Unintended Consequences of the “War on Drugs”
A public policy initiative that first began in the 1970s called the War on Drugs was passed to address the illegal drug trade in the U.S. through policies intended to prosecute the growth of distribution and consumption of illegal drugs. However, the War on Drugs resulted in overly harsh and extreme sentencing policies that followed. This caused an overwhelming increase of our prison population and disproportionately targeted communities of color. The number of Americans imprisoned for violating drug laws increased from 1980 to 2017, from roughly 41,000 to 453,000.
However, in recent years, many states and even the federal government have begun to understand that this “War” was ineffective resulting in mass incarceration of non-violent individuals, large percentage of whom were mainly addicts who needed treatment, not prison. States, including Illinois, are legalizing the medical and recreational use of marijuana and decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs. Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduces the crack cocaine sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1 that resulted in sentencing disparities between African Americans who represented the majority of people arrested for crack offenses and made retroactive by the passage of the First Step Act in 2018. Recently, some members of Congress have introduced legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition.
The Champaign felony criminal defense lawyers at Patel Law, P.C. recognize the need for aggressive advocacy and representation of those accused of felony drug crimes.
Attorney Baku Patel, a highly experienced felony drug crime defense attorney, personally handles all those accused of Champaign drug crimes.
Read more about Attorney Baku Patel’s experience in defending felony crimes.
Read more about Patel Law’s Drug Crime Defense.