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Should drug offenses carry a higher punishment?

In the criminal justice system, drug offenses are one of the crimes that polarizes people in an instant. While some believe that higher punishments are the only way to prevent drug use in the population, others believe that rehabilitation and treatment is the only sustainable solution to the drug problem.

Those in favor of higher punishments believe that they will deter most people from committing drug offenses.

Those wanting more opportunities for rehabilitation and treatment believe that helping people overcome addiction, which is seen as the root of many repeat drug offenders, is a sustainable way to stop most from committing drug offenses.

What do you think, should drug offenses carry a higher punishment?

Current Standings:
Yes: 35%
No: 65%
  • Sydney from Tennessee

    According to pewtrusts.org, over 95,000 prisoners are locked up for drug related offenses. This number consumes a lot of tax dollars and requires more facilities to contain them, but it is not a reason to lower the offense for drug related crimes. The numbers are high because punishments are not much of a threat. If punishments are increased, drug offenders will be more cautious, and wary of their decision to commit the drug offense crime. If we keep lowering the punishment, then we are saying the crime is okay. It ill only become more prevalent. We must increase the threat of higher punishments if we want to decrease the issue. According to Edward Koch, in his article “Death and Justice,” “When we lower the penalty for murder, it signals a lessened regard for the value of the victim’s life.” Koch is saying that you cannot decease punishments for murder because then there is no justice. Of course, murder and drug offenses are two different things, but the facts are still the same. Are we going to say that breaking the law is okay and we should lower punishments as a way of encouraging it, or are we going to take a stand for the law and give the lawbreakers what they deserve until they learn it?

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    According to pewtrusts.org, over 95,000 prisoners are locked up for drug related offenses. This number consumes a lot of tax dollars and requires mor…

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  • kenzie from Arizona

    Think of this issue this way. If a child keeps disobeying you and you give them a 5 minute timeout eventually they wont think its that big of a deal however, if you up the time out to 20 minutes they may not want to keep disobeying. While comparing drug dealers and children to one another is a very far stretch we can apply this same strategy to these drug dealers so they may not want to continue dealing. While this cannot end drug dealing it can eliminate those who don’t want to serve the time for their crime.

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    Think of this issue this way. If a child keeps disobeying you and you give them a 5 minute timeout eventually they wont think its that big of a deal h…

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    • Kayla from Texas

      The analogy is odd, but makes the reader understand. I like it.

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  • Dixie from Arizona

    It is best supported that there should be higher punishment for drug abusers. Many users are in and out of jail and then return back to their addiction. Some suggestions would be to extend their time in jail but also make rehab mandatory. Outside of jail, rehab is a choice and many people decide not to go when in reality it can help save a life. Every year, hundreds of citizens die from over dosing on pills. We can definitely prevent this by taking charge with higher punishment. It’s not to be cruel but if extending jail time is what we have to do to help these addicts get clean and build a better life for them, then that’s what has to be done.

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    It is best supported that there should be higher punishment for drug abusers. Many users are in and out of jail and then return back to their addicti…

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    • Justin from Ohio

      Best supported by what? The opposite-(opposing harsher punishment)-is supported by just about every nation that implements the rehabilitation system in its entirety. Rehab programs for inmates who are users may be helpful, but they may still have an unfavorable situation outside of the cell. To counter this, education and training programs within the prisons for non-violent drug offenders can be enormously beneficial to, well, everyone. For too long this has been treated as a criminal issue. This is not a criminal issue, this is a health issue. It needs to be treated as such. Harsh punishment to discourage drug use is fallacious and illogical. Look at Duerte and his plan, it achieves nothing but resent for government and a broken society. There are so many factors that go into substance abuse, very few are considered. When proponents of harsher punishment point out that rehabilitation does not guarantee the users will be “fixed” and ready to turn a new leaf in their lives, that is true. It is true because, as I stated earlier, rehab is not enough. User or not, if you throw these people back out into their lives without any feet to stand on, it is likely they will get back into doing the same thing they were put in for. So again, trade school sort of programs, education for those who are incarcerated, these are necessary components of an advanced and healthy society.

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      Best supported by what? The opposite-(opposing harsher punishment)-is supported by just about every nation that implements the rehabilitation system i…

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    • Claudette from Florida

      The war on Drugs which started probably around Reagan and Nixon time has already made punishment for drug offensive heavier. It didn’t lower the amount of drug addicts at all and doesn’t take into consideration that there are even people who are addicted to legal drugs and end up facing harsher symptoms and problems because of it, though they never face jail time which can seem very unfair to those facing life or a large amount of years due to drug abuse. I don’t think punishment can effectively stop people from turning to drugs. Being locked up is stressful and scary to many people, an environment like this is not possible to make drug addicts turn away from drugs. Many addicts say that they turn to drugs to run away from their problems or relieve stress but jail and prison does nothing but that, makes them stressed and gives them more problems. I remember in psychology when my teacher spoke about therapy methods uncommonly used to stop addicts. One of them was sort of a form of punishment. The alcoholic was to develop a dislike for alcohol because in the session the therapist would make it taste bad. It was later shown that outside of the office, the addict was not able to practice self control from it because alcohol is in variety outside of the office and isn’t made to specifically taste bad to help the therapist cause. I think this is similar to jailing or punishing a drug offender more. They know that doing drugs is bad and in jail, etc. it is harder to access them but once let out, like an alcoholic at the end of this therapy, they can just gain access to them right again. Even if they could access the illegal drug as well, they can gain access to legal ones like bath salts and opioids.

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      The war on Drugs which started probably around Reagan and Nixon time has already made punishment for drug offensive heavier. It didn’t lower the amoun…

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  • Courtnee from Montana

    In world full of so many opportunities to make a wrong path for yourself, there should be guidance and consequences for the wrong choice. In America we have had an ongoing battle between whether or not drugs and alcohol should be stopped altogether. There has been attempts, for example in the year 1919 prohibition was passed in Congress. Alcohol was was no longer made but even this amendment couldn’t stop citizens from drinking or brewing. Eventually there was another amendment made to end prohibition. However, there is a difference between alcohol and crack. The higher up drugs create a worse outcome for all of society, there is pain and makes are country as a whole weaker. It is just like what Paul Harvey had once said, “ If I were the devil I would come up with drugs to sedate the mind and target the young.” If we make drugs socially acceptable we risk OUR country and the bright future it can have. So, yes there should be a high penalty on drugs we shouldn’t do it out of hate but out of care. How are we any better than the crack dealer if we are just sitting on the sidelines not trying to give them guidance.

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    In world full of so many opportunities to make a wrong path for yourself, there should be guidance and consequences for the wrong choice. In America w…

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  • katlyn from Montana

    I vote yes simply because drug abuse is a serious epidemic nationwide. I also believe that we should prioritize harsher punishments to those of a more serious crime.

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  • Joseph from Montana

    I believe that we should have higher penalties for drug use because drugs are harmful and many of our crimes are tied into drug use. Over 25% of robberies and 4% of murders are tied into drugs. If we control drug use, we will lower other crime rates also.

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    I believe that we should have higher penalties for drug use because drugs are harmful and many of our crimes are tied into drug use. Over 25% of robbe…

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  • Gabriella from Montana

    Seeing drugs be used/abused every single day, I believe the punishment should be higher and the addict should also receive help. The Bureau of Justice states that there was a dramatic increase from 500,000 to 1,500,000 arrests between the years 1982-2007. Over the years we learn that drugs are becoming more and more popular. Having a longer punishment on top of treatment should be offered to lower the risk of sale or possession. The Controlled Substance Act states, “…federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and other chemicals is regulated.” With regulating and controlling the use of drugs, a longer punishment as well as treatment should be provided to help prevent the use of drugs. This might give people the idea that drugs are something we should not be doing. We need to show people that it is not okay to use/abuse drugs and by doing this we need to give them the appropriate punishment.
    https://www.drugs.com/csa-schedule.html
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/enforce.cfm

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    Seeing drugs be used/abused every single day, I believe the punishment should be higher and the addict should also receive help. The Bureau of Justice…

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  • Tanna from Montana

    I voted yes, even though my opinion is kind of inbetween. I believe that drug offenses should carry higher punishment’s. They need higher punishments because then people would be more careful about their actions. They would have harsher punishments like possibly death, so they would obviously lead towards the other direction. They wouldn’t be so quick to commit a crime. I also think that the punishment the person receives should be based on the drug. We should be worried about the harsher drugs instead of the ones that are less harsh. For instance Marijuana, it’s becoming legal in states and I feel like we shouldn’t be worried about it as much as we should be worrying about cocaine/meth. But I still believe that there should be harsher punishments because harsh drugs are taking over society, it’s having an effect on our world. So I believe if we have harsher punishments, then we could possibly decrease the number of crimes that happen.

    (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/csa.shtml

    Drug use and crime. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/duc.cfm

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    I voted yes, even though my opinion is kind of inbetween. I believe that drug offenses should carry higher punishment’s. They need higher punishments …

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  • Marissa from Montana

    Being from a reservation that is full of high risk of drug addicts, I believe the penalty should be higher and they addict should also receive help. The Bureau of Justice states that there was a dramatic increase from 500,000 to 1,500,000 arrests between the years 1982-2007. But from then on, has the amount increased? With these statistics, We learn that drugs are just becoming more and more popular. Having a longer punishment on top of treatment should be offered to lower the risk of sale or possession. The Controlled Substance Act states, “…federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and other chemicals is regulated.” With regulating and controlling the use of drugs, treatment needs to be offered and the longer period of punishment. This might give people the idea that drugs are something we should not be doing. We need to take control of our country and do a better job at punishing people who can’t have control of themselves.
    https://www.drugs.com/csa-schedule.html
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/enforce.cfm
    Anderson, L. “CSA Schedules.” Drugs.com, Drugs.com, 14 May 2014, http://www.drugs.com/csa-schedule.html.

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    Being from a reservation that is full of high risk of drug addicts, I believe the penalty should be higher and they addict should also receive help. T…

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  • Brook from Montana

    In today’s world there are too many grey areas, creating uncertainty and confusion. Should there be stricter gun laws? Transgender bathrooms? Should drug offenses carry a higher punishment? The answers need to be clear. It’s either black or white. Yes is the answer. It is pretty clear, depending on where you are at, the laws and rules you need to follow. There are no excuses for misusing or selling drugs when you know it’s illegal to do so. This is not simply referring to marijuana, it is referring to more harmful drugs such as cocaine. Marijuana was not always seen as a drug that could help prevent illnesses, or one that could do very little harm, that’s what law enforcement has cracked down on this before. More recently, the police and law enforcement are worried about real drug offenders, not the local teenager that smokes weed after school. People who sell and produce illegal drugs to the public should get in trouble to a higher standard. They are not doing it by accident, and they already realize the law. Distributing harmful drugs is something that can’t and won’t be tolerated.
    https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/csa.shtml
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dofp12.pdf

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    In today’s world there are too many grey areas, creating uncertainty and confusion. Should there be stricter gun laws? Transgender bathrooms? Should…

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  • Jaryn from Montana

    My opinion on this debate is that should be put in jail do to their wrongs being done and their choice but they know and must pay the punishment. The possession of drugs is punishable by the one year in prison and that’s only for their first conviction. Even though they a convicted felon might go and tell their story of how they are locked up for a year in prison for “only have a joint”. It might sound like a innocent thing you kind have to look at yourself and say “I’m in jail, over a little bit of weed which I could have changed by leaving it at home, and not bringing it on the streets or even being involved with this bad job”. The contribution of drugs is a straight to prison with 10+ years and which is right because in my eyes and maybe others they are a danger to society.

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    My opinion on this debate is that should be put in jail do to their wrongs being done and their choice but they know and must pay the punishment. The …

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  • SethDaddy from Montana

    Opinion/Vote
    My opinion on the topic is mixed. I think that there should be harder punishments on certain drugs. Marijuana is a drug that is slowly going to become legal all around the US. It’s side effects are almost nothing compared to cocaine. I think the harshness of the punishment should be based on the drug. Over half of drug offenders in federal prison were busted for cocaine. That’s a lot of coke lol. So if there’s such a problem with the crack in America why don’t make the punishments worse? lol follow me on instagram @sethcheff

    Drug use and crime. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/duc.cfm
    (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/csa.shtml

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    Opinion/Vote
    My opinion on the topic is mixed. I think that there should be harder punishments on certain drugs. Marijuana is a drug that is slowly g…

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  • Jonathan from Montana

    I believe that drug offences should hold a higher punishment because we see it everyday, people get in trouble with the law because of drugs, get locked up, get out and do it all over again. Clearly what we have done and are doing isn’t enough.

