Supply and Demand Reduction

The war on drugs in America rages on with increased efforts in reducing supply and demand.  Supply reduction is an essential component to drug control.  Whereas, drug reduction is ineffective without limiting the availability of drugs in America. (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1999)  Quite simply, when the availability of illegal substances is increased so does the usage and abuse.  This paper will discuss key concepts to supply and demand reduction and evaluate how these concepts can be used in the war on drugs.

Supply reduction in the drug market does not work the same as in the economic market.  As Abadinsky (2014) explains the reduction in drug supply will increase the revenue for a drug trafficker as the desire to consume has not been affected.  Supply reduction is a concept that must be utilized domestically and internationally to be successful.  Regulations help control illegal substances from entering the country.  In the US supply reduction includes enforcement of anti-drug laws, eradication of marijuana cultivation, Custom’s inspections of personal belongings and all persons entering the country, and drug free zones in public and private educational facilities.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy (2014) gives incite in the international efforts for supply reduction, which include building consensus, coordinated investigations, anti-money laundering initiatives, and foreign assistance.  Supply reduction disrupts normal operations of the manufacturing, shipping, and distributing of drugs in the United States.  According to the Drug Policy Alliance Group (2015), American drug policy is focusing their efforts in reducing the international drug supply. The idea is to keep the illegal substances from being smuggled in to the country in order to reduce the availability of the drugs and eventually snuffing out the severity of the issue in America.

Demand reduction is challenging to say the least.  The efforts are aimed at reducing the public’s desire for illegal drugs.  Drug reduction in America include supervised treatment centers.  Often time’s mothers and their babies will undergo court ordered treatment in order to detox and resist the urge to get high once clean.  Babies born with an addiction to cocaine or heroin suffer extreme withdrawal symptoms and often times suffer a great deal.  That is why individual states are taking a stand and placing policies to reduce the demand for drugs.  According to Abadinsky (2014) fourteen states require doctors to report any suspicions of drug abuse by a pregnant woman.  Nineteen states have funded drug treatment programs that are designed for pregnant women.   These efforts are focused on driving down the numbers of babies born with an addiction.  Inn 1998 the Department of Education placed new regulations that would affect students with a drug record from receiving financial assistance or student loans for continued education.

It is difficult to say if the war on drugs will ever come to an end.  Officials will never seize all the illegal drugs or stop them from entering the country.  Nor can they stop drug sales on the street, but they can enforce regulations and laws that are in place to control the availability of the drugs within our communities.  There is success in decreasing numbers.  Drug traffickers will always look for a way around the law and move around looking for safe zones in which they can distribute illicit drugs and make money.  Supply and demand reduction are effective in drug prevention when used together.  It is almost impossible to reduce the desire if the supply is not interrupted.  That is why treatment facilities that work to detox drug abusers decrease the supply that is readily available.  Reducing supply may make the price go up and put more money in the pushers pocket, but eventually his supply is affected and these efforts help bring us closer to a drug free America.

Policy makers must continue implementing new strategies that will allow states to shorten the supply and decrease the desired need for illegal drugs in America.  By increasing efforts in customs, along the borders, and on our streets we have the opportunity to diminish the war on drugs as we know it.

References:

Abadinsky, H. (2014). Drug Use and Abuse: A Comprehensive Introduction (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Reducing the Supply of Illegal Drugs. (1999). Retrieved May 9, 2015, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/policy/99ndcs/iv-g.html

Supply and Demand. (2015). Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://www.drugpolicy.org/supply-and-demand

International Drug Policies

Drugs are not just an American problem.  The drug epidemic is nationally bound.  Among the diversity in cultures there is a common goal to reduce the problems that drugs impose on public safety among the European Union.  Each nation has strong opinions on how this goal should be defined and attained.  Due to the strong standings on the issue, we find that drug policies can vary based on the country.  This paper will focus on current national drug policies in Canada, England, and the Netherlands; and compare and contrast the various policies and then provide an assessment of whether or not these policies would be viable to institute in the U.S.

