Drug Legalization Essay, Research Paper
Every year 100,000 babies are born addicted to cocaine. I hope to show you through this paper that legalizing drugs would only bring more problems to our already corrupt world. I have several arguments against the legalization of drugs such as: the many medical myths of marijuana; crime, violence, and drug use go hand in hand; an individual?s choice to use drugs; and the increase in government due to the legalization of drugs.
There are over 10,000 studies proving the harmful addictive effects of marijuana. Yet there is not even one that shows marijuana having any medical value whatsoever. There are numerous consequences to marijuana use such as: general apathy, memory loss, hostility, increased aggressiveness, and premature cancer. Marijuana offers both the intoxicating effects of alcohol and the long term lung damage of tobacco. The shocking association between marijuana use and the use of harder drugs is very convincing. Twelve to seventeen year olds who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those who do not. Sixty percent of adolescents who use marijuana before age 15 will later use cocaine. Many of the chemicals in marijuana are very toxic, psychoactive chemicals that are virtually unstudied and often appear in uncontrolled strengths. Marijuana has been promoted to assist people with the treatment of AIDS when in fact scientific studies prove that marijuana damages the immune system. Therefore causing HIV-positive marijuana smokers to progress to full-blown AIDS twice as fast as non marijuana smokers. The medical movement has greatly contributed to a changing of attitudes among teens that marijuana is harmless. This softening in anti-drug attitudes has led to a 140 percent increase in drug use among high school aged students.
My second point is that crime will not be reduced by legalizing drugs. ?Studies show a correlation between drug use and crime — violent crimes such as, homicide, assaults, and domestic violence. Why is this? It?s quite simple — drugs cause violent behavior.? (Gargaro, 2). A study done by the National Institute of Justice states that of males arrested in 1993, the percent testing positive for drugs at time of arrest, ranged from 54 percent in Omaha to 81 percent in Chicago. Among females arrestees the percents ranged from 42 percent in San Antonio to 83 percent in Manhattan. Proponents for drug legalization state that drug users commit crimes to pay for drugs. They believe that if drugs were legal then the black market and criminal activity associated with drugs would be virtually eliminated. How exactly would this work? Government would obviously place a legal purchasing age on drugs just as they have for alcohol and tobacco. For example if the legal purchasing age for drugs was 18, then drug traffickers would still go after those 17 and under. In essence, the black market would still exist. There is no denying that drug use effects behavior and therefore increases violent crime. In May 1993 a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics released the following statistics. Thirty-two percent of inmates committed their offense under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Slightly more than two thirds of inmates were convicted of homicide or assault under the influence. A report in the journal of the American Medical Association reports that, ?Homicide victims may have provoked violence through irritability, paranoid thinking, or verbal and physical aggression which are known to be pharmacological effects of cocaine.? As stated by Carolyn C. Gargaro, ?Legal PCP isn?t going to make people less violent than illegally purchased PCP. So, crimes committed because of drugs will increase as the number of drug users increase with the legalization of drugs. The psychopathic behavior that drugs cause will not somehow magically stop because drugs are legal.? The fact is — drug related crimes are highest where crack is the cheapest.
Some people feel that individuals have the right to use drugs if they choose, as long as they do not harm others. ?Don?t tell me that drugs only hurt the user — tell that to a crack baby. Tell that to a woman who is raped by her boyfriend while he is high on PCP. Or tell that to the six year old that is raped by the same guy…Tell that to the taxpayers who will be paying out the wazoo for higher insurance rates, more taxes for drug rehabilitation programs, and more money for court cases due to the increased number of drug related offenses.? (Gargaro, 1). According to a 1994 Newsweek report on child abuse, ?Drugs now suffice 80 percent of the caseload; sexual and physical assaults that once taxed the imagination are now common.?
For some reason people think that the government will just step aside and not be involved with drugs if they were legal. Let?s be realistic: drug legalization would mean new laws, more lawsuits, and campaign corruption. Legal drugs mean more laws, more regulations, and more government. Obviously the government will play a very significant role in drug regulation, legal or not. ?Legalizing drugs is not going to magically change the government.? (Gargaro, 1).
I hope that I have shown you how legalizing drugs would only cause to further corrupt our already messed up world. If it?s legal, more people will use it. That?s just common sense. ?The drug war is a long and difficult, and sometimes seems hopeless, but we shouldn?t just give up. As William Bennet, a strong fighter in the drug war states, ?Imagine if, in the darkest days of 1940, Winston Churchill had rallied the West by saying, ?This war looks hopeless, and besides it costs too much. Hitler can?t be THAT bad. Let?s surrender and see what happens.? This is essentially what legalizers suggest. With all the other problems we face it seems absurd to legalize something that in turn could destroy us.? (Gargaro, 3).