War on Drugs

Nov 19, 2017 | 0 comments

Nov 19, 2017 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments


War on Drugs


Levitt and Sudhir conducted a study on economic analysis of finances of the drug-selling gangs (755-89). The study was carried out to analyze the extent to which collective and individual actions of participants in a gang can be characterized reasonably as emanating out of economic maximization. The data was collected from a gang located in the inner city neighborhood in an industrial large American city. The researchers used interview and observation as a method of data collection (757). To protect anonymity of the gangs, the researchers interviewed a gang leader and analyzed unique data set that contained detailed financial information for a four-year period from a defunct gang now. The data was maintained by a group leader to help in tracking financial activities of the gang (para 1). From the study, it emerged that earnings within a gang is skewed enormously, with the e sellers at the street level earning the minimum wage. Hence, the primary economic motivation from them is the possibility of climbing up through the hierarchy. The study findings indicated that the average gang wage after taking account of the hierarchies was perhaps above the legitimate market alternatives available, but not that much higher (755-89). The strength of the study was that it had a substantial improvement compared to previous studies because it had well maintained financial data from a gang, information on violent injuries, deaths and arrests. The limitation of the study is that it was done on an analysis of a single experience of a gang which creates biases.

Similarly, Thoumi conducted a study on the Columbian illegal drugs (102-16). The aim of the study was to identify the effects of illegal drugs industry on Columbia and the reactions and policies from the government. This was a descriptive meta-analytic where the researchers first summarized the illegal drugs industry development in the country from available literature. The study used estimation method of study to determine the size of the illegal industry and the economic effects to Columbia. The variables included chemists’ skills, cocaine content in cocoa leaves, and the smuggling costs. The findings of the study indicated that the illegal economy has helped to boost the economy of Columbia for many decades especially in real estates (Thoumi 102-16). However, the negative parts are that it funds paramilitary movements and left-wing guerilla, and this has caused social crisis and destruction of productive activities in Columbia. The strength of the study is that it analyzed many studies done before hence able to gather relevant information, compared and contrast and come up with an inclusive and comprehensive conclusion. The limitation of the study is that most of the economic figures to Columbian economy were based on estimation and assumptions hence not reliable or accurate.

Cussen and Walter also conducted a study on benefits of legalized drugs (525-36). They argue that drugs legalization would prevent any further threatening of civil liberties, reduce rates of crime, reverse the effect of potency, improve life quality in inner cities, save tax payers money, prevent the spread of disease and benefit both the community and the individuals. The study used descriptive method where the variable included crime rate, life quality, economic benefits, and civil liberties among others (Cussen and Walter 525-36). The strength of the study is that it offers an alternative to combative ways governments have used to fight drugs industry. However, the limitation of the study is that it depends on arguments and assumptions of the researchers. NNo proper data collection and analysis was done.

From the three scholarly studies, they used different methods of data collection and analysis, different variables and different settings. Levitt and Sudhir (755-89) study on economic analysis of finances of the drug-selling gangs is accurate since it is based on facts and figures from a gang leader hence is dependable as much as it has some biases. In contrast, Thoumi (102-16) study on the Columbian illegal drugs is majorly based on economic assumptions of figures of the illegal economy to the Columbian economy hence not reliable or totally valid. Lastly, the study by Cussen and Walter (525-36) on benefits of legalized drugs offers another alternative to governments on ways to deal with illegal drugs given that most previous attempts have failed.


Windsor and Benoit conducted study on the oppression dimensions in the impoverished black women’s lives who use drugs (21- 39). The purpose of the study was to apply the grounded theory in identifying multiple oppression dimensions experiences by these impoverished black women using drugs by examining multiple settings in which the participants experience oppressions (Windsor and Benoit 22).the methodology used by the study was case studies of black women who are impoverished which formed the subjects (Windsor and Benoit 23). The study findings revealed five oppression dimensions that occur within eight settings that are distinct. The oppression dimensions included sexism, classism, racism, familiarism, and drugism (Windsor and Benoit 35- 39). The strength of the study is that its finding has implications on welfare, social justice, justice system policy and drugs. However, the limitation may be the case selected which may not have covered all impoverished black women.

Beckett et al also conducted a study on drug use, possession arrests and the race question (419-441). The hypothesis of the study was “blacks and Latinos have high rates of drug possession areas in Seattle, Washington” (Beckett et al 420).The methodology used in the study was a comparative study method, which used several sources of data t make an assessment of different explanations of Seattle racial disparity drug passion arrests (Beckett et al 419). The data sources use in the study include Seattle Needle Exchange Survey, Public Drug Treatment Admission Data (TARGET), ethnographic observations, Seattle Police Department Incident Reports, Setting, ADAM data (Beckett et al 422- 424). From the study, the researchers argued that racialization of imagery that surrounds particularly crack cocaine and drugs in general had a long-lasting cultural and institutional effects that continue shaping police practices and perceptions, and that these effects explains much of the existing disparity Seattle’s drug possession (Beckett et al 425- 441).

Tonry and Matthew conducted a study on malign effects of crime and drug control policies on black Americans (1-44).The study examined empirical issues canvassed by Michael about 15 years ago in Malign Neglect. To find out the extent differences in black and white in offending, victimization, arrests, drug use, imprisonment, sentencing and capital punishment have changed. The study first applied survey methodology on case processing data on capital punishment arrests and discusses the racial differences recent survey data in drug trafficking and use. Moreover, the second section of the study uses qualitative methodology to describe the patterns on section one of the study (Tonry and Matthew 6-7). The study found out that drugs and sentencing policing contributing to disparities for decades have not been changed. Moreover, the explanation given for that is that the majority who are the whites does not empathize with the minority blacks who end up in prisons that consequently is because of the recent policies on punishment have replaced Jim Crow Laws, Urban Ghetto And Slavery as a method of where dominance maintenance over blacks in united states (Tonry and Matthew 10-44).

