Name: Rishab Anumula
From: Peoria, Arizona
War on Drugs
The crack epidemic in the 1980s devastated impoverish neighborhoods across America. Black neighborhoods in particular, were wrecked by the surge of cocaine from over seas. Millions were thrown into prisons as the war on drugs commenced. Fast forward 35 years and we are seeing the same history repeat itself with the opioid epidemic. However, we have the chance to handle the war on drugs differently this time. I would change the laws surrounding drug use and how I is dealt with in the court of law- shifting the priority to rehabilitation and civil penalties rather than criminal penalties.
We throw drug users in prisons in fear of our safety not realizing that this action has severe consequences. Drugs drastically alter the very foundation of how our mind operates. This leads to dependence and addiction to the drug. These people are diseased and need a warm rehabilitation center rather than a cold prison cell. Throwing addicts into prison only procrastinates and exacerbates the problem. The drug users are not rehabilitated, leading them to seek out the drug again and the criminality that comes with drug use means that they become associated with an organized crime network in some way or another. This cycle wrecks lives and neighborhoods.
The best solution to this issue is to solve it in a manner that is novel and distinct. Shifting the focus on drug charges from criminal penalties to civil penalties and allowing schedule one drugs to be manufactured by companies under high regulation would create a safer society. It helps those struggling with addiction become functional and productive members of society while also protecting the rest of society by preventing those who are suffering from addiction to turn to crime organizations to get the drugs that they are using. We can then take control of this battle against schedule one drugs.