of drug policies at the turn of the century has given way to more relaxed US drug policies. The Reagan, and Nixon administration's "War on Drugs" policy has proved to be ineffective. US prisons are populated with drug users via laws that were implemented in the 1980s. The US has more incarcerated individuals than any other nation. The number is about to reach 2.5 million inmates, of which half are incarcerated on drug related offenses.

Many states looking for a solution to this issue are considering 'Rehabilitation' as opposed to 'Incarceration' for drug users. As of January 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia have made the use of marijuana legal for medical use. Seven more states are close to adopting the same policies, and Colorado has legalized marijuana completely. Other drugs will come up against much stronger opposition to legalize; however, many Americans believe that all drugs should be legalized, and also believe that eventually it will happen. The money that is now being spent to incarcerate drug users would be redirected to rehabilitation and drug education.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) oppose legalization of marijuana but support increased use of alternatives to incarceration for substance abuse disorders. A declaration about that, proposed by the US, was in March 2015 approved at an international conference by United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Interviews - Dr. Robert Dupont". Frontline. PBS. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  2. ^ Stephen R. Kandall, M.D.:Women and Addiction in the United States—1850 to 1920 Archived August 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Supplement to the Statement of Vote Statewide Summary by County for State Ballot Measures" (PDF). Secretary of State's office. January 6, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 4, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  4. ^ Yoder, Dezarae (February 25, 2013). "Marijuana illegal on campus despite Amendment 64". The Scribe.
  5. ^ "Commission on Narcotic Drugs Endorses Alternatives to Incarceration for Substance Use Disorders". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved January 24, 2016.

External links

Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (Pub.L. 100–690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988, H.R. 5210) is a major law of the so-called "War on Drugs" passed by the U.S. Congress which did two significant things:

Created the policy goal of a drug-free America; and

Established the Office of National Drug Control PolicyThe change from the Act of 1986 to the Act of 1988 concerns the mandatory minimum penalties to drug trafficking conspiracies and attempts that previously were applicable only to substantive completed drug trafficking offenses. The Act amended 21 U.S.C. 844 to make crack cocaine the only drug with a mandatory minimum penalty for a first offense of simple possession. The Act made possession of more than five grams of a mixture or substance containing cocaine base punishable by at least five years in prison. The five year minimum penalty also applies to possession of more than three grams of cocaine base if the defendant has a prior conviction for crack cocaine possession, and to possession of more than one gram of crack if the defendant has two or more prior crack possession convictions.The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 also offers several other amendments to the Act of 1986. First, the organization and coordination of Federal drug control efforts. Next, the reduction of drug demand through increased treatment and prevention efforts. Also, the reduction of illicit drug trafficking and production abroad. Lastly, sanctions designed to place added pressure on the drug user. The ADAA projected budget for these amendments was $6.5 billion for the 1989 fiscal year”. The result of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 was not foreseen. “After spending billions of dollars on law enforcement, doubling the number of arrests and incarcerations, and building prisons at a record pace, the system has failed to decrease the level of drug-related crime. Placing people in jail at increasing rates has had little long-term effect on the levels of crime”.The H.R. 5210 legislation was passed by the 100th U.S. Congressional session and enacted into law by the 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan on November 18, 1988.The media campaign mentioned in the act later became the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.

Controlled Substances Act

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is the statute establishing federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use, and distribution of certain substances is regulated. It was passed by the 91st United States Congress as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and signed into law by President Richard Nixon. The Act also served as the national implementing legislation for the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

The legislation created five schedules (classifications), with varying qualifications for a substance to be included in each. Two federal agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), determine which substances are added to or removed from the various schedules, although the statute passed by Congress created the initial listing. Congress has sometimes scheduled other substances through legislation such as the Hillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date-Rape Prevention Act of 2000, which placed gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in Schedule I and sodium oxybate (the isolated sodium salt in GHB) in Schedule III. Classification decisions are required to be made on criteria including potential for abuse (an undefined term), currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and international treaties.

Justin Haythe

Justin Haythe (born September 16, 1973) is an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. His first short story was published by Harper's Magazine. His book The Honeymoon was long-listed for The Booker Prize in 2004. He wrote the screenplays for the 2004 film The Clearing, the 2008 film Revolutionary Road and 2018's Red Sparrow. He worked on the 2013 action films Snitch and The Lone Ranger, as well as the 2017 horror film A Cure for Wellness.

Haythe lives in New York City, United States.

Political positions of Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson was the governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 and ran for president in 2012 and 2016. In December 2011 he announced he would pursue the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party for the 2012 general election. The Libertarian National Convention in May, 2012 chose Johnson as the party's candidate. In November 2014, Johnson announced he would pursue the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party for the 2016 general election. Johnson has taken positions on many political issues as revealed through his public comments, his gubernatorial record, his Our America Initiative and his campaigns to win the Republican and Libertarian nominations.

Johnson is known for having a philosophy of limited government with "fiscally-conservative but socially-progressive views." These are sometimes described as fiscally conservative, pro-civil liberties, and non-interventionist, especially as in opposition to a large military and foreign wars.

Snitch (film)

Snitch is a 2013 American action film directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Dwayne Johnson. The film was released in the United States on February 22, 2013. The film also stars Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Benjamin Bratt, and Michael Kenneth Williams.

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