Comparing the three scholarly studies, it is emerging that the blacks are the most affected by drugs menace especially in sun urban areas. Moreover, laws and policies of the state also oppress them, and that explains their high number in prisons. All the studies used robust methods of data collections and had minimal limitations and biases.
Political Science

Laursen and Jorgen conducted a study titled “Danish Drug Policy-An Ambivalent Balance between Repression and Welfare” (20-36). Given that some countries in central Europe has a tendency of working in the direction of more experimental and less repressive drug policies, the study examined the probable balance between control, treatment and reduction of harm in future Danish drug policy (Laursen and Jorgen 20-36). The study used descriptive analysis in its methodology where the variables described included drug policies and prevailing issues in Danish heroin experiments which includes relative roles in harm/treatment reduction and roles of law enforcement, moral panics in streets, injection rooms, and heroin experiments. From the study, the authors found out that the actors’ power positions have shifted over time, and they include the politicians, police, user’s representatives and administrators. Moreover, the study found out that the covert conflict between ministry of health and ministry of social affairs has led to an uneasy balance on the policy and political level and confusion about practices and guidelines (Laursen and Jorgen 20-36). Furthermore, there has been oscillations between pessimism and optimism in the enforcement of law and treatment sectors. The strength of the study is that it has made comparison of policies of Denmark with other European countries and United States. However, its limitation lies on the methodology where the authors relied on observation and description which was prone to biases.

The study conducted by Kohler-Hausmann (71-95), investigated what led to Governor Nelson Rockefeller to abruptly reverse his course for over a decade in which he championed for programs of drug treatment in New York. It further explores the political and ideological work accomplished by this legislation. The objective of the article was to interrogate the politicians and the public punitive reflex and to denaturalize their construction of the marginalized groups and social problems (Kohler-Hausmann 73). The study used systematic literature review method of data collection. From the study findings, Kohler-Hausmann found out that the laws were a repudiation of specialists’ expertise and liberal treatment programs, and provided a forum for remaking the welfare state that was much maligned into stem to establish order in the society. Moreover, punitive policies also constricted drug users’ rights by constructing “pushers” and “addicts” rhetorically as outside of the polity. Hence, the drug laws by Rockefeller had devastating effects on the drug users and were instrumental in the regeneration of the roles and responsibilities of the state (Kohler-Hausmann 75-95).

Elkins also conducted a study entitled “the model of war” (214-242). Over the past half a century, united stated declared war on different social ills such as cancer, poverty, drugs, crime and terrorism. The primary concern of the essay was how the application of the war model to domestic issues in United States has functioned in representing the character of a nation. Elkins used descriptive method in data analysis where the variables for the study included social issues such as cancer, poverty, drugs, crime and terrorism. From the study, Elkins found that many presidents of United States from Johnson, Nixon and Regan vowed to fight the social issues with all tactics. The pattern can be traced back from 19th-century Temperance movement, and the resulting was from alcohol prohibition in 1920s.

From the three different studies, done by Laursen and Jorgen (20-36), Elkins (214-242), and Kohler-Hausmann (71-95), the background of them is political. However, Laursen and Jorgen is robust in analysis since it also examined policies of other countries apart from Denmark alone. This is in contrast to a study conducted by Kohler-Hausmann that majorly focused on New York City and legislations on drugs hence has limited setting. Moreover, the study done by Elkins has a chronological assessment in drug policies, Legislations and fights against drugs from different president of United States. This is significant in the analysis the progress of the fight against drugs by the state.

Work Cited

Levitt, Steven D., and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh. “An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang’s Finances.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 115.3 (2000): 755-89. JSTOR. Oxford University Press. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.

Thoumi, Francisco E. “Illegal Drugs in Colombia: From Illegal Economic Boom to Social Crisis.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and So cial Science Cross National Drug Policy 582 (2002): 102-16. JSTOR. Sage Publications Inc. in Association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July 2002. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

Cussen, Meaghan, and Walter Block. “”Legalize Drugs Now!: An Analysis of the Benefits of Legalized Drugs.” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 59.3 (2000): 525-36. JSTOR. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.

Laursen, Lau, and Jorgen Jepsen. “”Danish Drug Policy-An Ambivalent Balance between Repression and Welfare.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Cross-National Drug Policy 582 (2002): 20-36. JSTOR. Sage Publications, Inc. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.

Kohler-Hausmann, Julilly. “”THE ATTILA THE HUN LAW”: NEW YORK’S ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS AND THE MAKING OF A PUNITIVE STATE.” Journal of Social History 44.1 (2010): 71-95. JSTOR. Oxford University Press. Web. 09 Oct. 2014. Elkins, Jeremy. “The Model of War.” Political Theory 38.2 (2010): 214-42. JSTOR. Sage Publications Inc., Apr. 2010. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

Windsor, L. Cambraia, E. Benoit, and E. Dunlap. “Dimensions of Oppression in the Lives of Impoverished Black Women Who Use Drugs.” Journal of Black Studies 41.1 (2010): 21-39. JSTOR. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.

Beckett, Katherine, Kris Nyrop, Lori Pfingst, and Melissa Bowen. “Drug Use, Drug Possession Arrests, and the Question of Race: Lessons from Seattle.” Social Problems 52.3 (2005): 419-41. JSTOR. University of California Press. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.

Tonry, Michael, and Matthew Melewski. “”The Malign Effects of Drug and Crime Control Policies on Black Americans.” Crime and Justice 37.1 (2008): 1-44. JSTOR. University of Chicago Press. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.