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Chapter 2

CRM402 (Criminal Justice and Inequality) - Chapter 2 The War on Drugs

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Ryerson University
CRM 402
Christina Hollingshead

CRM402 – Week 4 Chapter Two: Just Say No to The War on Drugs On History - American government began the drug-prohibition policies - As the troops began to return from Vietnam, President Nixon argued for a “all out global war on the drug menace” - By the mid-1980’s President Ronald Reagan continued to declare a ‘War on Drugs’ - His wife Nancy Reagan (the First Lady) joined her husband in calling for a prohibition on illicit drugs with the motto “Just Say No to Drugs” - This set the tone for a relentless national policy on illicit drugs that continues until present day - President George Bush talked of “the drug problem” Socio-Historical Context - Sneiderman (1996-1997) argues that: “the very nature of that war…the more vigorously a nation wages it, the more catastrophic are the social consequences inflicted upon itself [the nation]. We in Canada have suffered less only because we have not pursued the war with the ardor and single-minded determination of the Americans” - What do you think? [to declare a war is to make one choose a side; any war costs money and resources. So, why do we “wage war”? -> for political purposes, to distract the population with the real issue and giving them temporary solutions (traditional), and this is essentially a war that will never be won] - The US has the highest prison population that anywhere else in the world - Around 752 people incarcerated per 100,000 citizens - Canada is about 116 people incarcerated per 100,000 citizens - Canada has been reprimanded for their rates of over incarceration - This was the purpose of the 1996 amendments to the sentencing guidelines in the Canadian Criminal Code (section 718) *the punishment must be proportionate to the harmful act+ “with particular attention to Aboriginal peoples” - To reduce the country’s reliance on prison as a solution to crime and punishment - The war
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