Canada’s federal drug law is bulked up in one main statute dealing with illicit drugs, it is called the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).  This statute is responsible for six offenses including: possession, trafficking, cultivation, importing or exporting, and prescription shopping.  The CDSA modernizes Canadian policy and has been in much demand.  According to Dr. Riley (1998), there was an extreme increase of illicit drug use that affected much of the country.  The use of marijuana spiked from 4.2% to 7% and heroin jumped from .3% to 1%.  Although the numbers seem small, the increase in drug use became very dangerous for public safety.  In fact, the CFDP reported 41% of illicit drug users shared hypoallergenic drug needles, increasing risk of HIV and AIDS.  The CDSA is a means to set consequences for individuals that are found in possession, distribution, and production of marijuana. The Canadian Federal Law guidelines are strictly enforced and anyone found in possession of cannabis of 30 grams or less and have distributed less than 3 kilograms will receive a reduced sentence with maximum jail time of six months and five years.  Canada’s maximum for possession of heroin and cocaine remain at seven years with a maximum sentence of life in prison for distributing the illegal drugs.  (Riley, 1998)  Canada’s law does not prohibit individuals from using other very dangerous and addicting drugs.  Under the CDSA many illicit drugs such as methadone and heroin are prescribed as therapeutic drugs and are used under strict monitoring to aide in rehabilitation and treatment of drug users. It seems as though Canada focuses primarily on cannabis and yet the policies appear much more laid back compared to that of the U.S.

The drug policy in the Netherlands is different, in that it separates the market for illegal drugs.  With a leniency for cannabis, many coffee shops are permitted to sell this drug with few restrictions, as long as they do not create a nuisance to the community and do not push harder drugs.  By separating drugs by categories of soft and hard drugs they are also guiding society to view specific drug use as acceptable means of behavior.  The Opium Act of 1919 has been revised a few times, but the same view remains.  The soft drugs such as cannabis are not as damaging as the hard drugs.  Drugs have been named and listed as list 1 and list 2 and define which drugs are to be viewed as criminal and which ones are socially acceptable as long as they are distributed according to the order.  The Netherlands does allow the use of medicinal drugs for sickness and also treatment for drug addiction.  (Tops, Svensson, & Veldhoen, 2001)The law states that anyone distributing the drug unlawfully can face up to 12 years imprisonment.  In the Netherlands possession and supply are strictly prohibited throughout the country and are viewed as major crimes against policy.  It is also legal to cultivate cannabis in one’s home as long as it does not disturb the neighbors.  If a complaint is made or a pungent smell is leaked from the home, in which law enforcement will remove the prohibited objects from the premises.  The drug law in the Netherlands is even more relaxed when compared to policies set in Canada.  The laws are meant to be hard on traffickers and soft on the abusers.

England’s drug policies are defined by two main statues; The Misuse of Drugs Act and the Medicines Act.  The Misuse of Drugs Act is intended to prevent the use of non-medical drugs.  Drugs that fall under this act are known as controlled drugs and include a drugs that do not hold medicinal value for current use.  The law dictates a series of offenses including unlawful possession, intent to distribute or supply, import or export, and unlawful production. (Government of Canada, 1996)  Law enforcement are empowered to perform search and seizure on people as long as there’s reasonable suspicion that they are in possession of a controlled substance.  In order for the illicit drugs to be considered controlled there must be guidelines that are strictly enforced.   Some guidelines can be viewed as very relaxed to the public.  In England it is legal for anyone over the age of five to consume alcohol.  Yet it is illegal to smoke in public areas.  Drugs are listed in categories and the punishment is determined based on such.  The punishment for drug trafficking of an illicit drug such as LSD or ecstasy a category A drug,  is looking at life in prison, where as possession will result in seven years imprisonment.  Much like Canada and the Netherlands; England some drugs are used in treatments for users undergoing rehabilitation from an addiction.  The Medicines Act is enforced and affects the prescription drug trade.  Enforcing prescriptions for medicinal drugs and are provided by a licensed physician only.

Current international policy reflects European countries provide more leeway to citizens, giving them the option to consume soft drugs to deter them from harder addictions.  This is in an effort to reduce crime and not interfere with public safety.  Although different in the approach Canada, Netherlands, and England implement strict policies and enforce tight punishments to anyone that cannot respect the law.  I am certain that these laid back laws would not work here in the United States and would create a danger to society.  More impaired drivers would be found behind the wheel, we would see an increase in drug sales on our streets, and new and more dangerous drugs would emerge.  In order to keep order we must tighten up the reins on current drug policy and enforce severe consequences to anyone that chooses to break the law.  When we lighten up and make the illegal legal we are sending the wrong message to our young people.  America needs to be a role model for these other countries and never give in to the demands of the drug war.

