However, considering currently escalating crime and drug prevalence rates, id he ultimately have a positive Impact on the drug situation In America? Ronald Reggae’s policy making style Reagan assumed office at a time of diminished public opinion of the white house, considering Jimmy Carter’s failure to fully carry out his human rights agenda and low approval ratings. He, therefore, had to resort to a ‘no nonsense’ approach to policy making in addition to maintaining his strong belief in conservatism.
Reagan targeted the American economy, Cold War diplomacy, and social problems In his attempt to solidity positive public opinion prior to his fight for reelection. It Reagan could be applauded tort any one thing, it should more likely be his trim and unwavering stance on drugs and his commitment to action. While Richard Nixon, 37th president of the united States of America, was the first to declare “war on drugs”, Reagan was the first to move for and pass legislation and military action against the escalating drug problem.
He motioned for stricter sentencing laws and greater emphasis on drug education to aid both offenders and the likely-to-offend. The 1984 Federal dull Reform Act “allow(De) prosecutors to request the drug defendants facing a possible sentence of ten years or more be held without bond until considering that “the statute Indicates that congress regards drug trafficking as a danger to the community? This sentencing law was the harshest America had seen and would see, up until Reggae’s Mandatory Minimum Act of 1986.
The 1984 Federal Bail Reform Act, however, was followed by a 49 state wide landslide victory for Reagan in the 1985 Presidential Election. In light of the success of his policies, Reggae’s commitment towards drug eradication grew stronger. Reggae’s growing dedication to the War on drugs’ meant that harsher polices and legislation would be passed after his reelection. The first of these was the Mandatory Minimum Drug sentences policy of 1986. This would be the first time that mandatory sentencing would be passed by congress tater the Bogs Act to 19515.
By November 18th 1988, the Anti Drug Abuse ACTA too would be passed, establishing the Office of National Drug Control Policy (MOUND). The MOUND is headed by reputable ‘drug cars’ who stand as faces of the anti-drug movement. President and remained true to his cause until the end of his second term. However, Nixon, for example, only relegated his hardliner stance because according to statistics, he soft, educational approach to the drug situation proved more effective than enforcement. Reagan, on the other hand, committed unwaveringly and, quite possibly, at great cost.
Was Reggae’s impact on America’s War on drugs’ positive or negative? The most accurate measure of the effectiveness of Reggae’s policies would be the extent to which he had met his own aims. Reagan believed in a drug free America, in line with his strongly conservatism commitment to the ‘all American family and attempted to achieve this through strict policies. The abuse of cocaine had indefinitely seen a decrease in prevalence over time, more tabby after the implementation of the mandatory minimums act and the anti-drugs act, especially for those aged 18 to 257.
The increments in sentencing strictness meant that people had less of an incentive to risk abusing drugs. However, the decrease in cocaine abuse rates did not lead to a decrease in overall drug abuse. The nature of drug enforcement and drug policing meant that cocaine abusers were being targeting because the sentencing for those crimes were the harshest. In other words, drug enforcement officials had greater incentive to target cocaine dealers or abusers as opposed to abusers or manufacturers of drugs such as methamphetamine. As such, methamphetamine abuse rates rose, nullifying the decrements in cocaine abuse rates.
Crystal meet, or methamphetamine, is relatively easy to produce and at the time, became drug of choice for the poor who were turned off of cocaine. The effects of crystal meet, however, are far detrimental than that of cocaine. Therefore, while Reggae’s targeted drug did diminish in popularity, he had, unwittingly, worsened the drug situation in America. In addition to not having fully met his aims, Reagan had created other problems for he United States, including adding additional pressure to correctional facilities, worsening race relations, and adding great contributions to the national budget.
Spending on corrections in America rose 660%9 since Reggae’s incumbency and the overall number of incarcerated Americans rose threefold, from 1. 5 million to 4. 5 million. While it may seem as if the rising number of incarcerations reflect the success of a zero tolerance policy, one must not neglect to mention the fate of the newly released. “Greater imprisonment decrease community cohesiveness”10 as ex- novices are less likely to be hired by companies and therefore, crime and, ultimately, drug abuse become options once more.
This creates a dangerous cycle of drug abuse and incarceration that can be detrimental to any society. Of drug policed as well as the sentence minimums placed on each drug. Crack cocaine, more predominantly abused by the poor of African American populated ‘ghettos’, had harsher sentencing and policing controls than powder cocaine, predominantly abused by rich, middle class Caucasian Americans. Inner city crack users faced penalties 100 times harsher than that of powder cocaine abusers 1 . This led to a disproportionate level of African Americans being prosecuted and sentenced for cocaine abuse.
While only 13% of cocaine abusers were of African American descent, they made up 74% of the population serving the time. This inevitably led to greater class divides and worsened the socio-economic status of African Americans born and bred in inner city ghettos. Reggae’s policies, therefore, further enforced the socioeconomic divide. Reggae’s policies also contributed to growing national debt which, unfortunately, caused approval ratings to fall further. Spending on police enforcement and the audacity rose by 420% and 503% respectively. Spending on the war on drugs also rose to a “record $230 billion” under Reagan.
Considering that the United States was entrenched in the Cold War and that these policies were passed after the elaborate Strategic Defense Initiative was announced, Reggae’s policies proved to be of ill rather than benefit. Conclusion Ronald Reagan had ultimately attempted to solve a problem that would later become a national pandemic. While he can be applauded for his efforts, much of it was misguided and misrepresented. He set the groundwork for drug eradication policies hat would eventually worsen the situation in America and even result in consequences internationally.