Should the United States legalize drugs? Illegal drug use is one of the chief concerns of the United States, more than any other national problem. Over the years, the United States has made many attempts to control this problem. However, if they legalized drugs, it would have a profound impact on the criminal, economical, and morality status of our society. Drug enforcement has had a great impact on the criminal justice system. A large percentage of crimes that are committed are drug law violations. This causes an increase in the already over-crowded prisons.
The courts attempt to cope with this problem by releasing sometimes, violent offenders, to make room for low-level drug users. The drug laws have not deterred the heavy and addicted users from using drugs; therefore, the laws are ineffective. Legalization will reduce crime dramatically. For example, by reducing the black market (the get rich quick schemes), it would reduce the criminal element involved in the sale of drugs. Drugs would cost less because the government would stabilize the cost for the consumer, thereby making the drugs more affordable and reducing the addicts’ need to steal for them.
The addict would be more likely to seek treatment because drug use would not be illegal, thereby making it unnecessary to worry about the consequences. Deaths caused by drug use would decrease because the government would have control over the manufacturing process, thereby making drugs safer for human consumption. There are, unfortunately, a high number of deaths associated with the drug trade. However, one cannot justify making drugs illegal by pointing to this fact because, a large percentage of deaths are caused by the black market factor that legalization would largely eradicate.
Finally, drugs would also be more accessible, which would eliminate the crack and drug houses that plague the inner cities. From an economic viewpoint, the economy would gain by legalizing drugs. By allowing the government to control the market, not only would it decrease the black market significantly, but it would also create revenues for the economy. Taxing drugs would provide additional funds for treatment programs. Funds used for drug enforcement could be used for drug education. The United States spends a great deal of money each year supporting the convicted drug law violator.
Rather than wasting money this way, why not take that same money and put it into the schools to provide a better education for the children of this country? Drug use is associated with crime, violence, and death, and is considered by our society as immoral. However, the effects of alcohol and tobacco are just as bad, if not worse than drug use. Alcohol consumption has long been associated with violent behavior and criminal activity. However, the problem seemed worsen with the criminal activity associated with Prohibition.
As a result, this experience caused the United States to rethink its method of control and thereby legalize alcohol. Crime and violence associated with alcohol dropped tremendously. In addition to this, alcohol also leads to thousands of deaths each year due to health related factors. So why then is the United States willing to accept it as being moral? Because it is legal. Tobacco, meanwhile, also causes thousands of deaths each year. A government study showed that exposure to passive smoke greatly increases a non-smoker’s likelihood of developing lung cancer.
It has also been proven that smoking is habit forming. Nicotine found in tobacco is an addictive drug. So why then is tobacco accepted as being moral? Because it is legal. The government will continue to fight an uphill battle with illegal drugs because current laws are ineffective. Legalizing drugs, however, will have its drawbacks. It will not remove the black market entirely. Crime, violence and deaths associated with drugs will not totally disappear, but, this idea should be adopted because it will reduce crime and violence, it will offer economic benefits, and it will offer a moral solution to the problem.