Arguments in support of the legalization of drugs
Arguments in Support of the Legalization of Drugs
People are more likely to be appalled by a stoned person than a drunk or smoking individual. This is not just a general statement but a social fact that is enhanced by the legal system. The public media has been filled over the last few years with controversial debates concerning the legalization of drugs and what has come to be known as the War on Drugs. Different points of views are heard either in support or in opposition to the issues. Whether a person is for or against is barely relevant when it comes to the facts that all support the claim made in regard to the ineffectiveness of the law in decreasing the problem of drugs. Drug use is on the rise and many of society's worst problems are linked by several experts to its illegalization and restriction. The arguments made in support of this statement claim that people tend to desire using more when something is prohibited which is again and again illustrated through the example of Prohibition, a period that made most Americans realize that the constraint of popular substances was bound to lead to the increase of social problems. This all paves the way for one argument. Like alcohol and cigarettes, drugs should be legal in the United States.
There are several reasons for why drug legalization would prove to be a correct and positive step on a social, political and legal level. Legalizing drugs would make the public scene safer. Though this argument might sound contradictory, it makes sense when it is taken into consideration that a highly shocking rate approximating the 40% is related to crimes caused by illegal drug activity or usage. (Pragmatist) Besides, it has also been estimated that the increase in drug prices leads to the rise in the crime rate.
In a 2 1/2-year study of Detroit crime, Lester P. Silverman, former associate director of the National Academy of Sciences' Assembly of Behavior and Social Sciences, found that a 10 percent increase in the price of heroin alone produced an increase of 3.1 percent total property crimes in poor nonwhite neighborhoods. Armed robbery jumped 6.4 percent and simple assault by 5.6 percent throughout the city. (Pragmatist)
This is very logical to comprehend in the light of the high prices on the black market. The restriction of drug supply by the authorities contributes thus to the rise in price and hence in the crime rate.
Legalization of drugs would be the most practical and reasonable decision to make as it would save the country large sums of tax money. Interdiction, domestic enforcement and street-level enforcement are all very costly on a national level. For instance, in 1987 the U.S spent around 10 billion dollars to enforce the drug laws and the amount doubled within the shockingly short time of three years. This is especially underlined as a complete waste when it is taken into consideration that it is generally very ineffective. Interdiction of marijuana led for instance to the bloom of the domestic industry. Domestic enforcement is also unsuccessful because the arrest of one supplier or a thousand of suppliers does not indicate the decrease in drug dealers. It is a very profitable industry to many and this aspect will continue to attract people to break the laws for the sake of material gain. The federal government is therefore wasting too much money on a cause that is circular by nature. (Nadelmann)
The strongest argument in favor of the legalization of drugs is of a moral nature. The prohibition of drugs restricts the freedom of the independent and free individual. Users would not harm others if there was an easy and cheaper access to their drugs. It are the restrictions that limit the drugs and increase the prices and as a result the crime rates. This is all very useless in the context of the aforementioned ineffectiveness of laws to successfully deal with the issue. Drugs should be legal, like alcohol and cigarettes, because of the government's responsibility to uphold the personal freedoms of its citizens which is the most basic principle upon which the United States is built. Freedom of thought, freedom of action and speech, and freedom of choice are all essential human liberties that should not be restricted in the name of whatever biased principles that are, once closely analyzed, hollow and flawed.
Drugs should be therefore as legal as alcohol and cigarettes because its prohibition is responsible for corruption and many disturbing forms of violence. Thereby, restriction of drugs is very expensive yet also very ineffective as its trade and usage continues to be part of the public scene. Last, drugs should be made legal because it is the United States' responsibility, as a free nation, to continue to provide its citizens with the freedom of unrestricted choice and liberty of action.