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    I believe that drug offences should hold a higher punishment because we see it everyday, people get in trouble with the law because of drugs, get lock…

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  • Coleman from Montana

    As a person with family that has been affected by drugs I believe that there should be much harsher punishment for violators of drug laws. This will help deter people from violating the drug laws that we have set in place to preserve and protect the citizens of this country. According to the Bureau of Justice, in 2004 17% of state inmates and 18% of federal admitted that they committed their current offence to obtain money or drugs. This shows that about one in every five inmates committed a crime because of drugs. Maybe they wouldn’t have done it if there was a death penalty or other harsh penalties for breaking the law. The Bureau of Justice also found that from 1982 to 2007 the number of arrests by type of drug law violations with possession has went from 500,000 to 1,500,000. That’s up by a million and it shows that although people know that they’re getting arrested they still commit these crimes. Yet another reason why harsher punishment would be substantial to slow down the abuse of drugs in this country. According to the DEA, the Controlled Substance Act lists the explanation of a schedule one drug and how it affects the human body. Schedule one drugs are very dangerous because they alter the way that your body should be running and they put other at risk. These are multiple reasons that there should be much harsher punishment for violators of our drug laws.
    Drug use and crime. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/duc.cfm
    (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/csa.shtml

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    As a person with family that has been affected by drugs I believe that there should be much harsher punishment for violators of drug laws. This will h…

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  • Seth from Montana

    Just because we should increase the punishment doesn’t mean that we won’t provide rehabilitation. In the words of a wise meme: “Why don’t we do both?” We should instigate higher punishment, but we should also provide addiction recovery for those who are already in jail, and those who enter in the future. These two links provide alarming statistics:
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dofp12.pdf
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/enforce.cfm

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    Just because we should increase the punishment doesn’t mean that we won’t provide rehabilitation. In the words of a wise meme: “Why don’t we do both?”…

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  • Mikayla from Florida

    Drugs cause an altered state of mind. If there is little to none punishment people are going to be more prone to doing drugs.

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  • sydney from Tennessee

    I believe that a person that commits a drug offense should be given a chance. I think they should be able to go to a rehabilitation center to try and help them. Everyone deserves help, but after their first offense, I believe the punishment should be higher and they shouldn’t get anymore chances after the first one. Rehabilitation should be required on the first offense. After that, a much higher punishment should be put into place.

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    I believe that a person that commits a drug offense should be given a chance. I think they should be able to go to a rehabilitation center to try and …

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  • Cung from Illinois

    Drug offenses should carry higher punishment only if they are causing violent

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    • Olivia from Montana

      I completely agree with this. Instead of non-violent drug offenders being charged and put in jail, rehabilitation should be the first step.

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  • Brandon from North Carolina

    Making the punishment on drug offenses should be really raised. Although there are drugs out there that are saving people like recreational drugs and medicine but there will be no use for that if the people just stop the people using drugs. Tobacco is killing more than 500,000 first and second hand smokers and that is half a million. If we ban tobacco and better enforce smoking laws then it would be better for the human race. Many things can happen to a person who smokes and does drugs like having a higher chance of getting a heart attack or heart disease and about 610,000 people get heart disease and if you add the 500,000 that die from tobacco thats over a million. This quote is very importand to remember and it is “prevention is better than cure”, this quote is telling people that it is better to not get the sickness instead of getting sick and having to get the cure which is also a kind of drug and it that medicine could have some affect on your body in some way to. Did you know 967 million people of the human race smoke some kind of harmful substances and that is almost 1 billion which is about 14% of the human population. As you can see we definitly have to put much better restrictions on tobacco in order to reduce the death rate caused by drugs.

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    Making the punishment on drug offenses should be really raised. Although there are drugs out there that are saving people like recreational drugs and …

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  • Katherine from Kansas

    Drug offenses should carry a higher punishment because it is illegal to have drugs.

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  • Kayla from Texas

    When most people start using drugs they think, ” oh, I know how to control myself. I’m not going to get addicted.” What most people don’t realize is that it’s really hard not to get addicted, and that their choices affect other peoples lives even if they don’t realize it. Drugs have many affects on the body and one very common one is aggression. I know this from first hand, my biological mother was a drug addict and it caused her to act aggressive, which led her to abuse her children. Violent offenders should in fact be punished for any crime they commit.

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    When most people start using drugs they think, ” oh, I know how to control myself. I’m not going to get addicted.” What most people don’t realize is t…

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  • Conner from Kansas

    we shouldn’t special the people that are using drugs and just give them a free pass to everything. they made a bad choice so they need to figure out a way to get out of their addiction on their own or be punished. if we provide them programs and people that will help them get out of their addiction then that will just be punishing the people who don’t do drugs because they will be the ones paying for it.

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    we shouldn’t special the people that are using drugs and just give them a free pass to everything. they made a bad choice so they need to figure out a…

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  • Ian from Kansas

    I think they should have harsher punishments. It encourages more people to quit selling/buying drugs. If we got people quit we could get the unemployment rate to go down.

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  • Alec from Washington

    No one is an exception.

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  • Brian from Kansas

    It should because we have a huge issue in the United States on drugs. The opioid epidemic shows how big the problem is in the United States, because we’re honestly addicted. This issue isn’t going to get better if we don’t wake up about it, then our country isn’t going to improve in this issue. There are kids receiving drugs from older people, because we have no handle on this situation at all.

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    It should because we have a huge issue in the United States on drugs. The opioid epidemic shows how big the problem is in the United States, because w…

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  • Emily from Alaska

    The basic premise of the “no” argument is that those using the drugs have no choice in the matter; they’re addicted. Yet it is clear that it is a choice: in an article for US News, drug user Karen Holiday calls them an “escape.” While the subsequent addiction may be more difficult to escape than a binary yes-no choice, reducing the consequences is akin to agreeing that these individuals have no free will over the course of their lives. Rehabilitation centers should be open, and cheap, but in many cases they already are. According to American Addiction Centers, most states have free rehabilitation programs, and faith-based groups such as the Salvation Army have programs operating for those whose states do not. Thus, the main thrust of the problem is not lack of accessibility to these rehabilitation programs, but rather either a lack of desire to become rehabilitated or a lack of knowledge about the existence of these programs. In conclusion: to lessen punishments because of helplessness stemming from addiction is an affront to human dignity as well as dangerous for those who are affected by drug-related violence every day. While rehabilitation should be an option, it should not replace jail sentences for those individuals who deliberately flaunt the law of the land.

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    The basic premise of the “no” argument is that those using the drugs have no choice in the matter; they’re addicted. Yet it is clear that it is a choi…

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  • Liam from Kentucky

    I say yes, if they are a violent offender, nonviolent offenders have enough to deal with already, but violent crime should always be punished.

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  • Megan from Minnesota

    I do believe drug offenses should carry a higher punishment, but more so if it’s a second time offense. I believe first time drug offenders should be put in a rehabilitation center and have to carry out a treatment agreement for a certain period of time assigned by the judge. Treatment should include a detox program or a recovery group, and they should also have to meet with a psychologist or addiction specialist that states this person has completed their treatment. Many people see drug addiction as a disease or a mental illness, so that person should be seen by a physician that specializes in addiction. If the offender fails to carry out the agreement and commits a second drug offense, then he or she should face a higher punishment in prison. A rehab or a detox program ends up being a second home for some of these offenders that they end of taking advantage of it. If they don’t understand the meaning of rehab or care to help themselves recover from their addiction, then they deserve the same punishment as other criminals.

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    I do believe drug offenses should carry a higher punishment, but more so if it’s a second time offense. I believe first time drug offenders should be …

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  • jennifer from Oregon

    The drug epidemic has gotten to the point where every day I hear a new story of another kid that’s been let in the car with his drugged up parents high on meth. THIS NEEDS TO STOP!

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  • Lamont from Georgia

    In the case of extending the punishment of drug use, it needs to happen. Yes, in the rebuttal of it’s the person’s body and they can do whatever they want with it. i’m all for that but, that same person who is on drugs can put someone else in danger who isn’t. What is going to be their excuse then. Since they were on drugs they couldn’t make the conscious decision, is that going to be the excuse they use. If you decide to take the drug, you have to be responsible for the consequences and repercussions that follow it.

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    In the case of extending the punishment of drug use, it needs to happen. Yes, in the rebuttal of it’s the person’s body and they can do whatever they …

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  • vincent from Texas

    Drug offenders should be punished highly so the individual will learn not to do whatever drug they are doing.

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  • David from Alabama

    The subject of drugs and otherwise addictive materials in the US always seems to follow a particular storytelling formula. A new drug is released to the masses. A particular incident regarding this drug is covered by a news media outlet and gains enough attention to garner an almost watchdog mentality among parents, teachers, police, and other authority figures. Rules are put in place. The young and most rebellious, either out of angst against authority or an escape from the seemingly endless negatively enforced and fear-tactic ideology in their daily lives find a certain attraction to this new substance. Soon, these youths and skeptics find common ground with one another especially with the rise of the internet. Suddenly, from miles apart, camaraderie forms between these people, maybe not even caring for the aforementioned drug in the first place. But now, the individuals are trapped within the world of cynicism that they created; a world that blurs all lines that are drawn by the pen of the law, or the stern hand of the leader of the household. This is the world of post-modernism. This is the world that justifies all action by comparing it to the equally wrong actions of the past, then turns in the opposite direction and claims that responsibility for one’s actions are tied sole to their circumstance. Obviously, this aforementioned ideology is far more broad than the simple question of whether drug-related offences should carry a higher punishment. But this is simply the beginning of understanding where this smaller issue fits into the greater scheme that befalls our country even now.

    This particular issue itself is broad, ranging from the idea of higher punishment to the use, production, distribution, and otherwise promotion of addictive substances. These all respectively carry various sentences of punishment for each respective offence that in turn also vary from state to state. Jail time, community service, fines, prison; All of these and more stem from the possible offences. Yet, none of these really and truly seem to solve the overall problem. To this day, drug related crime has only dwindled by the slightest percentage since the late 1980’s. And at this, I ask a question. Why make more laws at all? If the highly satirized Prohibition of the 1920’s taught us anything, it is that people will continually find more convoluted ways to disobey laws they don’t agree with. It is in the nature of the human race to defy authority, especially when conceived as being exercised by a figure or figures who are, as defined by the Declaration of Independence, are “equal” to them.

    Make no mistake. Drugs destroy lives; physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are the literal, material products of lies; lies that say your life is so terrible, that your only hope can be found in the sweet pinprick of a needle. These lies say that you should simply operate your body like a vending machine, choosing which chemicals your brain produces as simply as selecting a flavor of soft drink from a fountain dispenser. They even say that you can easily leave the drugs behind if you decide you don’t like them. And who fathers these lies, truly? The users themselves? Perhaps, or perhaps they are repeating what they heard another say…

    The truth is that laws against drugs are not sufficiently effective currently. They seek to simply punish the ignorant, while the true enemy eludes their limited power and happily counts its extorted wealth in secret. Sometimes, they even claim to rehabilitate without instilling essence of something greater in life; no reason to stop themselves when life will just become harder from then on, and their body is demanding more and more of that substance simply to be bearable to live in. No hope;
    So, one might ask,”‘Why take the position of higher punishment while preaching the part of the compassionate brother?” The answers, two of them, are quite simple.
    1. There is a true enemy here. It is an enemy that feeds off of the ignorance of the downtrodden. It is there in a trailer surrounded by amateur chemists with cleaning supplies. It is there in the pharmaceutical factory when the head of the company puts that one drop of chemical that will keep customers coming back for more. It is there when surrounded by armed thugs and handed over in a paper bag. It is there in a nice, quite little shop surrounded by kind old folk in lab coats and handed across the counter with a smile. This, above all else, should be what is punished with fury and without mercy. This is the crime that deserves to have its committers crushed under the hammer of the law into nothingness. It is Evil. Evil with a capital E. It is alive, and it is powerful, seeping into the lives of otherwise good people, and contorting them into mindless, bloodthirsty monsters. It is very real. But, there is hope.
    2. Hope. Those that are guilty of harming themselves and others through the use of drugs are completely and utterly void of hope. Motivational speakers preach of the joys of being free of life’s burdens by hard work and shear grit. Successful people constantly speak of the joys of pushing one’s self past their limits, whether they be physical, financial, or relational. But, I ask, to what end? To be eternally seeking more material gain in life until death knocks at their door. To live for yourself and nothing else? Maybe even to live for your family, and in turn, lead them to that same road of wanting more, more, more. No. This will not help anyone. Our lives mean more than just ourselves. They mean even more than the people around us.

    We are of infinate value to the One whom created us from the dust of the earth we walk on. We are created by design. And when we violated that design, God became one of us! A man like any other, yet lived without Evil touching him. And he was slaughtered, for us. Slaughtered so that the justice of God came to Him instead of us. And he rose from the dead, so that we may be with Him for all of eternity.

    This, friends, is that hope.

    Bring your arguments. Bring your criticisms. What I have spoken today, I believe is the truth.

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    The subject of drugs and otherwise addictive materials in the US always seems to follow a particular storytelling formula. A new drug is released to t…

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  • Lacie from Kansas

    If you don’t punish them they won’t learn

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  • Lauren from Kentucky

    Yes, drug offenses should receive higher punishments in order to prevent further increased rates of illegal drug activity. I believe that the people incarcerated for illegal drug possession should go to rehabilitation, but I don’t believe that should count towards their punishment time. I think they should be mandated to go to at least 6 months of rehabilitation and then undergo their punishment. The rehab needs to be mandatory, but it should not count as any of their time “served”. Their sentencings should be entirely separate from their time in rehab. Also, if this change is going to occur then our government needs to take the money confiscated from drug deals, etc. and put those funds towards the improvements of court-mandated rehabilitation centers. If people want these places to work and alter the mindset of these criminals, then the centers need to be properly equipped and employed.

