Illicit drugs have always been a hot issue in the society and it is considered by many as an enemy and epidemy that is believed to have destroyed many lives and future, thus it has became an illegal element. However, prohibition of such addicting drugs have also failed society’s expectation that it would be minimized or elimanited in circulation and usage. Legalizing these (currently illegal) drugs have been proposed to alleviate the worsening effects that are currently out of control. Proponents of prohibition of these addicting drugs have the following contentions:
1. The legalization, if implemented, “would make things worse overall. In particular, use for non-medical purposes (‘recreation’), and resultant harm would increase. “(Moffitt, Malouf, and Thompson xviii) 2. In the future (as in the past) law implemented against prohibited supply (and organized crime) will not stop the growth of the epidemic. According to Moffitt, Malouf, and Thompson , “the only chance of turning the epidemic around is by targeting the demand for drugs and thereby reducing their use. ”
3. The harm to health caused by illicit drugs is unbearable and it should be contnuously prohibited. Notably, this paper is for the legalization of (currently illicit) drugs. The contention that legalization of addicting drugs would worsen the situationnis simply a narrow reasoning because with proper controls, aside from transaparent transactions with these drugs, the government can collect taxes that could eventually be used to help those who are classified as “victims” of these drugs in the past.
Stopping crime is impossible but if drugs are recorded and controlled, the authorities would have a better peek at the suppliers and will have better information as to how to control them better. And stopping demand? That is NOT the solution because just like a tree, the root or the source of life must be destroyed to kill that tree, not to cut its leaves alone. If drugs be legalized, its usage can be limited. A certain amount can be sold per user and it can be put in a selected places only and not everywhere.
And if drugs are legal, it would not be as exciting as when it is illegal. It could not be counted as a rebellious act anymore and that part alone can reduce demand already. Legalizing drugs has benefits that exceed the cost. Among these benefits are reduced expenses about “about police, courts, and jails” (Johnson 34) which has a spending of around $50 billion a year to combat drugs. This amount can in turn be used for educating the population about these addicting substances and at the same time, making projects that divert attention away from drug usage.
Another strong beneficial factor that this legalization can turn into is the amount of vice taxes that can be collected and can be used for similar better projects as previously mentioned. This is the tax similarly levied to vice products such as tobacco and alcohol. Control would come better if these subtances are legalized and monitored. Since prohibitting drugs has already failed, putting it into control and legalizing it would definitely change the course of things. Legalization means usage with limits as to proper amount, proper place to use and other factors that can change the current situation.
Users simply get overdosed or get addicted because of the fact that they are thinking that “there might be no next time anymore” as these drugs are illegal. Even research has concluded that “decriminalization of the use, possession, and sale of small amounts of drugs has not led to any increase in usage and has decreased the amount of crime associated with drug use and dealing” (Ibid: Chambliss) Lastly, if these drugs are legal, users can always assume they are free to use the next time and can put each usage to moderation, just like the case of alcohol, an equally addictive and harmful substance.
Works Cited Chambliss, William J. “Another Lost War: The Costs and Consequences of Drug Prohibition. ” Social Justice 22. 2 (1995): 101+. Johnson, Gary E. “The Case for Drug Legalization : We Need to Make Drugs a Controlled Substance Just like Alcohol. ” World and I Feb. 2000: 34. Moffitt, Amol, John Malouf, and Craig Thompson. Drug Precipice: Illicit Drugs, Organised Crime, Fallacies of Legalisation, Worsening Problems, Solutions. Sydney, N. S. W. : University of New South Wales Press, 1998.