Crime and Drugs
Drugs are related to crime in multiple ways. In several countries, the possession of illegal substances, no matter the amount, is a crime in and of itself, as well as manufacturing and distributing drugs. Cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, marijuana and other drugs are classified as having abusive potential. Not only are having drugs in violation of law, drugs and crime are linked because of their use by individuals. The drug using lifestyle is often defined and viewed as deviant; the more that a person is involved with drugs, it is assumed, the more likely they are to be involved in illegal activity. The illegitimacy of drug use itself causes people to assume that drug users are not linked to any other part of “legitimate” life.
I am in favor of the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, removing its designation as a controlled substance. In the United States, several states have and are in the process of decriminalizing the drug and making recreational marijuana legal for consumption. I am in favor of doing this in order to remove the stigma associated with marijuana, a drug with relatively low scientific evidence saying that it causes as serious of a detriment to the mind, body and society than any other drugs. Alcohol and tobacco are legal substance to sell and consume but are significantly more dangerous than marijuana is. Law enforcement, I believe, has much bigger problems to focus on by combatting serious offenses rather than focusing on what is basically a harmless drug.
Causes of Terrorism
Terrorism occurs in the context of resistance, frustration and disillusionment with a particular government or state. There are several reasons and motivations for terrorism, but the causes and goals of them are direct and indirect factors. One root cause of terrorism is economic factors. Countries are replete with social inequities and inequalities across demographics, geographical regions and other areas. When people are deprived of basic human rights and resources, it leads to poverty, which in turn creates even more frustration. Then, people look for ways to express their rage in a way that will release their tension and unfortunately, create mass panic even if it is to bring attention to an issue. People become angry when they are unable or limited in their achievements in wealth and wages, education, job opportunity, etc. Another cause is political factors like government siege, corruption, repression and even sanctioned violence of its own. Unstable governments, no matter the structure, can abuse human rights and disenfranchise millions of people for apparent and unapparent reasons. Terrorism has a strong link with social injustice and frustration with the government, whom people elect and trust to represent them, rather than poverty or other societal ills. Finally, the social factors within populations and communities cause terrorism. Levels of education, job opportunity and religion can all affect terrorism in the name of extremism, calling for social justice, etc.
In the United States, combatting and preventing terrorism is of top government and social priority. The government does all that it can to prevent terrorism with specific counter-terrorism efforts: the USA Patriot Act, the Department of homeland Security and its armed forces, all of which are designed to protect the nation and its citizens from terrorist attacks. Especially following the events of September 11, 2001, the need to protect U.S. citizens became paramount to national security overall. The military uses psychological and physical warfare to protect the home front and keep society functioning and safe. The Patriot Act followed 9/11 and anthrax attacks of the same year and enabled border security, removing obstacles to investigate terrorism and enhance surveillance of U.S. citizens, the last of which has been heavily criticized and reprimanded.
Crime and Technology
As societies evolve, so do their ills, especially crime. In this ever-changing technological world, a new type of crime has been established that takes place and uses technology to harm and destroy others. From hacking to phishing and even using the internet to lure victims and assault and kill them, technology and crime has its own unique relationship. The freedom, ephemerality and anonymity of the internet, along with little monitoring, has allowed for people do as they please without fear of reprimand or repercussions. From cyberbullying to identity theft to revenge porn, citizens are under attack from their own people.
- Lopez, G. (2014, March 27). 13 states have decriminalized – but not legalized – marijuana. Retrieved January 14, 2018, from https://www.vox.com/