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    Yes, drug offenses should receive higher punishments in order to prevent further increased rates of illegal drug activity. I believe that the people i…

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  • Samuel from Kentucky

    I believe that drug offenses should be taken much more seriously and have greater consequences. People are constantly in and out of jail from many different offenses relating to drugs. We need a bigger consequence to these offenses and have more of a scare when it comes to messing with drugs and veer people away from doing them. Rather than having people think it’s not a big deal it should be much more risky to deal with drugs.

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    I believe that drug offenses should be taken much more seriously and have greater consequences. People are constantly in and out of jail from many dif…

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  • Cameron from Kentucky

    Yes, drug offenses should carry a high punishment because if people knew that they would be charged with a high federal punishment, it could stop the distribution and use of drugs. It could solve the drug epidemic that millions of families and individuals suffer from today.

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    Yes, drug offenses should carry a high punishment because if people knew that they would be charged with a high federal punishment, it could stop the …

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  • Marissa from Kentucky

    Drug offenses should carry a higher punishment. In my opinion, if a person is convicted in regards to a drug offense they should either have to pay a high fine or be forced into rehabilitation. Similarly, people who overdose should not be treated with narcan after several times, they should be forced into a rehabilitation center after the first offence.

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    Drug offenses should carry a higher punishment. In my opinion, if a person is convicted in regards to a drug offense they should either have to pay a …

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  • Cara from Kentucky

    Drug offenses should begin carrying a higher punishment than they currently do because consequences being used today are obviously not severe enough due to the fact that drug use is becoming more and more apparent every year in our country. Drug users that overdose and are recetiated by narcan should be fined for their use of the drug; it is completely unfair that taxpayers should have to pay for the decisions made by drug users. Those that face drug charges should be held in prisons longer for their charges and be forced into rehabilitation centers.

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    Drug offenses should begin carrying a higher punishment than they currently do because consequences being used today are obviously not severe enough d…

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  • Cat from Kentucky

    I think drug offenses should be based on if drugs are illegal in that state or not. I think someone should get a higher offense if they find a big amount on someone who was planning on dealing it. Drugs can be very addictive and the substance use is increasing in America. Also, I do believe that rehab and treatment could be very effective.

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    I think drug offenses should be based on if drugs are illegal in that state or not. I think someone should get a higher offense if they find a big am…

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  • Hailey from Kentucky

    By rising the punishment, people who are drinking illegally might stop due to the fact that they might be arrested if caught, so that could be a plus for people under legal age. The money could also help people who are dying and in need of medical supplies.

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    By rising the punishment, people who are drinking illegally might stop due to the fact that they might be arrested if caught, so that could be a plus …

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  • Andrew from Kentucky

    Yes drug offenses should carry a higher punishment. Certain drugs have been illegal for years and people still continue to use them. Laws were made to protect us. These drugs are costing states lots of money to do things like revives. This is why higher punishment must be taken.

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    Yes drug offenses should carry a higher punishment. Certain drugs have been illegal for years and people still continue to use them. Laws were made t…

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  • Adam from Kentucky

    I think they should be charged more, because it is illegal in the first place. The government is also in a major debt, so we need to raise a lot of fines other than this. They should not be placed in jail for these crime though.

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    I think they should be charged more, because it is illegal in the first place. The government is also in a major debt, so we need to raise a lot of fi…

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  • Oleg from Kentucky

    I believe to teach people a lesson the state government should charge the people that have drug offenses. They should also charge them even more for every extra offense. People having to have to pay for their offenses will be smarter about buying drugs the next time. These people should also be put on a watch list.

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    I believe to teach people a lesson the state government should charge the people that have drug offenses. They should also charge them even more for e…

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  • Pierce from California

    Drug abuse will always be a problem in our society whether that be opioids or crack or literally any other drug. But the punishment should not be taken lightly. From a very young age you are taught that drugs are bad from you and you should not do them. And you would think that if for years they’ve been ingraining this message into our brain we wouldn’t do drugs but nope, the article from CNN states that “In 2016, more Americans died from a drug overdose than people died in the Vietnam and Iraq wars — more than 64,000 — combined.”. Which is crazy to think about more people have died from things you don’t know are killing you then people knowing that they might die going into war.

    Now to get to the point of this if 64,000 people have died and from opioids alone then there should be a much bigger consequence for doing it. WE need to make a stand right now, we need to scare people away from doing this. Right now you can expect anywhere from 3-9 years in prison if you overdose on opioids and aren’t dead. And people obviously don’t think 3-9 years is a very bad punishment because they persist and keep on doing it. So basically what i’m saying is to increase the amount of years spent in jail. Unless the people know they’re addicted and are trying to get better, then it’s just going to keep getting worse for them and generations to come.

    Now you might say that this would start a controversy between white vs black, how when african american people were doing it illegally it was considered a crime but now that more are doing it (especially white richer families) it is now considered an illness. Which your right but if we can keep the rules how they are increase jail time so that more people don’t start doing it. Imagine the headlines” Multi million dollar playboy arrested for opioid overdose”, yeh I wouldn’t I want to do drugs either.

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    Drug abuse will always be a problem in our society whether that be opioids or crack or literally any other drug. But the punishment should not be tak…

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  • Cailin from Minnesota

    Drug offenses are serious. You are putting your own life and the lives of others at risk just do have a silly little drug. I believe that they should have more time in prison to sit and think about their stupd actions and shoukd recieve help to get out of the drug world and stay out. I believe that if we don’t take drastic measures this Opioid Crisis won’t be a crisis anymore, it’ll be a regular happening in America. So, let’s enforce heavier penalties for heightining this rising crisis and endangering the lives of fellow Americans.

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    Drug offenses are serious. You are putting your own life and the lives of others at risk just do have a silly little drug. I believe that they should …

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  • Hayden from Texas

    I believe it depends on the person and the crime. If you’re caught with a small amount of drugs on you for the first time, or caught high or out of it for the first time, it should be something like 90 days in jail, a more minor punishment. However, if you’re a big drug dealer and get caught with a warehouse full of marijuana, or you’ve got caught 3 times with drugs, you should serve a long jail sentence. No matter what the level of offense, no one should go freely without any punishment. Drugs have became a big issue in the U.S. (such as the Opioid Crisis), and some states in the U.S. have loosened up on their War on Drugs. Unless for medical purposes, drugs need to be heavily monitored, and dealt with properly.

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    I believe it depends on the person and the crime. If you’re caught with a small amount of drugs on you for the first time, or caught high or out of it…

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  • Zachary from Ohio

    Drug offenses should definitely carry higher punishments. America’s war on drugs has failed and changes must be made to remedy this. Assuming that these illicit substances are not to be decriminalized, there is no other option but to worsen the punishments.

    Marijuana has been illegal for a century, yet people continue to utilize it. While the certainty of whether it should be illegal in the first place can be debated, this question requires the assumption that it should remain illicit; therefore, I cannot subscribe to any other response other than to continue to work to deter people from using and then becoming addicted to illegal drugs by worsening the punishment. Prison sentences should be made longer; the rate of conviction must be made higher; charges against users must be filed more often. Every American must learn to respectfully fear the authority of the already established government, respect the right of our Congress to create laws, and the duty of our local governments to enforce these regulations.

    Although some may claim that drug addiction is a disease, this is irrelevant, for it is a disease of one’s own choosing. Drug addiction is a disease, but nearly everyone living in today’s society knows that drugs are addictive, before they take them. It is a disease that one willingly injects into them self, but then uses an excuse to avoid more jail time for their crimes. Society should not suffer for the self-destructive behavior of drug users; whether or not he or she may regret that they began drugs, they willing infected themselves; their punishment cannot be voided because of stupidity.

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    Drug offenses should definitely carry higher punishments. America’s war on drugs has failed and changes must be made to remedy this. Assuming that the…

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    • Seth from Tennessee

      Drug offences should carry stiffer punishments then what is being implemented at this time. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this world has gone to hell in a hand basket over the last few years. People are increasingly feeling self entitled, a way of thinking that the world owes them. Everyone wants something for free and doesn’t feel the need to work for profit. This I feel has sparked the increase in crime and drug offences. If the laws would fight back and create a stiffer punishment, along with rehabilitation and education services during said punishment, I feel maybe some of these people may turn them selves around. I do believe that education is the strongest way to decrease drug offences but also if a person knows that there will be a harsh punishment, instead of a slap on the wrist. They may think twice before committing these crimes.

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      Drug offences should carry stiffer punishments then what is being implemented at this time. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this world has gone t…

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  • Alexis from Arkansas

    in the world today, people can do whatever they want and get away with it. And it is not right. Not only our we loosing lives to drugs we are also filling jails and prisons with people. Instead of making them live for free( they are paid with tax money), how about we make them clean up some areas that need cleaning, make them make our communities better.

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    in the world today, people can do whatever they want and get away with it. And it is not right. Not only our we loosing lives to drugs we are also fil…

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  • Tim from Iowa

    You don’t stop murders from murdrring again by putting them a center where every one of their needs is catered for, you throw them in jail, it’s the only way to get the point across.

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    You don’t stop murders from murdrring again by putting them a center where every one of their needs is catered for, you throw them in jail, it’s t…

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    • Aaron from New York

      But there’s so little data that shows that longer jail sentences deter crime like drug possession. After all, drug users don’t usually consider legal ramifications when doing drugs; they just assume that they’re smarter and that they won’t get caught.

      Wouldn’t it make more sense to use the money we’re wasting on jails for rehab centers?

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      But there’s so little data that shows that longer jail sentences deter crime like drug possession. After all, drug users don’t usually consider legal …

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  • Evan from North Carolina

    The issue of “should drug offenses carry higher punishment” really is based on what perspective you look from. For example, I started by looking at the PRACTICAL benefits of higher drug offenses. I found out that really, people who take drugs are addicted and a higher punishment does basically nothing. However, if we look at the roots of starting drugs, usually it is because people think it’s cool. A longer sentence means that fewer kids will be inclined to try drugs since the punishment is far greater.

    Looking at the “No” side of the argument, we see that the benefit of not increasing drug offenses really equate to just freedom and opportunity. The side argues that it is better to rehabilitate them to give them another chance. However, usually, drug addicts (especially opioid addicts) won’t just quit after being rehabilitated. Not only is the success rate low, but the money needed to rehabilitate these addicts are immense.

    Another argument for the “No” side is that by increasing the attention we put on drugs, more people will use drugs. Sure, in a way that’s true. A lot of the drug lords oppose the United States government, so the flow of drugs will increase. However, if we cut off the buyers of those drugs, then there will be fewer and fewer people actually buying those drugs. Teens are the ones who buy a good amount of the drugs, and also will be future recipients (after they grow up they probably will still be addicted). The only way to stop the drug epidemic is to make teenagers obligated not to take drugs, even if it is for fun.
    To reiterate my points: By increasing the penalty for drug offenses, teenagers will be less inclined to “try new things” that their friends may have tried. This is the only way to stop/limit the use of drugs. It is impossible to crack down on all the drug lords. If we want to make the future a safer place, it has to start with this. Thank you for reading my argument. I hope you have a nice and drug-free day.

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    The issue of “should drug offenses carry higher punishment” really is based on what perspective you look from. For example, I started by looking at th…

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  • Claire from Indiana

    The drug market relies on new consumers. While higher punishments should not be the only answer to drug offenses, they will certainly deter a portion of the newcomers from freely participating.

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    The drug market relies on new consumers. While higher punishments should not be the only answer to drug offenses, they will certainly deter a portion …

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  • Lena from Arizona

    Drugs lead to more crime, we have to stop it at the source. Harsher punishments keep these people off of the streets

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  • Martin from Pennsylvania

    Drugs cause an altered state of mind and that is the reason all these shootings are happening

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  • Benjamin from Pennsylvania

    When a law is broken that alone deserves a punishment. Laws on drugs continue to be broken though, and the problem is only getting worse and worse. It’s high time that the U.S. cracked down on this issue. Unless action is taken by the United States the problem will get worse and worse. Drugs will just get spread like a chain. I don’t think criminals should get the death penalty but a serious amount of time in jail is warranted. Retribution and Rehabilitation are both essential to this issue. We can’t continue to ignore this issue. Because is we do, we only make the problem worse.

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    When a law is broken that alone deserves a punishment. Laws on drugs continue to be broken though, and the problem is only getting worse and worse. It…

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  • Nahom from Texas

    If there is little to none punishment people are going to be more prone to doing drugs

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  • Gail from Pennsylvania

    The drug epidemic is prevalent throughout the country and if they’re are harsher punishments more people will hopefully not do it.

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  • J from Pennsylvania

    Drugs are a serious matter, and should not even be taken at all. They hurt your body, relationships, mind, and other aspects of your life. We should do all we can to keep drugs away from non-medicinal use. Drugs should ONLY be used in medicinal cases, in the form of medicine.

