The director of the agency, commonly known as the ‘drug czar’ has been empowered after its establishment by Bush senior. President Clinton elevated this position to cabinet level status and this demonstrated the commitment of the national government to eliminate the challenge of drug abuse in the United States (Fulkerson and Fida 60). Domestic war on drugs policy The United States domestic war on drugs policy has been strengthened over the years since the administration of Nixon initiated the first steps towards eliminating the menace. Through the creation of different control agencies and increasing financial and personnel resources to the war on drugs, the United States domestic policy has remained vibrant.
However, the approaches that have been developed as will be highlighted in this section have met criticism from various quarters for being racially castigated to target the black and Latino communities in the country (Small 897). As part of its domestic policy on the war on drugs, the United States government has promoted the arrest and incarceration of illegal drug users and peddlers. Though this policy can be effective in limiting the growth of the trade in the country, its success has been hampered with resistance from the African American community who feel targeted by this policy.
From 1980s, the number of arrests and incarcerations as a result of drug use and trade plummeted to 126% compared to incarceration of perpetrators of other crimes that stood at 28%. Foreign suspects of drug use and trade have been deported after serving their years in detention, a policy that has existed since its introduction by the administration of Bush senior (Fisher 74). Apart from arrest and incarceration, the United States through the senate, has introduced sentencing disparity policy for suspects found in possession or trafficking different categories of drugs.
For example, cocaine and crack attract different penalties based on this policy due to the belief that crack is more addictive and dangerous to the consumers as compared to powder cocaine. However, opponents of the war on drug policy have argued that the disparity in the sentencing was introduced to strengthen the penalties mooted on the black Americans who are believed to have high preference for crack as compared to powder cocaine (Fisher 74).
Any individual found guilty of possessing five grams of cocaine is subjected to a minimum five-year sentence while 500 gram powder cocaine attracts a similar penalty.
Fisher, Gary L. Rethinking Our War on Drugs: Candid Talk about Controversial Issues. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2006.
Fulkerson, Gregory, and Fida, Mohammad. "The Failure of the War on Drugs: A Comparative Perspective." Pakistan Journal of Criminology 3.2 (2011): 55-70.
Johnson, Paul. "The War on Drugs: A Defining Moment." Forbes 191.4 (2013): 34.
Kahane, Adam. "Re-Viewing the War on Drugs Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas." Reflections 13.3 (2013): 24-29.
Small, Deborah. "The War On Drugs Is A War On Racial Justice." Social Research 68.3 (2001): 896-903.