Connection Between Drugs and Crime - Essay Example

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Middlebury College
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There exists a strong connection between drugs and crime in the United States as well as in other parts of the world. Crimes linked to drugs can be viewed in three forms. One, drug-defined crimes such like possessing, using, or selling controlled substances thus violating drug laws; two, crimes committed by drug users or persons under the influence of drugs such as rape or theft to acquire money to purchase more drugs; and third, organized criminal activities, for example, money laundering and corruption in politics in support of the drug trade. Most often, crime is linked to the abuse of drugs, but drugs usually dont cause crime. For instance, studies of high-rate offenders reveal that a majority of them started their criminal activities before using drugs. Additionally, most experts argue that even if the elimination of drug abuse were successful, the reduction of criminal activities associated with them would be minimal. Controlled substances are described as chemicals which contain legally recognized the potential for abuse. Possession or use of these substances can result in federal or state arrest. The United States have enacted drug laws meant to control the possession and use of drugs in the country. The first primary law was the Harrison Act of 1914 which required people dealing with drugs such as cocaine, morphine, heroin, opium, and other derivatives to register with the federal government. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 set up five schedules for classifying the narcotic drugs according to the potential of abuse. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act was passed in 1988, and it was meant to increase the penalties for recreational drug users in the government attempt to tighten the fight against drug abuse. Others include the Crime Control Act of 1990 and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

Although most drug abusers will continue using drugs even with the drug laws in place, this essay supports the criminalization of controlled substances. This is because decriminalizing them would pave the way for an increased number of users which would result in more drug-related crimes being committed. The current trends show a high relation of crime and drugs even with the criminalization of these substances, pointing out to the fact that legalizing them would only worsen things. For instance, studies show that 60% of individuals arrested over the majority types of crime test positive for illicit drugs at the time of arrest. An approximately 60 to 80 percent of drug abusers engage in a new crime, typically drug-driven after they are released from prison while approximately 95 percent resume drug abuse. With these figures, it would only be appropriate if tighter restrictive laws were enacted on the acquisition and utilization of drugs in a bid to minimize the widespread abuse of drugs. Tighter penalties should be applied to the drug dealers to discourage them and others who would be considering joining the drug business. Controlled use of drugs would mean a reduced number of drug-related crimes and, therefore, reduced costs to the federal government in the fight of these crimes.

Causes of Terrorism

Terrorism can be defined as the use of violence with a goal to further a political or an ideological interest at the expense of the general population. Terrorism has many forms, and its causes are varied. The base roots of terrorism can, however, be linked to either political, social, or religious dispute, or connected to a historical happening. Politically, terror attacks often occur in an attempt to correct what is perceived as a political wrong, either by opposing groups of the same country or terrorist attacks from groups of another country. This is in the belief that violence is the only option in justifying the end. An example is the violent campaigns conducted by the Catholics and the Protestants in England and Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1998 each trying to attain political dominance. Terrorism emanating from religious differences has been witnessed. For example, many attacks from the 1980s have been celebrated as the work of Islamic martyrs. Christians have been a target by many Islamic-related terrorist attacks across the world. Socio-economic factors such as lack of education or political freedom can be a cause of terrorism. Terrorists use violence to gain social or economic control. Historical events are also causes of terrorism. For example, the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was one of the causes of the World War I. In this case, terrorist attacks are conducted as revenge missions to people or countries who conducted a historical act that is viewed as a wrong by the terrorists. These are the major causes of terrorism being conducted around the world.

The United States government has put across mechanisms aimed at combating potential terrorist attacks and recovery procedures if one does occur. This was following the attacks on September 11, 2001. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2003 and together with its partners across the nation and around the world have worked to build a new homeland security enterprise that will ensure better mitigation and defense against dynamic threats while minimizing risks and maximizing the ability to response and recovery from attacks and calamities of all kinds. Through DHS, there are programs for personal training to assist in identifying behaviors and indicators related to terrorism; there are passenger travel security screenings to secure the entry of potential terrorists, all cargo entering the country undergoes through screening, as well as implemented radiological preparedness to secure the country from nuclear threats. The department enjoys the full support of the federal government and other partners in the public and private sectors in its effort to combat terrorism.

Relationship between Crime and Technological Advancement

The advancement in technology has resulted in the evolvement of every aspect of daily routines without the exception of crime. Criminals have adapted to the technological advancement, and many people have fallen victims of crimes committed over the internet. Cyber-crimes such as hacking and phishing have been on the rise in the recent past. Hackers can enter into areas they are prohibited and hack into another computer or account and make transactions for their gain. For instance, T-Mobile USAs database was hacked and information about their clients stolen. Some of the information stolen by hackers include names, social security numbers, home addresses, or credit reports. Wall Street Journal reported more than 9.9 million cases of identity theft in the United States in 2016. Phishing is a tactic where individuals are duped into providing personal information to a criminal who poses as a legitimate agency. The thieves are computer experts who can create emails or ads that look legitimate, and the victim can quickly gain trust in him and provide the data being asked. Through the data provided, they can steal identities and use them to carry out financial transactions. Other crimes include online stalking, cyber terrorism, bullying, and sexual crimes such as trafficking of child pornography.

Laws that address technology-related crimes have been enacted in the United States. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was passed in 1986 and has been amended and expanded as the internet technology has advanced. This law forms the basis for prosecution of technology-related crimes. Other statutes in place include the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act (2008), and other provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. With the increase in the rate of technology-related crimes, these laws need to be modified and tightened to combat these activities. For instance, the penalty for such crimes should be increased, tightened and implemented fully to the offenders. This would act as a lesson to other incoming cybercriminals. Strict restrictions on personal information should be availed to minimize the possibilities of identity theft. Modifications to these laws and implementation of stricter penalties, as well as cooperation from the public would go a long way in curbing cybercrimes.


In summary, abuse of drugs and crimes are interrelated. An estimated 60% of criminals arrested across America test positive for illicit drugs. Criminalization of all illicit drugs should be upheld and stricter measures implemented to discourage drug abuse. The maor causes of terrorism are political, socioeconomic, and religious factors, as well as possible historical events that are perceived to be wrong. The American government through the Department of Homeland Security has put measures to secure its citizens from terrorist attacks. Cybercrime has evolved with the technological advancement. Modification of the computer crime laws would reduce instances of these vices being propagated in the country.

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