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Argument: War on Drugs keeps drug trade profitable, lures children in

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From Wikipedia's article "Arguments for and against drug prohibition." Extracted March 20th, 2010: "Children being lured into the illegal drug trade

Janet Crist of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy mentioned that the anti-drug efforts have had "no direct effect on either the price or the availability of cocaine on our streets" (qtd. in Boaz). Additionally, drug dealers show off expensive jewelry and clothing to young children (Duke and Gross 33). Some of these children are interested in making fast money instead of working legitimate jobs (Kane 157). Drug decriminalization would remove the "glamorous Al Capone-type traffickers who are role-models for the young" (Wink 111).

The lack of government regulation and control over the lucrative illegal drug market has created a large population of unregulated drug dealers who lure many children into the illegal drug trade. The U.S. government's most recent 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that nationwide over 800,000 adolescents ages 12ā€“17 sold illegal drugs during the previous 12 months preceding the survey. [2] The 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nationwide 25.4% of students had been offered, sold, or given an illegal drug by someone on school property. The prevalence of having been offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property ranged from 15.5% to 38.7% across state CDC surveys (median: 26.1%) and from 20.3% to 40.0% across local surveys (median: 29.4%).[3]

Despite more than $ā€‰7 billion spent annually towards arresting and prosecuting nearly 800,000 people across the country for marijuana offenses in 2005, the federally-funded Monitoring the Future Survey reports about 85% of high school seniors find marijuana ā€œeasy to obtain.ā€ That figure has remained virtually unchanged since 1975, never dropping below 82.7% in three decades of national surveys.[4]

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