References:

Riley, D. (1998, November 1). Drugs and Drug Policy in Canada:. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from http://www.cfdp.ca/sen8ex1.htm

Tops, D., Svensson, D., & Veldhoen, D. (2001, March 1). THE DRUG POLICIES OF THE NETHERLANDS AND SWEDEN: HOW DO THEY COMPARE? Retrieved May 17, 2015, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2001/300758/IPOL-LIBE_ET(2001)300758_EN.pdf

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (S.C. 1996, c. 19). (1996). Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-38.8/

America’s War on Drugs

The War on Drugs is one of the largest under takings, by the U.S. government that spans over the past 40 years. It has cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year since 1968. In fact, Miron and Wadlock (2011) reports the U.S. federal government spent over fifteen billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about five hundred dollars per second. Yet, within this great investment lies much debate and controversy. This paper will address the connection between drugs, crime, and violence, and whether or not the United States government has had much success decreasing crime and violence using the current strategies in the last thirty to forty years.
There is a strong correlation between drugs and crime. To begin with, producing, selling, and using drugs are unlawful. Florida Statute 499.03 deem it unlawful for a citizen to use drugs without a valid prescription. It also states that, it is unlawful to possess illegal substances with the intent to make a profit or to assist in a drug sale in any form or fashion. It is also unlawful to establish a lab of any sort that is maintained for illegal substances according to Florida Statute 465.015. Drugs are also interrelated with crime because of the influence they have on the user’s behavior. Drugs impair judgment and generate violent behavior that can not only hurt the user, but the innocent people around them. According to data collected and reported by the Florida Institute of Technology (2014) drugs and alcohol contribute to more than 50 percent of all violent crimes in the United States. It continues to report that nearly 50 percent of traffic accidents involve the use of illegal substances and are the root of 80 percent of domestic violence calls. Judgment is generally the first to be impaired while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The effects can lead to poor decision making, poor concentration and loss of inhibitions, extreme emotions such as rage and anxiety, and blackouts. Also, many offenders find themselves committing crimes in order to obtain the money to purchase drugs that feed their addiction. In October of 2006 the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported as many as 18.4% of prisoners in our Federal jails committed a violent crime in order to obtain the money needed to purchase narcotics. There was no care in the world, when committing the crime for the individuals that were harmed. The motivator was the addiction to such a dangerous substance.
In 1986, Ronald Reagan spoke out to the citizens of the United States and expressed his gratification on the war on drugs in America. In his speech he shared great news that reports by the DEA reflecting a shortage in Marijuana and an increase in seizures of illegal drugs. The government tripled its costs on the war on drugs, but it was done in great measure and with great progression. Even still after costing over sixty billion dollars a year, we faced challenges with drug smuggling, babies being born with an addiction to drugs and abnormalities, and crack a new drug that was being described by the President as an “uncontrolled fire” as we slowly entered the 90’s. Drug abuse affects everyone not just the user and will take everyone’s efforts to control. This was Regan’s message to America. During Reagan’s presidency there was a spike in the number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses. As many as 50,000 offenders were incarcerated in 1980 to over 400,000 by the late 90’s.
Thirty years later, America is still amidst the war on drugs. We face new challenges and new drugs that inhibit clear thinking and influence dangerous behaviors. During the presidential campaign in the 90’s Clinton gained popularity by promising the public that he would bring an end to the war on drugs by providing treatment for the offenders rather than incarcerate them. Shortly after taking over the White House, Clinton quickly reverted back to “Republican ways” and started filling the state and federal prisons with the people that use drugs, once again. When Bush took over he also invested a tremendous amount of American dollars with an effort to control illegal substances in the country. Efforts by the Bush Administration focused on student drug testing. This strategy was an epic fail with an increase in overdose fatalities. On the Issues (2000) reported George W. Bush also ignited the militarization of domestic drug law enforcement by adding 40,000 SWAT style raids on US citizens each year. These raids were mostly for nonviolent crimes that involved illegal substances. During President George W. Bush’s presidency the war on drugs stalled. Many state governments began to see a decrease in the drug epidemic that plagued the country. This created opportunities for change. Under Obama’s “reign” in the White House, Americans are being offered the chance to rock the vote on legalizing drugs. This past year Liberals were pushing to legalize Marijuana. Politicians see Marijuana as a leisure drug and compare it to alcohol and tobacco. Voters in Florida voted no and have kept this dangerous drug illegal across the state.
There has been much effort to end the war on drugs in America. With each strategy implemented, there has been change. Yet not enough to eliminate the issue altogether. It is inevitable that Americans will see more outlandish opportunities to change drug policies and to legalize drugs in hopes to wipe out crime. Progress to win the battle on the war on drugs is slow, but if America sticks to her guns positive change is bound to occur.