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    Drugs are a serious matter, and should not even be taken at all. They hurt your body, relationships, mind, and other aspects of your life. We should…

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  • Maxwell from Hawaii

    Drug use is a pervasive problem that exists in all countries on earth. We all agree that non medicinal drug use is bad for society but each country has a different solution to this problem. The United States solution involves incarcerating 1% of its population without any clear rehabilitation plan for the addicts. This has failed. The war on drugs has cost thousands of lives and it’s time to make a change. Many countries like have experimented with different strategies of rehabilitation with universally more success than the all out war strategy employed by the United States. Portugal managed to greatly reduce drug use by legalizing possession and funneling the massive amount of money that was freed up by the decision to do so into rehab programs. Germany funded supervised injection rooms for their drug addicts allowing them to greatly reduce drug overdoses and almost stop STD transfer via dirty needles.

    Fighting the war on drugs isn’t the only way to protect our people, and it isn’t even the best one. If we can stop looking at drug users as criminals and start looking at them like sick people we will be one step closer to solving the problem.

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    Drug use is a pervasive problem that exists in all countries on earth. We all agree that non medicinal drug use is bad for society but each country ha…

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    • Breyanna from District Of Columbia

      Fighting drugs isn’t helping at all because people who commit, in my opinion, bigger crimes get less of a punishment. Someone shouldn’t get more jail time than another because he had a few ounces of drugs while the other guy touches little kids. Focusing on one aspect of law breaking isn’t justice. Letting other forms of breaking the law go hardly punished isn’t justice. Should a child with not enough sense to pull up his pants get a bigger sentence than an adult with not enough sense to stay away from children? Should a murderer get a lighter sentence than a drug dealer? Question like this bring up bigger questions like: who am I to decide? But at the end of the day you have to realize justice is in the eye of the beholder and everyone has an opinion.

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      Fighting drugs isn’t helping at all because people who commit, in my opinion, bigger crimes get less of a punishment. Someone shouldn’t get more …

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  • Alex from New Jersey

    Our criminal justice system claims to “rehabilitate” offenders. This is absolutely not the case. Dependence on drugs is both a physical and mental phenomenon. There are not enough resources in prisons to ensure that inmates receive adequate care while experiencing potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, the United States prison population makes up approximately twenty percent of the total amount of persons incarcerated globally, and a vast majority of these individuals are serving time for drug offenses. Instead of actually giving inmates the coping mechanisms and general education necessary to avoid drug use, the American criminal justice system houses drug offenders for prolonged amounts of time only to release them back into society where they will continue the endless cycle of entering and exiting prison.

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    Our criminal justice system claims to “rehabilitate” offenders. This is absolutely not the case. Dependence on drugs is both a physical and mental…

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    • Seth from Montana

      I agree, but why shouldn’t we increase the punishments for offenders?

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    • Ruthie from Missouri

      I absolutely agree with Alex. Our system of criminal justice is not designed to support people suffering from drug addiction. Instead,it robs them of the very criteria that they need to recover, a good rehabilitation facility and the support from their loving friends and family. Increasing the number of years on drug offenses not only will hurt the addict,but it will not terminate the abuse of drugs. Adding legal consequence to addiction has never proven to be the right solution;however, we should educate people on the dangers of drug abuse, more collaborative monitoring of prescriptions among state governments,and learning how to accept those with the disease and criminalize them.

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      I absolutely agree with Alex. Our system of criminal justice is not designed to support people suffering from drug addiction. Instead,it robs them of …

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    • Eric from Wisconsin

      As a son of a man that died last month from opioids, drug addictions are a mental illness, not a crime. Why punish the victims? Rehabilitation centers are much different than prisons, otherwise we would just call them the same thing. Prisons will not help a person, but usually cause someone to continue with drugs after the fact. Drugs make people do things that they do not mean, and it takes over their lives. My dad was prescribed opiates which is what made him addicted in the first place and I never thought that he deserved to go to jail for something he can not control. Seeing an addiction first hand, you see that it is a serious problem that takes a lot of effort to be stopped. Victims of addictions should not be imprisoned for such a thing, but instead we should be putting that money into stopping big pharmaceutical companies from ruining more lives.

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      As a son of a man that died last month from opioids, drug addictions are a mental illness, not a crime. Why punish the victims? Rehabilitation centers…

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    • Jordan from Illinois

      I completely agree with the commenter and I think the first response brings up a point that is just as important. I’d like to add that pharmeceutical companies must also be held responsible in some form bc they grossly abuse their power to distribute their drugs. Many people that end up with opiod addiction start on prescription drugs that are handed out like candy. If possible there needs to be some form of punishment for those companies when the see that a shady individual is asking for their product and they supply them because they are only looking at their bottom line.

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      I completely agree with the commenter and I think the first response brings up a point that is just as important. I’d like to add that pharmeceutica…

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    • Claudette from Florida

      I agree. Rehabilitation is the key to end drug addiction and stop repeated offenses but our prisons and jails fail to do this. Its a system that punishes people; punishing a drug addict can not stop them from being a drugs addicts and I don’t think it ever will. The war on drugs in America didn’t make drug offenses lessen so its clear that the method of punishing drug offenses heavily is not working.

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      I agree. Rehabilitation is the key to end drug addiction and stop repeated offenses but our prisons and jails fail to do this. Its a system that punis…

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    • Lucas from Texas

      I completely agree with this. I think another issue that we have is that there are a large amount of prisons run “for profit.” This should be considered a massive conflict of interest, as these prisons are only built to make money. Often times law makers have ties to the holding companies of these for profit prisons. This encourages them to make longer sentences for minor crimes, such as marijuana possession, and gives them no incentive to rehabilitate these prisoners. This is a major issue that needs to be addressed.

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      I completely agree with this. I think another issue that we have is that there are a large amount of prisons run “for profit.” This should be consider…

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  • Allyson from Nebraska

    Not only do I believe drug offenses should not carry a higher punishment, I believe drug offenses shouldn’t be “offenses” at all. A person should be allowed to do what they want with their body. It doesn’t affect anyone except the person doing it and they should have the right to do that if they so choose to.

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    Not only do I believe drug offenses should not carry a higher punishment, I believe drug offenses shouldn’t be “offenses” at all. A person should be a…

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  • Susep from Montana

    Drug use is a problem all across the world tax dollors get spent on the wrong way to help the problem pending tax dollars on them to have drug war continue have drug uses locked up is just costing to much tax dollors and its not helping the majority of them witth the issue. If we could treat drug users more as sick people thta need extra care and help we could help more of them spend tax dollors tords sactually making progress in helping them lowering STD transfer through needle use. while asking the process for help that much easier for them make it so overall the drug problem hits a all time low but we as a people need to stop treating them as criminals and looking at them as criminals more as sick people that need are help. start to do more tests like that help stop or limit the STD transfer process through needle use also help limit the amount of drug overdose.

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    Drug use is a problem all across the world tax dollors get spent on the wrong way to help the problem pending tax dollars on them to have drug war co…

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  • Emma from Arizona

    Instead we need better rehabilitation systems. It’s awful that drug abusers can be thrown in jail, then in no time at all let back out to repeat the same actions over again. If we have better methods of stopping addiction perhaps this wouldn’t be as bad as it is now. I do feel that when someone becomes addicted to drugs, it is THEIR DECISION. They most certainly had a choice in the matter. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help them recover from that bad decision. And another point of importance, is we need to up the promotion of drug abstinence. If they never start using drugs in the first place, none of this would be an issue.

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    Instead we need better rehabilitation systems. It’s awful that drug abusers can be thrown in jail, then in no time at all let back out to repeat the s…

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  • Katelyn from Texas

    The mindset of the “system” is to rehabilitate or help the offenders, so they do not commit the crime again. However, this is very rarely the case. They should not be given longer sentences but rather more resources to ensure they are not repeated offenders. Many people become involved with drugs because they feel like they do not have any other options and there should be programs and various resources to help these people understand it is not their only option. They should be punished and have to serve their time, but after their sentences are complete, it is crucial to educate and remove them from situations where they might become involved with drugs again.

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    The mindset of the “system” is to rehabilitate or help the offenders, so they do not commit the crime again. However, this is very rarely the case. Th…

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  • Ania from New York

    In order to approach the question of whether or not drug offenses should carry a higher punishment, one must first examine current drug sentencing laws and their effects. However, this narrative does not start in the United States of today, but rather with President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which established mandatory minimum sentencing for crimes of drug possession, and did little to nothing to prevent the drug abuse and related crime that defined America in the 1990’s. From there the narrative continues with President Clinton’s 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which amplified the effects of mass incarceration. Over and over history has shown the American public and government that tough on crime drug sentencing doesn’t work to solve the problems of drug addiction in America. The opioid epidemic or the increase in heroin use on the east coast is not going to fall with harsher punishments for drug users. If anything, it will increase drug use, as inmates face a plethora of struggles in finding employment and reintegration after being released, and are at a higher risk of turning to drug abuse than they were before going to prison. The longer they are separated from society, the harsher the consequences afterward. If not to curb drug use, what purpose would harsher punishments serve? Increasing punishments for drug offenses would only work to fill the pockets of private prison owners and companies that profit off of mass incarceration. Rather than focusing on higher punishments, law makers should focus on reforming the legal system to incorporate more rehabilitier and reintegration programs. Furthermore, mandatory minimums on drug offense should be eliminated, and punishments should be issued on a case by case basis.- Ania

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    In order to approach the question of whether or not drug offenses should carry a higher punishment, one must first examine current drug sentencing law…

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  • Catherine from New Jersey

    The jails are currently overflowing with “criminals” who were charged with possession or intent to sell drugs, mostly marijuana. This leaves jails over-populated, and under funded. People who sell weed are in jail while rapists and child molesters are roaming free. We should not be jailing people for drugs, because someone chooses to do drugs just as they choose to drink beer. A rapist or child molester is hurting someone else, while doing drugs is hurting yourself by your own free will. We should make drugs legal, which will help us create tax revenue, free up jails, and bring “America the free” back to truth. Leave room in the jails for real criminals.

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    The jails are currently overflowing with “criminals” who were charged with possession or intent to sell drugs, mostly marijuana. This leaves jails ove…

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    • Emily from Alaska

      While I can’t speak to all states, I do want to refute your argument that jails are overflowing with marijuana users–in the couple months prior to Alaska’s legalization of marijuana, there was only one individual in the entire state of Alaska in jail solely due to a charge of marijuana possession. The vast majority of these people are in jail because they have committed a plurality of crimes, not just drug use or possession. Their actions are detrimental to society and have been classified as illegal because they harm others within the community. In addition, the claim that making drugs legal will create tax revenue is misleading. My own state has done this, and while it is taking in tax revenue, the cost of regulating the drugs far exceeds the revenue gained. Finally, as for the claim that “doing drugs is hurting yourself by your own free will,” I argue that drug use contributes to decreased public safety. Alcohol is legal, yet its use in vehicle operators accounts for the deaths of 28 Americans per day. Clearly, legality–the lessened punishments requested by this argument–doesn’t protect Americans.

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      While I can’t speak to all states, I do want to refute your argument that jails are overflowing with marijuana users–in the couple months prior to Al…

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  • Jacob from Montana

    Drug use should not carry a higher punishment than it currently does now. Of course, we all know that drugs are illegal but we have to ask why they are illegal? What is the reason that 52% of U.S. prison inmates (Taxy) are jailed for drug offences? As we can see throughout recent history, the government has been fighting against the recreational use of addictive drugs. According to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the government makes drugs illegal based on their potential for abuse. This makes sense based on the knowledge that drugs have a negative effect on society. It is likely that you have seen firsthand the destructive effect of drugs on people and their families. But why do people continue to indulge in these felonious behaviours? The answer is simple. They can’t help it. Who would voluntarily start doing something that they know is wrong with the knowledge of the destructive aftermath on their future? Anyone in their right mind would not voluntarily choose this lifestyle. That is the problem though. They don’t have the choice anymore. They are mentally impaired and need help. Through counseling and close guidance, they can become functioning members of society. This obviously won’t happen if we throw them all in jail. Therefore, I say that drug charges should not carry a higher punishment than it currently does. If we want to fix the problem then we must start at the roots. Then, and only then, may we begin to fix this issue in today’s society.

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    Drug use should not carry a higher punishment than it currently does now. Of course, we all know that drugs are illegal but we have to ask why they ar…

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  • Nathan from Montana

    Drugs have always been an issue and will continue to be because people are drawn to what they can’t have and don’t understand the damage they cause until it’s too late. Drug related offenses should not carry a higher punishment because we have tried multiple times to stop drugs from spreading but have always failed. The Bureau of Justice statistics has done surveys on inmates and of all state prisoners and federal inmates in 2004 18% said it was to obtain money for drugs. We have a problem with too many prisoners in jail which always means there has to be more tax money to pay for their meals and care which costs the good people more money. Instead of making higher punishment of drugs if we follow in the steps of Colorado and Washington and legalize drugs like marijuana than we can profit from it and get tax dollars from it to pay for inmates care. And with some drugs legal there will be less inmates and this will just make it a person’s choice to ruin their life by doing drugs and not making it a problem of the government and people. Just regulate the amount a person can purchase and if people start dying because of overdose of drugs that were made legal its just criminals which makes the question would you rather live among criminals who deal drugs around in secret and go in and out of jail or live where the drug is legal and people can profit from its value and those who chose to abuse it will live with that choice jeopardising their life but meaning there’s one less drug abusing person in the world.

