While these substances were not always controlled by law, drug use has been as issue throughout time going back thousands of years and continues to be a concern in the twenty-first century. Possession, distribution, and manufacturing of controlled substances outside of what is considered legal can lead to fines and or jail time and can also increases the severity of other crimes committed either due to or under the influence of drugs. As of Saturday June 10th, 2023, 44.5% of Federal inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses, including possession, distribution, and manufacturing1. Drug offenses make up the largest percentage of why inmates are in federal prison. This does not account for all of the inmates in private or state facilities that also have drug charges. Drugs charges are the leading cause of federal incarceration and are not going to go away anytime in the near future. Current laws and their consequences have not been enough of a deterrent to prevent drug crimes, so something else must be done to change the dynamic of drugs and drug abuse in the United States in order to move toward a future that doesn’t only try to prevent drug use, but also help treat and move past it. The United States should decriminalize marijuana use and use the time and money normally spent prosecuting offenders for marijuana possession on preventing the manufacturing of all drugs and on the rehabilitation of addicts to help keep them from becoming repeat offenders.
First Advisor Department
Second Advisor Department
Marra, Natalie, "ALTERING UNITED STATES DRUG POLICY AND SHIFTING THE FOCUS OF DRUG USE FROM CONVICTION TOWARD DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT" (2023). Honors Projects. 916.