References

Miron, J., & Wadlock, K. (2011, January 1). The Budgetary Impact of Drug Prohibition. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp

Florida Statute 499.03 Possession of certain drugs without prescriptions unlawful; exemptions and exceptions. (2015, March 11). Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=unlawful drugs&URL=0400-0499/0499/Sections/0499.03.html

Florida Statute 465.015 Violations and penalties. (2015, March 11). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=unlawful drugs&URL=0400-0499/0465/Sections/0465.015.html

Facts about Alcohol and Drug Abuse. (2014, January 1). Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.fit.edu/caps/articles/facts.php

Drug use and crime. (2006, October 1). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/duc.cfm
Ronald Reagan-Speech to the Nation on the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (September 14, 1986). (1986, September 11). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYWS7udm0yg

George W. Bush on Drugs. (2000, January 1). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/George_W__Bush_Drugs.htm

How Should Christians Vote a book review

Who is ready for a change in the white-house? Honestly, it is time for Christians to take a stand and fight back against the socialist that has infected our country. We need to put God back in the white house and restore the damage that Obama has caused with his carelessness and disrespect of what America is really about. He has left our country in shambles and vulnerable to more terrorist attacks and alien invasions along our borders. We were once a strong country, stood out among the rest and we can be that proud country once again. It is very simple…Christians need to stop hiding and get out and do something about it. Obama has no respect for God, Our Soldiers, Our Constitution, or America.
Follow this link to read an unedited interview that was conducted by Cathleen Falsani, the religion reporter for the respected Chicago Sun-Times newspaper and you just might be surprised with what Obama has to say about his stand on religion…or maybe not.
https://web.archive.org/web/20080709234850/http://falsani.blogspot.com/2008/04/barack-obama-2004-god-factor-interview.html

While preparing for the next election we as Christians need to remember that we are not to vote as Republicans or Democrats. We need to vote as Godly men and women and cast our vote based on God’s values. It’s not just WWJD…it is HWJV? (How Would Jesus Vote) So on my venture to learn how God want’s me to vote in the next election I picked up a copy of “How Should Christians Vote,” By Tony Evans, courtesy of Moody Publishing. For those of you that do not know who Tony Evans is…he is a pastor at Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. He is the author of many books, speaks at churches and other events all over the country, and is heard on 500 radio stations each day.

vote

In “How Should Christians Vote,” Tony Evans teaches on how Christians can apply biblical principles when considering who to vote for. Evans emphasizes that God is neither Republican or Democrat and that neither party is good or bad. Each party holds policies that value God’s word and each party has some policies that do not. We need to listen to what the candidates have to say, where they stand, and most importantly who they represent. We can not vote on color or political party. And do not vote to make history! Cast your vote to bring glory to God. Tony Evans pulls much scripture that we can use to guide us with our political choice. We learn how the government was formed and what our founding fathers had in mind for all Americans. Most importantly we are reminded that government was created by God, not man. When our leaders display Godly values they are good and our country is good. When our leaders display values that are not honoring to God they are evil and our country suffers.
Obama is a prime example of a president that is dishonoring to God and the outcome is…well just take a look around ya….

Take a stand for your Christian Values and remember to vote God’s way…It is the only way to save this great nation we call home.
On voting day ask yourself, HWJV?

jesus_vote

My opinion of Obama does not necessarily reflect the views of the author.