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    Drugs have always been an issue and will continue to be because people are drawn to what they can’t have and don’t understand the damage they caus…

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  • Bailee from Montana

    Having the opportunity to work in a pharmacy and knowing the black market side of prescription medication you get a sense of what really goes on. Nowadays it is so easy to get your hands on any type of drugs from your doctor. These so called Controlled Substances really aren’t all that controlled. Yet, doctors have the authority to write these prescriptions out to people who don’t necessarily need them WITHOUT an offense. So why do people who sell or use marijuana, either recreationally or medically, have to pay a bigger fine/consequence for a less harmful drug? Recently, the drug arrest numbers for marijuana has risen higher than any other drug in the United States according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Not only is marijuana, in my opinion, AND medical opinion, less harmful than prescription drugs, it is proven to be non addictive unlike Oxycontin and Hydrocodone, drugs that are regularly given out at any pharmacy. I think it’s safe to say that I do NOT think that drug offenses/offenders should have a higher punishment, INSTEAD we should look into controlling things that have a greater impact on our bodies in a negative way. Just because you need a script signed from a doctor to receive medication, does not mean it is hard to get. Faking a back ache, bum knee, or hurting joints, will give you the opportunity to put something into your body that is harmful. The problem is not the offense time, it is the problem of not regulating what needs fixed the most.

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    Having the opportunity to work in a pharmacy and knowing the black market side of prescription medication you get a sense of what really goes on. Nowa…

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  • jeremiah from Montana

    I think that we shouldn’t give higher punishments for offenders because there is less medical observation when people use drugs. We also have more people in jail for drugs or selling drugs and we should send some of these people to rehab then to prison.

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    I think that we shouldn’t give higher punishments for offenders because there is less medical observation when people use drugs. We also have more p…

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  • Savanah from Montana

    Increasing the punishment on drug crimes will only increase the number of suppressed people in jail cells. Costing more money for jail cells by the harsh punishments. Although drugs are bad, throwing everyone in jail will only encourage the black market to spark up in form of rebellion. There are many statistics that prove the suppressed culture locked up, however to subdue drugs, there should be a need to encourage younger generations; putting drugs to extinction. To fight drugs I believe there should be a new attack against drugs instead of one option; because of the future generations to come.

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    Increasing the punishment on drug crimes will only increase the number of suppressed people in jail cells. Costing more money for jail cells by the ha…

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  • Hunter from Montana

    Increasing the punishment for drug crimes will not decline drug consumption.
    By restricting something from society you only create a black market for it and increase taxes to fund the restriction. I do believe certain drugs should be banned and restricted, but increasing the punishment for using these drugs will only put more people in jail and cost law abiding citizens more money to keep them in jail. There isn’t a perfect system for punishing drug consumers today, but the solution is definitely not to increase the penalty.

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    Increasing the punishment for drug crimes will not decline drug consumption.
    By restricting something from society you only create a black market fo…

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  • Shealyn from Montana

    I do not think that drug offenses should carry a higher punishment. No matter what happens, there will always be people using drugs, whether it be marijuana or crack cocaine. You cannot kill every single person that has used a drug. If this were to happen, people would be even more cautious with their drugs and we would travel back in time to the prohibition era. However, putting millions of people in jail is not the solution. I believe that something else needs to happen. If it does, then more jails will be open to more serious crimes of murder or bank robbery. If we allow states to legalize a certain amount of a certain drug [marijuana] and allow it to be used medically, we cannot throw those people in jail or kill them. We the people would be contradicting ourselves.

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    I do not think that drug offenses should carry a higher punishment. No matter what happens, there will always be people using drugs, whether it be mar…

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  • chris from Montana

    There are more crime in the world that we can keep under control, then people doing drugs personally than some one shooting someone on the street. People are having more jail sentences. Our jail population has grown 900%.

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    There are more crime in the world that we can keep under control, then people doing drugs personally than some one shooting someone on the street. Peo…

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  • Talon from Montana

    Drugs dealers shouldn’t be punished badly as someone who had commits murder or rape.

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  • william from Montana

    Drugs users should not be Punished as hard as someone who murder or rape.

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  • Micalann from Montana

    No drug abuse should not be held to a higher punishment. No matter what we do or how we do it people who once did drugs usually always go back. Even after rehabilitation, they still go back. It is ones choice to decide whether they do drugs or not. Making a higher punishment or sending them to rehab does not change their thought process on drugs.

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    No drug abuse should not be held to a higher punishment. No matter what we do or how we do it people who once did drugs usually always go back. Even a…

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  • Rayrobert from Montana

    I believe that putting people behind bars is not the way to try and get rid of the problem that we have with drug abuse do to the fact that even though people are going to prison there are still others that do not care about what the punishment may be they still sell and use. But the thing about an addict is they do not care about anything or anyone but there drugs it’s more of a crippling mindset they get put into while using so making them go jail will make them stop but only while in jail. So why not try to help them get back into a clear headed state so they can make the right decisions to stop what is killing them because if they don’t care that the drug can kill them I doubt that going to jail makes them more afraid of using the drug. When the war on drugs started in the 1870’s it was directed toward chinese immigrants. Then the first anti-cocaine laws in the early 1900’s were directed toward black in the south. In the Midwest and Southwest in the 1990’s and 1920’s the first anti-marijuana laws were directed at the Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. So this is one other reason I believe that we should not put people behind bars because of drugs it only makes things worse and separates the races.
    http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/brief-history-drug-war

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    I believe that putting people behind bars is not the way to try and get rid of the problem that we have with drug abuse do to the fact that even thoug…

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  • faith from Alabama

    Drug offences shouldn’t carry a higher offence. You choose to do drugs and you choose to ruin your own life. It’s ridiculous that rape or sexual offence charges get a less time sentence or treated differently when drugs ruin your own life and you chose to vs. someone ruining someone else’s life and not having to pay as much for it.

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    Drug offences shouldn’t carry a higher offence. You choose to do drugs and you choose to ruin your own life. It’s ridiculous that rape or sexual offe…

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  • Brendon from Montana

    No, I feel that drug offenses should not carry a higher punishment due to the fact that the U.S. doesn’t really do anything to stop it anyway. Since the “war on drugs” started with Reagan the only thing that has been done is throwing people in jail, but if you read between the lines the only people that were being locked up were blacks and Latinos. You could say this is almost a stereotypical topic because when white people were using say cocaine nothing was done to them but when a black person was caught using the same drug he was immediately locked up. And now that the selling of marijuana is legal in some states former felons are not allowed to participate, and who are most of the former felons? Blacks and Latinos. So no I feel the offenses against drugs should not be raised to a higher punishment but more of a solid equal solution to help rehabilitate the people using these hard drugs.

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    No, I feel that drug offenses should not carry a higher punishment due to the fact that the U.S. doesn’t really do anything to stop it anyway. Since t…

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  • Ethan from Montana

    The war on drugs brought a negative viewpoint to the use of all recreational drugs. Yes some of these controlled or non-controlled substances have been proven to be highly addictive, destructive to the body and provides no medical use such as heroin, cocaine and even cigarettes. Other substances such as marijuana is classified along the same lines as heroin yet this drug has been proven to help with medical problems such as depression, anxiety and is capable of aiding in calming symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease as well as other motor deficiency diseases. Just for having a single gram of marijuana on your person you can be incarcerated for up to a year. Marijuana has generally low negative side affects yet you are treated at the same level as a petty thief. I believe that drug usage should be treated at a different case by case system. Simply possessing drugs, with some exceptions perhaps like bath salts, should not warrant a prison sentence of any kind or really any kind of federal punishment. Use of drugs in your own home or on your own property should be legal so long as you don’t interfere with the lives of those around you. Any real criminal punishment should only take affect if the substance is used by a minor, sold to a minor or if the substances causes a loss in mental stability which leads to criminal activity. Putting these practices into effect may very well see a decrease in illegal activity as well as fewer individuals being held in incarcerations.

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    The war on drugs brought a negative viewpoint to the use of all recreational drugs. Yes some of these controlled or non-controlled substances have bee…

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  • Garrison from Montana

    I can partially agree with both sides of this debate, but ultimately, I find myself disagreeing with the topic of raising the punishment level for drug offenses. I believe a higher sentence should be determined on the actual seriousness of the crime. I do not believe a citizen should be given prison time if they are using a controlled substance, such as marijuana, for recreational or medicinal use. I believe a person should receive a serious sentence for a major crime, such as supplying major amounts of harmful drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, to a community. More or less, the seriousness of the crime plays a major factor in determining a punishment for the individual. The topic of what is classified as a drug, specifically marijuana, is controversial. Many believe it should be legalized, and certain states have legalized it for recreational use. There were states that allowed to be used medically prior to certain states making it fully legal. There is evidence that marijuana does in fact help with certain disorders and can widely be used as a pain reliever, but other parties believe it is used solely as a stimulant and should remain illegal.

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    I can partially agree with both sides of this debate, but ultimately, I find myself disagreeing with the topic of raising the punishment level for dru…

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  • crystal from Montana

    no they shouldn’t get a longer sentence

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    • Seth from Montana

      why not?

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  • katherine from Montana

    We should be more concerned with rehabilitating drug offenders so that there are less repeat offenders

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  • Marie from Florida

    While drugs are bad for the community, and can get especially worse with the rise of possible cartels, throwing people in jail is extremely costly. According to the Vera institute of justice, it takes about $31,286 per inmate. If we continue to place people with small drug charges in jail, the rise of taxes will be ridiculous and not actually solve the problem. What we need is alternatives to incarceration, for example: TASC and Drug and Alcohol Programs. With at least one person recovering from their addiction, you pay the entire program for an entire year.

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    While drugs are bad for the community, and can get especially worse with the rise of possible cartels, throwing people in jail is extremely costly. Ac…

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  • Jordan from Missouri

    I voted no because I believe we have other issues that have a higher importance value that we should be attending to. With that said I am not discussing drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamines, which I believe need to be taken seriously. I believe Marijuana needs to be legalized and alcohol should be illegal.

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    I voted no because I believe we have other issues that have a higher importance value that we should be attending to. With that said I am not discussi…

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  • Meghan from Massachusetts

    Our prisons are too full of people who need help getting over an addiction rather than being punished for having a disease (addiction is a disease and often can’t be fought without help). Instead of punishing them, we should be helping them get better. Save our prisons for more serious crimes that hurt people, rather than throwing people who need help in there. The prison programs are poor at best, and it makes it easier for people to get drugs into the prison if they have connections to drugs already. We need to rethink our positions on drug addicts in our prisons or else they’ll just get bigger and bigger. Not to mention most of the people who are convicted for drug use are people of color, and get a larger punishment than a white person would.

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    Our prisons are too full of people who need help getting over an addiction rather than being punished for having a disease (addiction is a disease and…

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  • Haley from Kentucky

    I strongly disagree with the justice system in terms of reprimanding petty drug offenses. Our jails are jam-packed with inmates, some of them serving life sentences because of a plant- a natural substance grown from the earth. Are drugs a positive element to society? Of course not, but the punishment is often times much harsher than what is due. You can be convicted of manslaughter and get off with 2 years, but Fate Vincent Winslow can sell $20 worth of marijuana and get a life sentence? Makes sense.

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    I strongly disagree with the justice system in terms of reprimanding petty drug offenses. Our jails are jam-packed with inmates, some of them serving …

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  • Quintin from Utah

    Punishment is pretty fair right now. No use in making it worse, it won’t stop anything.

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  • Rachel from Florida

    Some offenses can get you life, which is ridiculous. Imo, drugs aren’t a huge deal, if someone wants to do them, that’s their problem

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  • Bohumil from Washington

    We can all agree that the majority of drugs are harmful and bad. No question about it. But, many of those who are punished for drugs don’t have much choice in the matter. Once your hooked, your hooked. Why are we punishing those who have an actual problem? Without proper treatment, many of those addicted to drugs are going to die. We should be funding the institutes that help cure those who are addicted, not sending so many to prison each year.

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    We can all agree that the majority of drugs are harmful and bad. No question about it. But, many of those who are punished for drugs don’t have much c…

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  • Kaylee from Illinois

    They have an addiction, just give them a fine and send them to a rehab center.

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  • Katrina from Nebraska

    Our jails and prisons are swarming with offenders serving 1-5 year sentences for petty drug use. Public safety is not harmed in these petty drug instances. Unless public safety is in direct danger, all nonviolent offenders have little reason to take up that needed space and thousands of taxpayer dollars.

