Eshan M. Oklahoma

Rethinking the "War on Drugs"

Instead of just focusing on punishment, the "War on Drugs" should focus on eliminating demand which will reduce the jail population and put gangs and cartels out of business.

Dear Next President,

While you work on bettering our country, there is one big issue that I think, when solved could lead to a much happier, healthier country. The issue is what most Americans call "The War on Drugs". Common drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine are very addictive. And because of this, many Americans fall slave to their recreational drugs. But the problem isn't that people are getting addicted. The real problem lies in the treatment of illegal drug users in the country.

When president Nixon officially declared a "war on drugs" in 1971, the U.S. forced many major drug producers and dealers out of business. This forced many Americans to create small, at home labs for creating illegal drugs. Then, the products that went into making certain drugs were monetized. The war on drugs is focusing on taking out the supply. This is done by destroying the raw material. Usually when supply is cut off, demand increases or decreases until a company begins to go out of business. But with drugs, the demand will never decrease, only increase. And when the demand increases, the supply must be replenished. Because of this, Mexico, the country on the front line is increasing supply. Mexican drug dealers have more experience producing and smuggling.

Getting back to the point, whenever a dealer is caught, they are put in jail. According to a video channel that addresses world problems, while the U.S has about 5% of the world population, we have about 25% of the world prison population. Many more non-violent drug users are getting imprisoned than violent cartels and gangs. There are much better solutions than just putting dealers in prison. For example, Poland has facilities called "harm reduction centers". When a drug user is found, they are taken in. There, they are given high-quality drugs for free. While they are there, the government helps them get their life in order. Then, they focus on rehabilitation. Once the person is un-addicted, they are let free.

I believe that by creating our own "harm reduction centers", we will solve not only one but three problems. First, by eliminating demand, the drug industry will most likely come crashing down. Second, we will reduce jail population, saving money on new facilities and guards. This will also save tax money for a lot of Americans. And third, many gangs and cartels will most likely dissipate and fall apart as leaders and members come to these centers in hope of a new life. Along with solving these problems, I believe that the government will project a more friendly attitude towards citizens, and thus bettering our country even more.

Warm Regards,

Eshan M.

Classen School of Advanced Studies

Classen SAS 8th Grade English

Students from Ms. Sutton's 8th grade English classes in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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