Drug Issues in American Society Term Paper by Nicky

Drug Issues in American Society
A discussion about narcotics and other illegal drugs.
# 148945 | 1,100 words | 4 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 15, 2011 in Psychology (Alcohol and Drugs)

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This paper discusses various recreational drugs which are illegal, their effects and legislation which prohibits their use. In particular, the paper uses the examples of heroin and cocaine as illegal drugs, further noting the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act which outlawed the unregulated use of cocaine. Additionally, the paper gives a brief history describing the use of certain drugs in the US and discusses their original uses. The paper critically examines marijuana being considered illegal, comparing it to alcohol. The paper concludes by addressing the prevalence of illegal methamphetamine laboratories, which have become a significant problem, especially in poor rural communities in the US.


Cocaine and Heroin - Evolving Legislation, Classification, and Uses
Comparing the Harm Reduction and No Tolerance Approach to recreational Drug Use
Methamphetamines and Rural Areas

From the Paper:

"On one hand, contemporary American laws allow the commercial production, distribution, and sale of alcohol, which is addictive when misused and also capable of causing tremendous public harm in the form of drunk driving. In that regard, tobacco is even more harmful, accounting for more preventable deaths in the U.S. every year than all medical ailments, drunk driving, and all forms of crime, combined (Dershowitz, 2002).
"While cocaine and heroin may associated with enough potential danger to justify control through certain criminal legislation, similar prohibition of other recreational drugs such as marijuana is much harder to justify. As is the case with alcohol, marijuana use in conjunction with socially irresponsible conduct such as driving under its influence should be penalized for public safety policy. However, the recreational use of marijuana in private is not sufficiently dangerous (or different from the private use of alcohol) to justify criminalization. In fact, in addition to several legitimate medicinal uses now authorized in California and other states (at the state level but not federally), marijuana has long been considered as a productive stimulant of intellectual and artistic creativity. The renowned late astronomer Carl Sagan was an avid marijuana smoker who credited the drug with helping him produce some of his best work, although he could never publicly acknowledge such use for political reasons during his lifetime."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Davidson, K. (1999) Carl Sagan: A Life. New York: Wiley & Sons.
  • Dershowitz, A. (2002). Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. New York: Touchstone.
  • Farwell, S. "Man Who Sells Tips on How to Avoid Arrest Is Running for Congress" The Dallas Morning News; March 3, 2008.
  • Schmalleger, F. (2008). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century. Hoboken, NJ: Prentice Hall

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Drug Issues in American Society (2011, November 15) Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/drug-issues-in-american-society-148945/

MLA Format

"Drug Issues in American Society" 15 November 2011. Web. 11 April. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/drug-issues-in-american-society-148945/>