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    Our jails and prisons are swarming with offenders serving 1-5 year sentences for petty drug use. Public safety is not harmed in these petty drug insta…

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  • carter from Minnesota

    incited of placing people in prison for 5 to 10 years or how ever long it is why don’t we take the money that would keep them in jail and have them find help. seeing people sit in jail and wish they had more drugs and not getting the help they need nor the support system they need for emotional and mental health aspect of things.

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    incited of placing people in prison for 5 to 10 years or how ever long it is why don’t we take the money that would keep them in jail and have them fi…

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  • Grace from Kansas

    I feel that the fact that rapists don’t even receive extraneous sentences is very strange to me. Drug use is a problem but it does not resolve by locking them up. The best way to fight illegal drug use is by getting these people the help they need. Providing health care and rehab for them actually helps them sober up, education is also key to fixing the drug problem. Locking them up does not actually help the drug problem; furthermore, it only increases the problem. Most people that end up getting out continue to use drugs.

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    I feel that the fact that rapists don’t even receive extraneous sentences is very strange to me. Drug use is a problem but it does not resolve by lock…

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  • Jennifer from Georgia

    If you don’t stop the act by just locking people up, the root of the problem would still be there. You think just because you lock them up or punish them that they would stop doing drugs, selling drugs, etc. It starts with the community trying to help them by rehabilitation.

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    If you don’t stop the act by just locking people up, the root of the problem would still be there. You think just because you lock them up or punish t…

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  • Madison from Mississippi

    Drug abusers shouldn’t be criminalized for something that affects them not only mentally, but physically as well. Drug addiction is a serious disease that should people should not be criminalized for, and especially not punished even harsher for. Instead, more rehabilitation centers should be built, drug users should not be ashamed for relapsing, and support after treatment should continue.

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    Drug abusers shouldn’t be criminalized for something that affects them not only mentally, but physically as well. Drug addiction is a serious disease …

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  • Amelia from Wisconsin

    No. Drug offences are less dangerous than other crime, and people do drugs because it makes them feel better or they need to escape

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  • Margot from South Carolina

    Victimless crimes shouldn’t be crimes

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  • Veronica from North Carolina

    We need to focus on rehabilitation and education of drug use not just throwing them in the dark and expect them to learn.

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  • Tiffany from Pennsylvania

    Individuals who are incarcerated for using/being under the influence of drugs should not be forced to a higher punishment. In many cases, a lot of these individuals are arrested for the use of marijuana–which holds no real danger. In addition, for those who use addictive drugs, those individuals would be considered drug addicts. Rather than sending them to prison, they should be sent to rehabilitation centers to cope and learn how to deal with their addiction.

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    Individuals who are incarcerated for using/being under the influence of drugs should not be forced to a higher punishment. In many cases, a lot of the…

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  • Morgan from South Dakota

    I say no because increasing the penalty for doing drugs won’t stop many people from doing them. A lot of drug users most likely think now that they won’t get caught, so making punishments worse won’t scare them. Giving drug offenders rehabilitation opportunities will reduce the amount of second offences given because they’ll learn what they did wrong in rehabilitation and learn to stay away from it, therefore reducing the amount of users.

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    I say no because increasing the penalty for doing drugs won’t stop many people from doing them. A lot of drug users most likely think now that they wo…

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  • Lance from Michigan

    No, because rehabilitation is best. The people who are addicted to drugs need help and care. Yes there should be consequences but they need help. Drugs already punish us by destroying our bodies and the punishment for doing them is already enough. There are other better ways to get drugs of the streets such as, spending more money one busting drug operations, and increasing efforts to inform people about drugs. Overall though drugs are bad having a worse punishment may not be the best solution to getting drugs off the streets.

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    No, because rehabilitation is best. The people who are addicted to drugs need help and care. Yes there should be consequences but they need help. Drug…

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  • jessi from Kansas

    the punishment we have now is not working. so we need to make them better.

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  • Jackson from Montana

    People ask for drugs, no one asks to be raped or murdered. Unless the drug user kills or rapes/ does other illegal thing, I firmly believe if they don’t hurt anyone while high it isn’t a problem.

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    People ask for drugs, no one asks to be raped or murdered. Unless the drug user kills or rapes/ does other illegal thing, I firmly believe if they don…

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  • Kamryn from Illinois

    Instead of punishing drug users even more harshly, our nation should create a better system that dives into the roots of these issues. We need to focus on what causes the dependency on drugs, how to change the accessibility of falling into this habit, and then how to help the user out of these situations. Rather than pouring more money into the prison system and the punishments, we should instead put more emphasis on the rehabilitation of these criminals. We should work to actually help offenders instead of pulling them completely away from society and practically ending their lives.

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    Instead of punishing drug users even more harshly, our nation should create a better system that dives into the roots of these issues. We need to focu…

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  • Natalie from Indiana

    When a child misbehaves don’t we help them? Explain to them what they did wrong and teach them what is right? So why when people struggle with substance abuse are they incarcerated? Drug abusers should be helped, taught how to live without the drug, not punished. That will get us nowhere.
    Many say that punishment is the only way to deter people from abusing drugs in the first place, but much like with children, they are not scared of grounding or spankings. They are scared of getting caught. So as long as a child believes they can get away with something without getting caught they will attempt to do so. When teens and even adults abuse drugs the fear of arrest does not exist in their minds, because they believe they can get away with it. No amount of punishment will change that. Instead of playing into that, help them. Show them the right path for their lives.

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    When a child misbehaves don’t we help them? Explain to them what they did wrong and teach them what is right? So why when people struggle with substan…

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  • Latrice from Texas

    To be truly concerned with the health and protection issues of the people who missuses drugs, the alternative should be to help them by rehabilitation and not to throw them in jail. Its best remember a few things when realizing that drugs should not be considered as a ‘high offence” in law. First, Why do people take drugs in the first people? Same reason why a doctor would prescribe a medical drug; because it is in their best judgement that it would be beneficial to the patient. Why are drugs so available in the streets? Why would people even want to sell drugs? You must understand the economical history of america to answer that question Then so, it would be understood and at least more tolerable for people who get caught up in a drug situation. I believe everyone goes through there own personal struggles and they just need help trying to cope with the outside world.

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    To be truly concerned with the health and protection issues of the people who missuses drugs, the alternative should be to help them by rehabilitatio…

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  • Mya from Georgia

    It depends, Drug users shouldn´t be in prison or jailed for long periods of time just because they had a few ounces of marijuana on them. Many people in today´s society use drugs like marijuana, marijuana is publicizes on television shows, movies, games , so by having people view these contents they believe that it is okay do to ¨smoke weed¨ because we have holly wood producers advocating it to the public. Also, since marijuana is becoming more acceptable by law in many states then the citizens shouldn´t be jailed for having it on their person or in their possession. People should be jailed for committing crimes on one another just to have the drug or different drugs, but they should receive unimaginable life sentences for having it on them or just getting caught using it.

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    It depends, Drug users shouldn´t be in prison or jailed for long periods of time just because they had a few ounces of marijuana on them. Many people…

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  • Nia from Texas

    In the state of Texas if you possess over 400g of Heroine the amount of jail time received is between 10-99 years. With this in mind, there is no way you could increase the punishment. Like, 99 years…. what do you increase it to afterwards? Also, the choice for others the take the drug shouldn’t be left up to the people who are talking that drug.

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    In the state of Texas if you possess over 400g of Heroine the amount of jail time received is between 10-99 years. With this in mind, there is no way …

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  • Daniel from Iowa

    There is mountains of evidence that harsher punishment for drug offenses will not decrease addiction or the amount of offenses, in fact it will do the oppposite. The Nordic Countries that have already embraced decriminalized and rehabilitation focused approaches to drug offenses have seen a radical decrease in addiction rates, and countries like America which have created things like the war on drugs, have only made the drug problem much, much worse. Harsher punishments will not deter anyone and just make repeat offenses all the more likely. Anyone who thinks our prison successfully rehabilitates anyone is lying to themselves. It’s a broken system that focuses more on punishment instead of what it should be focused on, rehabiltion. Not only do harsher sentences make the problem worse, it also wastes thousands of dollars, leads to overcrowding in prisons, and ruins the lives of nonviolent people whose only crime was smoking some harmless weed. If we really want to make things better, then non violent drug offenders shouldn’t be sent to jail period, and only be sent to rehabilitation sites, addiction centers, and safe injection sites, which we need to create to make an actual difference.

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    There is mountains of evidence that harsher punishment for drug offenses will not decrease addiction or the amount of offenses, in fact it will do the…

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  • Nick from Michigan

    I personally believe that if there is no victim, then there is no crime. Drug offenses don’t have a victim, thus they shouldn’t be a crime.

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  • Kaleb from Georgia

    As a libertarian, I believe that all drugs should be “legalized”. It is none of my business what someone chooses to do with their body.

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  • Anya from Pennsylvania

    Cops already arrest enough people for nonviolent offenses. Take them to rehab, not jail.

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  • Morgan from Washington

    Unfortunately the United States has two legal system, one for the privileged and one for the under privileged. Those who have can afford an attorney get zealous representation and stay out of prison for nonviolent drug offenses and those who do not get a public defender, who while often times have the best intentions are just looking to plea away case load, and go to prison for nonviolent drug offense. It is fundamentally unfair to send the poor and disadvantage to prison at higher rates than the rich and advantaged for nonviolent drug offenses therefore sentences for nonviolent drug offenses should be minimized to deal with this unfairness in the legal system as the law is also about attaining justice.

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    Unfortunately the United States has two legal system, one for the privileged and one for the under privileged. Those who have can afford an attorney g…

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  • Jeremiah from New York

    drug users should seek rehabiltation not harsh punishment. These drug users endure longer sentences than people that are actually committing heinous crimes such as murder and rape and they arent getting these harsh punishments but when you have someone that has an addiction to opioids they are to be thrown in jaul for 5+ years instead of getting help in overcoming this addiction. Throwing them in jail isnt heling them at all but to make them more depressed leading them to rely on these drugs more which only digs them into a more deep hole instead of getting them the help they need

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    drug users should seek rehabiltation not harsh punishment. These drug users endure longer sentences than people that are actually committing heinous c…

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  • Summer from Georgia

    I agree with everything you said! There are not enough resources to help them. Some people even find connections in prison to still be able to get drugs. If they were put into a rehab center, they would be able to clear their systems, while having people there to support them along the way. Without help, drug addiction can be a very difficult thing to overcome. Prisons are already overpopulated and most of the people in there, are there because of a drug charge, while murderers and child molesters are getting off free. The best way to stop the drug problem is not to giver them harsher punishments, but to put them in rehab and clean their systems.

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    I agree with everything you said! There are not enough resources to help them. Some people even find connections in prison to still be able to get dru…

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  • Erin from Oklahoma

    The fact that every 22 seconds, someone begins to use drugs non-medically is confusing to people who aren’t exposed to that kind of lifestyle. Some of us believe it could never happen to us, but some people have that addiction screwed into their minds and bodies. Becoming addicted to something so damaging can lead lives to rock bottom. Crimes relating to drug use vary. I believe drug use clouds your mind and gives you a sort of mental disability, and instead of making punishment worse, we could instead give help to stuck in these situations. Instead of making more criminals, we could try making more people who change their lives to become people who contribute greatly to our society.

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    The fact that every 22 seconds, someone begins to use drugs non-medically is confusing to people who aren’t exposed to that kind of lifestyle. Some of…

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  • Jordan from Illinois

    Punishing people more just takes more time out of people’s lives and basically put them in an endless cycle of bad habits, instead we should focus on the education of our youth about these drugs and provide more funding to addiction clinics and the like. Additionally, we should put a system of punishment in place for pharmaceutical companies that turn a blind eye to the gross miss use of their drugs.

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    Punishing people more just takes more time out of people’s lives and basically put them in an endless cycle of bad habits, instead we should focus on …

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  • Tullis from Colorado

    The so called American “War on Drugs” has been a tremendous failure. It has lead to countless non violent offenders to be needlessly incarcerated and has actually lead to more drug users in the United States. This can be clearly seen in our current opioid epidemic. Furthermore the United States has the largest prison population in the world. It is kind of ironic that the beacon of liberty, freedom and hope locks more people up than any other nation. To raise sentences for drug offenders would not only be counter productive for our drug problem, it would also end up harming more Americans than it would help.

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    The so called American “War on Drugs” has been a tremendous failure. It has lead to countless non violent offenders to be needlessly incarcerated …

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  • Ed from California

    My honest opinion is that if you see addiction of drugs like certain habits people have like biting your nails or drinking coffee which is also highly addictive according to medical studies then imagine how hard it is trying to get away from nicotine products or other hard substances lile cocain and heroin making the punishment more severe wont do anything but rehabilitation and support can help but if you simply put them in jail they will just come back and do the same as before and no one really feels threatened by the severity of laws.

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    My honest opinion is that if you see addiction of drugs like certain habits people have like biting your nails or drinking coffee which is also highly…

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  • Joseph from Oklahoma

    If it is a weed charge it should be a ticket.

