Essay, Research Paper
Mistakes to Avoid in the Legalization of Drugs
If in fact drug legalization does take place in the United States, it is pertinent that the government not make the same mistakes in doing so that they did decades ago with the end of prohibition (Schmoke 897). The government failed to take any preventive measures against alcohol once it was legalized, such as anti-drinking campaigns or any kind of education programs to inform the public about the dangers of alcohol (Schmoke 897). This mistake cannot be made if the legalization of narcotics becomes reality. The anti-drug campaigns must continue to further educate the public on the danger of drugs.
Due to ineffectiveness of prohibition, the ban on alcohol was lifted after thirteen long years. Unfortunately, there were no campaigns put into effect by the government to combat the consumption of alcoholic beverages (Schmoke 897). Because of this, the public didn?t know or didn?t want to know the dangers of alcohol. This was a major flaw in the aftermath of prohibition especially after the number of Americans drinking skyrocketed during prohibition. If the government had done something after the prohibition to reiterate why they banned alcohol to begin with and to further inform the public and future drinkers the reasons not to drink, alcoholic deaths would probably have been much lower then and now.
This error in judgment cannot be made again if drugs are legalized. It is necessary to continue with programs such as ?D.A.R.E.? and the ?Just Say No? campaign. Once drugs become legal and less daring, the public ? namely children ? must still be informed of the negative consequences of drug use. With the legalization of drugs, the money spent on specialized drug units can then be put towards the anti-drug campaigns (Schmoke 897). Ideally, this transfer of funds will further discourage youngsters from doing drugs, which would eventually diminish drug use as a whole. Realistically this would not happen, but the anti-drug campaigns would most likely help to decrease the use of narcotics overall.
The actual legalization of drugs is likely far away from becoming a reality. As more and more people join the effort to legalize narcotics, the public might eventually become more accepting. We as society, however, must assure that the mistakes that were made in the 1920?s and 1930?s are not repeated. We must continue to fight the drug war, not physically, but through information and by showing children the reality of drug use.