Drugs in America

Sean Michael Casey
Professor Leukart
3rd December, 2009
Among several controversial topics the American public discusses, the actions taken against the use of drugs and the economics of the drug industry seem to rise up above the others as one of the most prominent. Drugs, ranging from marijuana to cocaine to heroin to over the counter drugs, are the subject of movies, books, news reports, and many other key facets of the American lifestyle. Hollywood deals extensively in drug based and drug related movies, as do members of the music and arts industry, particularly rap and rock and roll. As such, it is crucial that America faces the issue head-on, and takes a firm stance on how to properly handle the use and distribution of drugs in America. I believe that the use of all narcotics should be legalized in the United States because of the crime caused by illegal use and distribution of drugs, the economic impact of the drug industry on cities and communities, and the social implications of allowing users to continue to exercise their civil rights as free American citizens.
We begin by looking at the laws surrounding the use of narcotics and other addictive (and non-addictive) drugs. On October 27th, 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act, allowing the federal government to accept petitions from companies to interest groups to place a substance on a controlled substance list, giving the federal government the power to regulate the production, distribution, and/or sales of these substances (Controlled Substance Act 1970). The act itself stems from a larger, more global idea. The United States obliged itself to ban certain substances by signing key international treaties, in particular the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics, which called for the control of amphetamines, opiates, methadone, and many other hard drugs (United States of America). By passing the Controlled Substance Act (CSA from here on out), the government gained...