Legalize It Essay, Research Paper
Many feel today we are loosing the war on drugs. When a battle goes to the point where there is no winner there needs to be a re-evaluation of how to solve the problem. In the case of the war against drugs, years of fighting have caused increased crime, overcrowding of prisons and the wasted use of money and resources with no results. It is now time to look at alternative methods to solving the nation’s drug problem. I will be looking at one of these methods that deals with the legalization of marijuana. In the following pages you can look at why I think there is a problem in the United States which deals with the use of drugs, our solutions to the problem and our responses to the attacks against the legalization of marijuana.
Although, legalization will increase use of the drug. However, many supporters of continuing the illegalization of drugs believe that by legalizing drugs they will become more accessible and use will therefore increase. They base this argument on past experiment dealing with alcohol prohibition. After the end of prohibition with the 21st amendment, alcohol consumption doubled while prohibition decreased use by 50 percent(Light). They also cite that use of marijuana peaked in 1979 when there was a decriminalization of drug use by eleven states. When researching to find if a particular solution will prove to be of use, it is important to look at historical examples and learn from them. In Liverpool, England, after a recent legalization of drugs in a regulatory program that focuses on the medical benefits of drugs, most drug pushers have left town because there is no longer a market for them(Priver 28). This shows that legalization actually decreases use because of the increased emphasis on rehabilitation and the decrease of drug pushers. Such a dramatic decrease in drug dealers has not only resulted in crime reduction in England but there was also a decrease of drug use.
It is true, legalization will not eliminate the major cause of violent crime; however, most argumentation which says that drug legalization will not decrease crime deals with the idea that most violent crime occurs as a result of alcohol use(Light). Since this is true, and legalization would not effect crime that is alcohol related but it will decrease violent crime that is linked to drug dealing and use. The drugs themselves may not cause violent crime but people involved in the distributing of illicit drugs make the deadliest crime. By legalizing drugs the dealer would be eliminated and therefore crime would be reduced. By keeping the addict separate from the criminal then violent, jealous, possessive crime(Friedman 16).
Granted, the overall cost of drug use would not decrease; however, supporters of the continued war on drug and the further illegalization of these drugs say that legalization would cost more both socially and economically. They say that legalization would result in increased use and eventually will mean an increase in cancer deaths with greater marijuana smoking(Light). Another result they say will happen is the deteriorization of family values as a result of increased drug using mothers and children. Actually, the legalization of drugs will put money which is used for law enforcement into the construction of better rehabilitation and education programs. Education is an essential part in this proposal because through this method the problem is solved not mearly covered up with jail bars. Economically, for every dollar spent on drug treatment there is a $7 return due to decreased criminal activity(Cotton 992). Through the regulation and supervision of the distribution of marijuana, there would be no increases in the number of drug addicted newborns nor will it induce the deterioration of society. The overall cost of drug use would decrease and would bring a new revenue for our nation.
After looking at and knowing the pro and cons of marijuana legalization, I have decided that it is a valid and necessary solution to our countries drug problem. By implementing such a program the American population can use it’s money and resources to combat the problem through rehabilitation and education instead of stalling the problem through the legal system. Legalization will decrease violent crime associated with drug dealers, it will decrease the number of users and will lower the wasteful cost which is connected with the current system. Such legalization will not destroy our youth in any way and will only be accessible to adults in the country. If we continue with our current system we will never solve the problem. Drug dealers and addicts will continue to crown our prisons and plague our streets with violent crime with no hope for help nor a better future.