Drugs & Crime

An examination of federal statues and Minnesota laws reveals that there are enough provisions to reduce and stop drug and substance abuse. There are severe penalties for the abuser. Still on the overall levels the law in Minnesota has been more effective in stopping substance abuse than the federal law. There is sufficient deterrent in the Federal Law and the state law. The Controlled Substances Act and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act provide strong punishments for those convicted. However, the difference between the effectiveness of the Federal Law and the law in Minnesota lies in the implementation.

The approach of the law enforcement agencies and attitudes of the people determine the effectiveness of the law. This has made the law more effective in the state of Minnesota. ” Of the admissions to Twin Cities area addiction treatment programs in 2005, 14. 4 percent were for cocaine (mostly crack). Alcohol-related treatment admissions fell from 54. 4 percent of admissions in 2000, to 45. 8 percent in 2005. Marijuana accounted for 17. 7 percent of treatment admissions in 2005, down from 22. 3 percent in 2000. ” (Butler Center for Research, 2006),

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The most prominent reason for the failure of the federal law is the lack of political will to enforce the law. The law enforcement agencies are not willing to take action where they should. They are not using the statutes that they have access to. “. Blame for the ineffectiveness of the drug laws is laid on the shoulders of politicians, judges, police officers, lawyers, jurors, educators, parents, and doctors. ” (Buckley. F. Ed 1996).. The result of inaction is that there is a steady increase in the level of drug addiction and illegal drugs are available at a lower cost and more freely.

“In 2000, federal and state governments will spend more than $40 billion fighting the drug war – a dramatic increase since 1980, when federal spending was roughly $1 billion and state spending just a few times that. Yet, despite the ballooning costs of the drug war, illicit drugs are cheaper and purer than they were two decades ago, and continue to be readily available. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 57% of the population report that marijuana is fairly or very easy to obtain. In 2000, 47% of eighth graders and 88. 5% of senior high school students say marijuana is easy to obtain.

Additionally, approximately 24% of eighth graders and nearly 48% of seniors report powdered cocaine is easy to get. “(Drug Policy Alliance, 2002) There are stringent penalties in the federal law. “Anti-Drug Abuse Act established mandatory minimums) that many states have emulated: Mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for small quantities (second offense 10 years) Mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for large quantities (second offense 20 years) Civil penalty (fine) up to $10,000 for each criminal violation Criminal penalty (fine) that is twice any estimated profits from drug involvement

20 years & $500,000 fine if established drug-manufacturing operation 3 years if sell or offer to sell drug paraphernalia” (The Nature And Effectiveness Of Drug Laws, 2005), However, it due to the weak enforcement of the law that the effectiveness of the law is not there. In the Minnesota, the Minnesota Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act governs the state, however, not only is pure policing but also the support from the society that is responsible for the improvement in the drug abuse scenario. “If we consider the all US figures there were 14,081 drug related homicides in 2001 but there were 14,121 drug related homicides in 2004”.

(Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006. In sum during the past two years even though the comparison of the statistics do not give a clear trend, the statistics reveal that the federal laws have not been effective. The law provides adequate deterrents by way of punishments but without the effective involvement of society and law enforcement, the law remains impotent. References: Buckley. F (Ed) 1996, Abolish The Drug Laws? National Review Cover Story, July 1, 1996, retrieved from http://www. lycaeum. org/drugwar/buckley1. html on August 19, 2006. Bureau of Justice Statistics (2006) Drug use and crime retrieved from http://www.

ojp. usdoj. gov/bjs/dcf/duc. htm on August 19, 2006. Butler Center for Research (2006), Drug Abuse Trends Minneapolis/St. Paul – June 2006, Retrieved from http://www. hazelden. org/servlet/hazelden/cms/ptt/hazl_7030_shade. html? sf=t&sh=t&page_id=30903 on August 19, 2006. Drug Policy Alliance, (2002). Effectiveness Of The War On Drugs, retrieved from http://www. drugpolicy. org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index. cfm on August 19, 2006 The Nature And Effectiveness Of Drug Laws (2005), Drug-Defined And Drug-Related Crime, retrieved from: http://faculty. ncwc. edu/toconnor/pol/495lect02. htm on August 19, 2006.