17 Jul 2009

Sample Essay: The Legalisation Of Drugs

Should drugs be legalized? Conformist wisdom tells us “drugs” are accountable for escalating crime and that consequently the “war on drugs” should be stepped up even more to decrease it. However, unfortunately, the causation at work is just the contradictory. Majority of “drug related” crime is not related to the use of drugs but rather it is related to the treacherous underground economy created by the warfare on drugs. The fight against drug itself aggravates property crime since the war inflates drug prices. For instance, the selling price of $100.00 worth of cocaine “on the street” has only a real commodity value of $1.00″ (Geers 1995 p.1). According to Drugs and Crime Facts (1991), “more than half of the State prisoners who ever used a major drug e.g. heroin, methadone, cocaine, PCP or LSD reported that they had not done so until after their first arrest. Nearly 60% of those who had used a major drug regularly said such use began after their first arrest” (Geers 1995 p.1). Confronted with these scenarios is it but a necessity to delve deeply on whether drugs or certain kind of drugs should be decriminalized.

Tentative Thesis

Legalizing drugs would parent the collecting of billions in taxes from the existing occasional users, the savings of billions of dollars presently being squandered on prison construction, law enforcement, and cost of imprisonment for drug offenders; would boost the efficacy of the government’s anti-drug beliefs; and  would give a fundamental civil liberty back to U.S. citizens, by granting them control over their own bodies.  Perhaps, the present war on drugs has not and will not produce a significant victory. With this in mind, the researcher advocates a new approach to this essential social dilemma. It is with utmost importance that we have to mull over the likelihood that a free market in drugs is not only imaginable in principle, but, given the indispensable personal motivation of a people, is just as beneficial and practical as is a free market in other goods. Accordingly, supporting a free market in drugs at this moment, particularly in the United States is a practical policy (Szasz 1992 p. xvii). Equally important, legalizing drugs would permit us to focus and support the small percentage of people who are indisputably drug abusers by offering them both spiritual and medical treatment and education.

Introduction

Why do we yearn for drugs? In essence, for the same reasons we like other goods. We want drugs to cure our diseases, relieve our pains, put us to sleep, change our moods, enhance our endurance, or simply make us feel better–just as we want cars and bicycles, tractors and trucks, chain saws and ladders, hang gliders and skis, to make our lives  more pleasant and more productive. Every year, tens of thousands of people are killed and injured as a consequence of accidents connected with the use of such paraphernalia. But why do we not speak of “chain saw problem” or a “ski abuse”? Simple because we expect people who utilize such equipment to acquaint themselves with their use, and shun from injuring others or themselves. If they harm themselves, we presume they did so unintentionally and we struggle to heal their injuries.

“Drug legalization could at one extreme involve a return to open access to all drugs for all persons, as was seen at the end of the 19th century” (DuPont & Voth 1995 p. 461). Imagine these settings, drug dealers will be a thing of the past. Drug-related shootings will be unheard of. Vicious theft and crimes will be greatly reduced. Communities will pull themselves together. The streets of America will commence to “clean up.” Casualties due to infected intravenous needles and poisonous street drugs will be eliminated. Adults and youths once involved in crime rings will be forced to look for legitimate work. “Taxpayers are no longer forced to pay $10,000,000,000 to fund drug-related law enforcement. The $80,000,000,000 claimed by organized crime and drug rings will now go to honest workers (Cussen & Block 2000 pp. 525-526; Ostrowski 1993 pp. 203-205). What policy change will bring about such excellent circumstances? The legalization of drugs! Both philosophically and practically speaking, certain forms of addictive drugs should be legalized.

We should try to adapt to–rather than solve–the tribulations presented by potentially hazardous devices in our surrounding. However, after generations of living under medical protection that provides us with security, although illusory, against unsafe drugs, we have failed to nurture the self-discipline and self reliance we ought to possess as capable adults surrounded by the fruits of our technological-pharmacological era. The drug quandary is a multifaceted set of interconnected phenomena that are the products of personal choice, responsibility, and temptation, combined with a set of social policies and laws generated by our lack of enthusiasm to face this fact in a forthright approach.  If that is untrue and far from reality, then nearly all the related literature I have used in this research is false. But if it is true, then nearly everything the American law, American government, the American media, American medicine, and the preponderance of the American people now think and do about drugs is a costly and colossal mistake, detrimental to innocent foreigners and Americans and disparaging to the nation itself.

Methodology

The type of design used in this research is qualitative. Basically it is subjective focused on the why and what questions. The data collection is gathered using in-depth interviews and focus groups. Considerable amount of time is spent in directly interviewing and observing the participants. Making adjustments in the instruments like reformulating or adding questions based from the earlier responses of the participants are employed. The results are cited and quoted directly from the participants responses. And conclusion made is generally limited to participants who were directly studied.

Review of Literature

The literature review addresses the benefits and advantages of legalizing or decriminalizing certain kinds of drugs. Seven scholarly sources were used in this research study to examine the validity of the question on hand.

Justification

My position is that if citizens use these drugs and do not harm others, it is no business of the state. If in case they become addicted to these drugs, then they warrant help–not just from their families but also from the state-and should not be first placed in prison. However, if they use these drugs and injure others, whether they are under the influence of these substances at the time or not, they must be penalized. “People who directly hurt others should not be giving up their jail cells to people who engage in crimes of vice” (Nadelmann 1991 pp. 39-40).

Since drug legalization is neither a simple nor singular public policy proposal, this paper aims to probe deeply on the positive aspects of decriminalizing drugs for the benefit of all Americans and other races. Reading this paper will possibly enlighten us on what lies on the other side of the coin.  “Legalization would not be a step in to the unknown. In fact, drugs were legal before 1914 and the United States had fewer addicts per capita and none of the crime problems it has today” (Geers 1995 p.1). The government should center its enforcement endeavors on protecting minors, while restricting only adult drug use that straightforwardly imperils other people.

It is a terrible blunder to perceive certain drugs as a “dangerous adversary” we ought to attack and eradicate, instead of accepting them as harmful as well as potentially helpful substances, and learning to cope with them ably (Szasz 1992 p. xv). And maybe, the most depressing aspect of drug prohibition is that it has immensely contributed and helped multiply rather than impede and hinder the use of drugs by young people. United States needs to treat drug use and addiction as primarily a social and health problem, rather than a transgression.

Works Cited

Cussen, Meaghan, and Walter Block. “Legalize Drugs Now!: An Analysis of the Benefits of Legalized Drugs.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 59.3. (Jul., 2000): 525-526.

DuPont, Robert L. and Eric A. Voth. “Drug Legalization, Harm Reduction, and Drug Policy.”

Annals of Internal Medicine 123.6 (Sept. 1995): 461.

Geers, Thomas R. “Legalize Drugs and Stop the War on People.” Education 116.2 (1995): 235.

Nadelmann, Ethan A. “America’s Drug Problem: Alternative Perspectives, Alternative Futures.” Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 45.3 (Dec., 1991): 39-40.

Ostrowski, James.  “Has the Time Come to Legalize Drugs?” USA Today Magazine 19 July 1990): 1.

Reed, Fred. “Legalization of Some Drugs Is Worth a Try.” The Washington Times 29 Apr. 1996: 2.

Szasz, Thomas. Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1992.

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