Antilegalization Of Drugs Essay, Research Paper
Anti-legalization of Drugs
Drugs have been around for many centuries and proceeds to be a major issue
for the last few decades. Marijuana was first federally prohibited in 1937. Today, nearly 70 million Americans admit to having tried it ( Inciardi 19 ). Whether people stop using drugs, there will always be more and more people reaching out to use drugs. For the past few decades, many people have tried to legalize drug use as well as stopping the use of drugs. Society, in my opinion, would not know how to react if drugs were to be legalized. I think that legalizing drugs will not only ruin the community, but also people’s lives.
Legalization of drugs has been a failure in other nations. Great Britain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands are among the nations which have successfully provided areas where drug takers can obtain and use drugs. Recently, an MTV documentary on the drug issue highlighted coffeehouses in Amsterdam as a model for controlled, successful environment in which young Europeans can enjoy marijuana. However, the experience with legalizing drugs has had its negative effects. For instance, violent crime is a major problem in the Netherlands. A 1992 study of crime victims in twenty mostly European countries ranks the Netherlands as the number one country in Europe for assaults and threats (Olson 79 ). The British system didn’t work. Addiction levels rose, especially among teenagers, and more people became addicts. This sets an example to how it will hurt the nation as one, not only will the nation look bad, but go bad as well.
Crime, violence, and drug use go hand-in-hand. Many believe that legalizing drugs would decrease the crime and use rate of drugs. In 1996, 641,642 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses; that’s approximately one arrest every 49 seconds (Federal Bureau of Investigation). In the essay, ” The Case for Slavery “, A.M. Rosenthal explains his opinion why drugs shouldn’t be legalized. He argues that ” Crime would increase. More permissiveness equals more use equals more violence ” ( Rosenthal 371). Surveys indicate that ” 25% of convicted inmates in jails, 33% of state prisoners, and 40% of youths in state-operated facilities admit being under the influence of an illegal drug at the time of their offense” ( BJS, Drug and Crime Facts, 1992). If drug use increases with legalization, legalizing drugs is far more likely to create more crime, not less ( Olson 71). When people are under the influence of drugs, drug users can’t think right, then they can’t act right, which in turn, causes them to do things they’re not aware which are crimes. Most drug-related crimes are not the result of addicts who are desperate for money to support their habits. Rather, drug related crimes are a result of drug addicts who engage in criminal activities because it is a way of making a living. Crime can be committed without using drugs, but no one can say that drugs will decrease the crime rate and it won’t hurt anybody.
Legalization of drugs will lead to increased use and increased addiction rates. The increased use of drugs led to a person who is, in other words, a drug addict. What is a drug ” addict”? A drug addict is “a person who has a habit so strong that he cannot easily give it up” (Webster’s Dictionary). Addicts steal to pay for their drugs. Since many addicts cannot maintain their jobs, they would continue to steal to pay for their drugs (Blotner and Lynch 112). For example, many people who smoke or drink liquor are addicts. They become so involved with their addiction that it becomes difficult to stop the addictive behavior, which will cause the government to spend more money to build more rehabilitation centers. England’s experience with widely available heroin shows that use and addiction increase (Riga 54). No matter how hard people try to say the use of drugs will decrease, many nations have proved them to be wrong. In addition, in 1989, 63.2% of students ages 12 through 19 reported that marijuana, cocaine, or crack were available at school, according to data in the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Drugs and Crime Facts. That percentage increased somewhat to 65.3% in 1995 ( BJS). These statistics show that despite the fact that drugs are too available, they’re not legalized or regulated, for if they were, not only would drug addiction increase leading to more crime and poverty, but also ruining the community and people’s lives. This shows how easily teenagers can get access to drugs without being exposed to drugs at home. If drugs were legalized, teenagers would have a greater risk in trying drugs. Also, many parents say that teenagers are at the age when they become curious about everything. While curiosity grows inside their minds, many will want to try drugs, since drugs are legal, resulting in the increase use of drugs and even increase addiction rates.
Legalized drugs would only make the family and social situation worse. As Rosenthal states, “drug addiction is passed on from generation to generation .addiction can destroy the social resources most valuable to free people for their own betterment- family life, family traditions, family values ” ( 371). Many people would be under the influence of drugs causing people around them abuse. Drugs in our society which are widely abused are tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs. Legalizing drugs will surely compound the tragedy to our society of these (children) most innocent victims (Blotner and Lynch 112). It would also continue to ruin their families and friends with the abuse for drugs. The simple fact that if drugs are made legal, more people will use drugs ( as stated before). There will be higher health and social costs; there will be more crime. Resulting in destroying families and problems to the people around that person.
On the other hand, in the essay, ” Drugs ” written by Gore Vidal explains that the drug problem can be ended by ” making all drugs available and sell them at cost” (365). He notes that ” each man has the right to do what he wants with his own life as long as he does not interfere with his neighbor’s pursuit of happiness ” (Vidal 366). For instance, if people have smoked at work and in the car; and people have drunk alcohol at work, in the bars, and in the cars, don’t you think that if drugs were legal, they could and would take drugs at work, at the bars, and in the cars???
In conclusion, legalization of drugs should be thought out thoroughly , since it hurts many people and many other things surrounded by them. Whether drugs should be legalized or not, for the future, I hope that people recognize how drugs can erase their family, friends, and even the generations to come, whether or not they do or don’t do drugs at all.
Blotner, Roberta, and Gerald W. Lynch ” Legalizing Drugs Would Not Reduce Crime.” Greenhaven Press. 110-113
Bureau of Justice Statistics ” Drug Use.” 26 July, 1999:
Dupont, Robert “Never trust Anyone Under 40: What Employers Should Know About Drugs in the Workplace.” Policy Review No.48 (Spring 1989)
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States
1996, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office ( 1997)
Inciardi, James A. “The Wars on Drugs.” Palo Alto: Mayfield, 1986
Kennedy, X.J., Dorthy M. Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron, eds.
The Bedford Reader. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, 1997
“Legalizing Drugs.” Greenhaven Press. San Diego: 1996
Olson, William J. ” Drugs Should Not Be Legalized. ” Greenhaven Press. 65-92
Riga, Peter J. ” Legalization Would Help Solve The Nation’s Drug Problem.”
Greenhaven Press. 52-54
Rosenthal, A.M. ” The Case For Slavery.” Kennedy, Kennedy, and Aaron
” Two Crucial Issues in the Argument for Drug Legalization.” 25 July, 1999:
Vidal, Gore ” Drugs.” Kennedy, Kennedy, and Aaron 365-367