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  • Claudette from Florida

    Drug abusers are the real victims. They end up destroying their lives because of an addiction they can’t control and some end up losing their own lives. In a country where in some states rapists can get off with 3 years minimal or less, it is unfair for drug offenses to be charged more and heavily. It is a non violent crime. Punishment for violent crimes can get the criminals off the street which in turn saves lives but this can’t work for drug offenses. It doesn’t make addicts less addicted and it doesn’t help those who sell the drugs for money to be less poor so they wouldn’t have to resort to this. No reliable research has shown that punishment has lessened America’s drug problem nor the true victims, drug addicts.

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    Drug abusers are the real victims. They end up destroying their lives because of an addiction they can’t control and some end up losing their own live…

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  • Dominic from Kentucky

    These people with drug offenses most likely have a certain reason behind their drug use. Often times with a mental health problem, they cannot control it so should not receive a higher punishment.

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    These people with drug offenses most likely have a certain reason behind their drug use. Often times with a mental health problem, they cannot control…

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  • Cora from Indiana

    Harsh punishments for drug offenses make it harder for the people who commit these offenses to be rehabilitated. They spend more time in jail than is fair for those among them who are non-violent, and it makes it harder for them to find jobs, which can lead them right back into drugs. We need to make it easier for them to seek help, and our focus should be on rehabilitation and reintegration into society, and not solely on punishment.

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    Harsh punishments for drug offenses make it harder for the people who commit these offenses to be rehabilitated. They spend more time in jail than is …

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  • arlyn from Kentucky

    Drug offences should not carry a higher punishment. Normally, going to jail once could definitely help, just not for very long. After a while it will wear off and people who have a real addiction will continue to do what they need to do to satisfy that addiction. Instead of increasing the punishment, we should try to find the people help to stop their addiction.

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    Drug offences should not carry a higher punishment. Normally, going to jail once could definitely help, just not for very long. After a while it will …

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  • Nick from Kentucky

    I think that they should not raise fines for drug use because people who are arrested on highly addicted drugs should be helped to get clean by the government instead of getting fines they do not have the money to pay. If someone is caught selling harmful drugs I think they should raise the fine for that though because they are spreading drugs that harm communities. Also if some states are legalizing weed it would not make sense to raise the fine for this drug in other states where its illegal. I think our government should do more to help people than addicted to drugs than fine them which puts them in debt.

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    I think that they should not raise fines for drug use because people who are arrested on highly addicted drugs should be helped to get clean by the go…

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  • Nick from Kentucky

    I think that drug offenses shouldn’t receive higher punishments. Putting them in jail isn’t going to completely solve the issues of these offenses. These people need to be helped out by going to rehab and receiving treatment for their addiction, not go to jail and not receive help that they need.

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    I think that drug offenses shouldn’t receive higher punishments. Putting them in jail isn’t going to completely solve the issues of these offenses. Th…

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  • Anna from Kentucky

    I do not believe drug offenses should carry any higher punishment. I don’t think greater punishments would do or change anything about the way people go about using illegal drugs. Those who are being imprisoned will already be facing serious withdrawal symptoms and any higher punishment would not really be that effective.

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    I do not believe drug offenses should carry any higher punishment. I don’t think greater punishments would do or change anything about the way people …

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  • Karli from Kentucky

    No, I think they should not have a higher punishment than people who commit murder, a public offense or a robbery. That harms and kills innocent people. Yes, a drug deal is a very big deal and we should do something about the amount of people dealing and consuming drugs. However, I think we should deal with people who are hurting and killing innocent people, then stop the drug dealing.

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    No, I think they should not have a higher punishment than people who commit murder, a public offense or a robbery. That harms and kills innocent peop…

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  • adam from Kentucky

    The threat of drugs in our country is disgusting and horrible but worsening the punishments for those convicted for drug offenses will not help decrease the issue of drug offenses. No matter how hard we might punish these individuals the addiction remains latent in them. Rehabilitation might help but it only works if they want to do it.

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    The threat of drugs in our country is disgusting and horrible but worsening the punishments for those convicted for drug offenses will not help decrea…

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  • William from Kentucky

    No because I feel there is already so much in place to prevent drug use and with the overcrowding of the justice system in our country we need to focus less on just the everyday person smoking a little weed and focus more on the people committing major crime. I feel that our justice system adequately punishes those who have illegal substances.

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    No because I feel there is already so much in place to prevent drug use and with the overcrowding of the justice system in our country we need to focu…

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  • Andrew from Michigan

    I think there should be levels. I think by just putting them in jail is no going let them learn about what they are doing. I think if the levels get worse and worse they might start to realize that they shouldn’t do it and need to stop. Putting a bad punishment will want them to do it even more.

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    I think there should be levels. I think by just putting them in jail is no going let them learn about what they are doing. I think if the levels get w…

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  • Grace from Kentucky

    The drug epidemic is a very controversial issue in our world today. While sending someone to prison once may work for a short amount of time, it is not a final solution. If someone has an actual drug addiction, giving them a higher punishment is simply useless. Instead, we should get them the help they need to fight the addiction.

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    The drug epidemic is a very controversial issue in our world today. While sending someone to prison once may work for a short amount of time, it is no…

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  • Olivia from Kentucky

    I believe that drug rehabilitation is the best thing for those who have committed drug related crimes. I believe that higher penalties do not encourage the people who are suffering from these addictions to at least try and change their habits. Yes, higher penalties would make it so that the American tax dollars would not be spent towards Narcan, but in the end, those accused of the crime are human too.

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    I believe that drug rehabilitation is the best thing for those who have committed drug related crimes. I believe that higher penalties do not encourag…

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  • Mitchell from Kentucky

    I believe drug offenses shouldn’t be highly punished. I think that they should judge the punishment based on what drug they have in possession or what drug they are on. Say if someone is caught doing weed and someone is caught doing Heroin. The person that is caught doing Heroin should be the ones that are punished highly because of how deadly the drug is and how addictive it is. So i believe that it all depends on what drug they are caught with and then they should judge how the person will be fined.

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    I believe drug offenses shouldn’t be highly punished. I think that they should judge the punishment based on what drug they have in possession or wha…

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  • cameron from Kentucky

    I don’t believe that there should be a huge punishment for weed but for drugs such as heroin and meth, there should be a big punishment for them. I say this based on the fact that Heroin is a rising epidemic and is killing many young people.

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    I don’t believe that there should be a huge punishment for weed but for drugs such as heroin and meth, there should be a big punishment for them. I sa…

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  • roman from Kentucky

    I think that there shouldn’t be higher charges for drug offenses because they should be helped out instead of just being punished, and when they help them out they should make sure that the person who was using the substance stays away from it, but also I think that certain drugs should carry higher punishment for it, but not all drugs should have a punishment for it. They should just base it off the severity of the substance.

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    I think that there shouldn’t be higher charges for drug offenses because they should be helped out instead of just being punished, and when they help …

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  • Megan from Kentucky

    I don’t believe that drug offenses should have higher punishments. if someone is truly addicted to drugs, they won’t stop using them just because of a high punishment. What really needs to happen in rehabilitation and treatment for these people. That is the only way to stop their drug use. High punishment would probably make these people want to use for drugs, especially if they are away from them for an extended period of time.

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    I don’t believe that drug offenses should have higher punishments. if someone is truly addicted to drugs, they won’t stop using them just because of a…

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  • Tikayla from Mississippi

    The punishment shouldn’t be higher, it needs to be changed because there’s a high number of people who uses drugs. And the reason for this is because they feel alone and depressed and drugs was offered because they were told it’ll make them feel better or it’ll make them cool, so instead of shunning them and throwing them into jail to rot. You can’t put them in rehab to get help and make so they do not feel shamed. This can only get better if police were effective to take down drug dealers and not so much the users because they are being manipulated and lied to.

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    The punishment shouldn’t be higher, it needs to be changed because there’s a high number of people who uses drugs. And the reason for this is because …

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  • Tom from South Carolina

    1) With a small number of exceptions (e.g., national defense), the Federal Government is a clumsy, overpriced, ineffective and usually counterproductive way to enact any change.
    2) Laws cannot change human nature. If a human is going to take drugs / overeat / hire prostitutes / watch too much TV, that human WILL adapt to new laws and find ways to continue his indulgences. Anyone who says different is trying to sell you something.
    3) Legalizing drugs (the non-physically-addictive ones) will A) reduce jail overcrowding, B) save billions of taxpayer money, C) earn billions of tax revenue, D) allow standardization of quality that will prevent overdoses and other problems, E) lower prices, reducing the incentive to commit crimes to finance the habit.
    4) We have more important things to spend our limited resources on – problems that have a much greater chance of being solved.

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    1) With a small number of exceptions (e.g., national defense), the Federal Government is a clumsy, overpriced, ineffective and usually counterproducti…

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  • Raynella from New York

    Throughout history, many governments have made the same mistake of attempting to control the freewill of the public through law enforcement and harsh penalties. This is especially true when it comes to drug use as we can see within our own society but this often does not lead to success as the public often find ways around the rules. As the old saying goes, “The stricter the government, the wiser the population.” This quote illustrates well what happens more often than not when the authority tries to control and take what the public may refer to as their right. Take into consideration one of the most iconic events in the United States history, Prohibition. With the surge of crime, domestic violence and a want for a greater moralistic nation, the Volstead Act was enacted to carry out the 18th amendment which established prohibition,a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. The public in turn created ways to attain alcohol. Prohibition lead to organized crime involving the smuggling and boot-legging of alcohol into the country by organizations such as the Chicago Outfit lead by Al Capone and Johnny Torrio. We see this happening again with drugs. Many people make millions of dollars from organized crime that involves smuggling drugs. During the 1920’s, illegal bars called speakeasies were common just like drug dealers in modern times. The Volstead Act allowed alcohol for religious and medical purposes just like how drugs such as morphine and marijuana are used in hospitals today to treat pain. But just like how that privilege is abused by people today in order to attain drugs, during the 20’s, attendance at church services and prescriptions for alcohol skyrocketed. Overall, prohibition was not failed due to the people’s disregard for the law and desperate want for alcohol much like what we are faced with today with illegal drugs. Not only was this mistake made in the United States, but also in England, after the death of king Charles I, Oliver Cromwell’s government became more like a military dictatorship. His government attempted to make people accept Puritan teachings by force but it failed because of the absence of support by the majority in England and even when his son succeeded him, he was not able to control the government and Parliament had to restore Charles II the son of Charles I as the king of England. These are just examples of how history often repeats itself. Instead of harsh punishment, education and rehabilitation should be put into use and be made available to the public. If teenagers and young children know the dangers and the consequences of drugs use, they will be less likely to experiment with them and thus lead to a greater generation of educated adults who make better decisions for their lives. I don’t say all of this to mean that punishment for drug use is wrong, but it is more important to focus on prevention rather than punishment.

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    Throughout history, many governments have made the same mistake of attempting to control the freewill of the public through law enforcement and harsh …

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  • Terriane from Missouri

    I say no. The reason why is because, giving someone harsher punishments isn’t helping them. Sending them to jail could only make things worse. Actually putting then in rehab can help them. Many times people to drugs is for the thrill or because they’re having some kind of pain. And giving those people harsher punishments could cause them to feel empty, have more pains, withdrawal, or worse. Helping them is better than harming them, unless they assaulted or murdered someone, or worse, then they shouldn’t have a harsher punishment. They should get help, and locking them up for a long time isn’t going to be very helpful. It’s better to have someone trying to help them with their problem, then locking them away. They could start to have withdrawals and become suicidal. It’s better to prevent horrible things such as these as much as possible. Punishing them harder isn’t going to prevent them from using drugs, doing that can ruin their life and maybe put them in a deeper hole.

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    I say no. The reason why is because, giving someone harsher punishments isn’t helping them. Sending them to jail could only make things worse. Actuall…

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  • Drake from Colorado

    Drug use and addiction are aln epidemic, and the cure is not prison. We waste space and money incarcerating nonviolent offenders already, we don’t need to make it worse.

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  • Emily from Virginia

    Would you want an unreformed, uneducated drug addict as a neighbor? The answer is no. Drug addicts, most of whom long to shed the pains associated with addiction, end up in jail fettered by a disease they feel that they cannot overcome. Instead of reinforcing their preconceived ideas of worthlessness and immorality due to their addiction, prisons need reform – after all these people will be back on the streets again. Especially with the growing Opioid crisis, drug “criminals” need to be seen as less of an enemy and as more of a neighbor, a relative, a friend – as nobody is safe. Rich, poor, democratic, conservative; drugs don’t discriminate. Whether you are from the rural countryside of West Virginia to the rich suburbs of Beverly Hills, drug addiction comes in all forms . It could be from a poor decision, peer pressure, or even the prescription of a doctor, and it is occurring more and more across this nation.
    There is no need to stigmatize addicts who are struggling to handle this overpowering force ravaging their lives. Those who have seen drug use firsthand, or perhaps lived it themselves, will tell you that recovery is probably one of the most difficult feats to accomplish. Instead of penalizing drug offenders, there needs to be less punishment and more support. We don’t jail mentally disabled or unstable patients -and that’s not to say drug criminals shouldn’t necessarily go to jail- but their incarceration needs to be focused on changing their habits instead of perpetuating this cycle of drugs and jail, drugs and jail, until death. Not only is it morally right to support those fighting this disease through rehabilitation, but decreasing drug-related recidivism rates benefits the state economically as well. Taxpayer dollars needn’t fund a system that continual incarcerates drug offenders with no hopes of keeping them away from the prison block. Change is needed now to stop the influx of drug addicts into our prisons, by the only way to do that is to stop their addiction.

