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The War On Drug: Reasons Behind The Criminalisation of Drugs and Functions of Crime In Society
The history of the War on Drugs in the United States can be traced back to 1914 with the Harrison Act, the first recorded law to ban the domestic distribution of drugs, as the cornerstone of the criminalisation of drugs in America (McNamara, 2011). However the popularisation of the criminality of drug use was when President Richard Nixon coined the term ‘War on Drugs’ in 1971 (Provine, 2011, p.45). This essay focuses on the disproportionality of incarceration rates between African and Anglo Americans, and illustrates the unequal operation of law enforcement on African-Americans (Provine, 2011). This essay applies Marxist criminology to argue that the drug war is a manipulation of the law and system by the upper class to maintain their status and power over the lower class (Bradley & Walters, 2012). Therefore the drug war is not essentially focused on ‘illicit’ drugs, but focuses on controlling, labelling and marginalising racial minorities, especially African-Americans (Provine, 2011). Sin…