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    Would you want an unreformed, uneducated drug addict as a neighbor? The answer is no. Drug addicts, most of whom long to shed the pains associated wit…

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  • Aditi from Georgia

    Why should we increase punishment for people incriminated with drug crimes instead of rehabilitating them? Drug use has proven to deteriorate mental health and result in addiction. Those who leave prisons after serving their sentence are just as likely to go back into the drug trade than if they are left alone without any punishment. The punishment does not deter the crime, and is, therefore, useless in actually lowering rates of drug use.

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    Why should we increase punishment for people incriminated with drug crimes instead of rehabilitating them? Drug use has proven to deteriorate mental h…

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  • Jeremy from Pennsylvania

    Although criminal charges are a fantastic deterrence for many crimes like robbing and drunk driving, drug addiction is not one of them. Drug addiction is a physical and psychological issue that needs to be dealt with professionally, only with treatment will a drug offender denounce their ways and come clean. Some physically can’t stop themselves from taking drugs so it would be unfair to charge them to the point they can’t make a living. The war against drugs is a complex one, but criminal charges are far from the solution, treatment is.

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    Although criminal charges are a fantastic deterrence for many crimes like robbing and drunk driving, drug addiction is not one of them. Drug addiction…

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  • Alexandria from Georgia

    People who use drugs need to be educated or rehabilitated not punished. If you place a drug addict in prison, they will not learn anything about why the drug is bad for them. The drug will also still affect the addict. For non-addicts who are first time users, they need to be educated. They need to be shown extensive course as to why they shouldn’t use illegal drugs. The course needs to scare the people into never using drugs again. If the people use drugs again, then they should be punished.
    I think punishment is a good option for teaching people they shouldn’t use drugs; psychologists have proven punishment can be beneficial in teaching (look up operant conditioning). However, we should not punish drug users right away. We need to look for the purpose they used the drugs and seek to reform them depending on past offenses and whether they’re addicted. We need to treat drug users like humans not criminals.

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    People who use drugs need to be educated or rehabilitated not punished. If you place a drug addict in prison, they will not learn anything about why t…

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  • Aaron from New York

    Here’s the deal: We live in a country that’s supposed to be by the people and for the people. And people on both sides of the aisle can agree that the people are served best when the government stays out of people’s personal lives as much as possible. We don’t need a nanny state in this country; that leads to corruption and bureaucracy.

    So why in the world does our government criminalize the mere possession of drugs to the extent that it does today? I can understand the really dangerous drugs, but drugs like marijuana? They’re no more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, as study after study shows.

    Not only should there not be higher penalties for drug offenses, there really shouldn’t be that many at all, at least for the mere possession of drugs. All the money that we’re spending on jails and private prisons would be far better spent on rehab centers and other forms of treatment. Not only that, but legalizing and regulating less-dangerous drugs would bring in millions, if not billions of dollars and tax revenue, creating jobs and a whole new market for many states.

    In short: Less drug penalties, more tax revenue.

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    Here’s the deal: We live in a country that’s supposed to be by the people and for the people. And people on both sides of the aisle can agree that the…

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  • Angelica from Missouri

    Having more severe laws for drug addicts won’t solve the crisis, there will still be people who take the risk to escape their problems or whatever the reason was. What can PREVENT them is education to deter them from taking up drugs in the first place, and treatment and rehabilitation because there’s always a chance they may relapse. Think of Prohibition and it didn’t do much to prevent alcohol consumption. It would be better to prevent them from doing it in the first place and removing any possible curiosity.

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    Having more severe laws for drug addicts won’t solve the crisis, there will still be people who take the risk to escape their problems or whatever the…

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  • Vaughn from Georgia

    Drug addiction is a condition that has been largely ignored in the past, with drug addicts treated as being worth less than others simply because of a mistake they made that they no doubt regret every day. The majority of these offenders are barely given a chance to make a living for themselves, being denied job opportunities and financial support solely based on the fact that they gave in to trying a drug in a society where drug use is regarded as being “cool”. The fact that it is now being suggested that they get locked away only further proves how society as a whole is outcasting this behavior. Instead of filling our jail cells with citizens who took one step down a dark road, an action that is more than likely going to send them further down the drain, we should redirect the funds that were going to be spent on their clothing, bathing and general necessities into funding rehabilitation programs that will actually help with this issue. As someone who has had numerous family members die from drug abuse and overdose, as someone who has struggled with the appeal media portrays on drug use, I can tell you that jail time is only going to worsen this problem. The only true solution is the compassion shown from one person to another, through the rehabilitation of those who have stepped down the wrong path.

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    Drug addiction is a condition that has been largely ignored in the past, with drug addicts treated as being worth less than others simply because of a…

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  • Erin from Missouri

    Drug addiction is a sickness, just like alcoholism and every other addiction out there. But, unlike alcoholics and other addicts, we put drug addicts in jail. Why do we treat them any differently? Instead, we should decriminalize drug addicts and put the in rehabilitation. We can change so many drug user’s lives like this.

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    Drug addiction is a sickness, just like alcoholism and every other addiction out there. But, unlike alcoholics and other addicts, we put drug addicts …

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  • Mason from Texas

    While drug offenders should certainly be punished for their crimes, their crimes don’t call for more severe punishment. At the same time, the answer is not massive, expensive rehabilitation programs. Instead, the most important thing the government can do is crack down on drug sources. Both extreme retribution and rehabilitation are only short term solutions and do not fix the problem. If drugs remain on the streets, the problems will continue. We need to secure our borders and crack down on those distributing drugs. If the drugs go away, so will the problem.

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    While drug offenders should certainly be punished for their crimes, their crimes don’t call for more severe punishment. At the same time, the answer …

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  • Maggie from Pennsylvania

    In recent years, politicians have declared the “War on Drugs” and have created harsher crackdowns than ever for drug offenses. As too often the case, these good intentions did not lead to good results.
    According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, almost half of all federal prisoners are in jail for drug offenses – with over 80,000 offenders. But is this “lock them up” mentality truly effective?

    The New York Times reports that drugs are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. Last year alone, over 64,000 people died from overdoses or other drug related incidents.

    Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. For decades our politicians have been doing just that. The last thing we need is harsher punishments for drug offenses. Rather, we should recognize the very real problem of addiction many of these people are dealing with. Then, we can focus on rehabilitation and rebuilding lives in the future.

    Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/us/opioid-crisis-public-health-emergency.html?action=click&contentCollection=Politics&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article
    https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp

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    In recent years, politicians have declared the “War on Drugs” and have created harsher crackdowns than ever for drug offenses. As too often the case, …

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  • James from Florida

    First off, the Federal War on Drugs in unconstitutional, as the Federal Government cannot regulate intra-state commerce. Second, the War on Drugs already carries absurd sentences. Third, selling drugs is a victimless crime, and should not face the absurd sentencing that it does now. Some drugs, like marijuana, are significantly less dangerous than, say, tobacco, or even alcohol, and yet remain illegal. The very concept is madness!

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    First off, the Federal War on Drugs in unconstitutional, as the Federal Government cannot regulate intra-state commerce. Second, the War on Drugs alre…

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  • Shyann from Florida

    A lot of the times someone is arrested for drugs it’s usually because of Marijuana. When Marijuana is a harmless high. Now, meth, cocaine, heroin, etc should be a little more of a punishment because those type of drugs can make a person rage out or overdose. But, no drug charges should be taken to a high level, such as a felony. There are way worse crimes to be punishable at a high offense than someone consuming or having a drug. If you’re going to make drugs that big of a deal then smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol should be held at the same offenses since they have higher fatality rates than marijuana, meth or cocaine.

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    A lot of the times someone is arrested for drugs it’s usually because of Marijuana. When Marijuana is a harmless high. Now, meth, cocaine, heroin, e…

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  • Katlynn from Nevada

    Honestly, if people are going to use drugs or sell them a higher punishment is not going to stop them. They do it to know that they can and if they get caught they get caught. This solution is not one that I think would effectively work.

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    Honestly, if people are going to use drugs or sell them a higher punishment is not going to stop them. They do it to know that they can and if they ge…

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  • Troy from Idaho

    If we focus too much on the punishment of drug offenses we are only putting a band aid on the problem. I do believe there should be jail or prison time for sure, but there should be classes to help the people using drugs to pull themselves out so that when they are released, they are connected to the closest rehab program and in tandem with businesses suited to their ability and likes, they can have a job to lift them out of poverty, which is often a cause of drug use to escape from their problems

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    If we focus too much on the punishment of drug offenses we are only putting a band aid on the problem. I do believe there should be jail or prison tim…

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  • Haylee from Kansas

    Increasing the punishment for drug adiction is not going to solve the problem. This is empirically shown with prohibition, drug addiction is a disease that effects a large majority of the population. Regulatory minimums were put into place during the Nixion administration and targeted minorities, these racist policy’s are still implemented in the United States today. If we are ever going to try and solve the problem we have to take a stance against its racist background.

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    Increasing the punishment for drug adiction is not going to solve the problem. This is empirically shown with prohibition, drug addiction is a disease…

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  • Cimrin from Utah

    No, by making “tougher penalties” for drug offenders is not the way to end the drug epidemic in America. Many of our prisons and jails are filled to the brim with past offenders .The only way to end a cycle is to break the cycle. Rehabilitation is the only way to end a user, by doing so we need to hope that we can stop first time offenders into being past offenders.

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    No, by making “tougher penalties” for drug offenders is not the way to end the drug epidemic in America. Many of our prisons and jails are filled to t…

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  • Tristan from New Mexico

    The discussion of drugs is a discussion on whether or not an individual owns his or her body. Why must the government save one from himself? That is not the job of the government. The government must protect man’s natural rights — not take them away. The epidemic of drugs can be better solved by decriminalizing drugs, and treating it like a problem instead of a crime. Instead of ruining a man’s life for taking a substance, spending that time and energy on education and helping that man would prove to be more beneficial. The idea that stealing one’s time and ruining one’s chance of getting a job is saving that individual’s life is ludicrous. Let people own their own bodies. Let the individual make his own decisions. Don’t deny one ownership of his own self because you might know what is best for him. Honor the idea of liberty, get out of people’s personal lives, and then inform the public of the dangers of drugs. Don’t treat it like a moral issue, but instead a factual problem. Creating more criminals does nothing more than limiting the freedoms that Americans know and love.

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    The discussion of drugs is a discussion on whether or not an individual owns his or her body. Why must the government save one from himself? That is n…

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  • Chris from Missouri

    The consequences of addiction and drug abuse are well known, and if loss of life, family, money, and freedom aren’t enough, stiffer penalties will do nothing–and have done nothing–to deter use of illicit drugs.

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    The consequences of addiction and drug abuse are well known, and if loss of life, family, money, and freedom aren’t enough, stiffer penalties will do …

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  • Victoria from Texas

    I feel like drug use is a big problem in the US and many other countries. But I also feel that there are greater issues going on. Not that the use of drugs should be undermined. But there are bigger things going on that affect peoples lives that may not want to go through what they are going through. For example, abuse going unseen, people wrongfully convicted, stealers. This affects other people when these crimes are committed. Whereas when it comes to drugs, people who decide to live that debauched lifestyle are hurt from it but they don’t necessarily have to bring anyone down with them. Although scenarios are different. Such as a parent doing drugs around their kids, would be unacceptable and something should be done about that. But I think that getting in trouble for drugs has its relevance but attention should be focused elsewhere, on bigger issues.

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    I feel like drug use is a big problem in the US and many other countries. But I also feel that there are greater issues going on. Not that the use of …

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  • Miles from Florida

    I believe that drug related crimes should carry less of a punishment as they disproportionately effect minorities even though all races use drugs equally. If we are address this issue effectively we should legalize, tax, and regulate all drugs and use the taxes on these drugs to start programs that help treat users who are addicted. This system has been implemented in Portugal, and is working with amazing results. Having more severe punishments isn’t the answer, helping those who are addicted is.

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    I believe that drug related crimes should carry less of a punishment as they disproportionately effect minorities even though all races use drugs equ…

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  • Brielle from New York

    No because as the punishment increases more drug use increases relating back to prohibition when they banned alcohol and so many people were apprehended for having or selling it illegally, it pays to be in jail also economically hurts tax payers as well and will soon become a social movement and make its way to the Supreme Courts, do i think drug use illegally should be dealt with yes but not by cruel and unusual punishment a lot of evidence usually for big drug bust are handled with unreasonable search and seizure and in most cases probably the evidence gather wouldn’t include exclusionary rule because the police will not evidently support that they committed that in justice..

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    No because as the punishment increases more drug use increases relating back to prohibition when they banned alcohol and so many people were apprehen…

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