Drug Policies the Legacy Essay

Pages: 3 (1032 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs


For example, in the 1950s, illegal drug use was associated with the threat of communism, and then in the 1960s illegal drug use, because it was associated with youth culture, was considered part of the counterculture that was challenging the establishment in the United States. This led many people to take a very negative view of drug use and view it as criminal, even when not associated with criminal activity. went along with what many perceived as challenges.

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This fantasy idea that somehow illegal or illicit drugs are more harmful to society than legal drugs simply does not find any support in what is known about the impact of drugs on society. Alcohol alone accounts for £20 billion yearly in costs, most of that related to criminal behavior. This is an enormous expense, particularly for a legal substance that, if one were to judge solely based on its widespread availability and easy accessibility, one would assume was not significantly harmful to society. Furthermore, mortality rates from alcohol and cigarettes dwarf mortality rates related to illegal drug misuse and complications. Of course, part of this difference is due to the fact that the usage rates for alcohol and cigarettes are much higher than the usage rates for illegal drugs. It also should not be interpreted as an argument for the blanket legalization of currently illegal drugs, because the impact of legalization on health related issues is unknown, and one must assume that usage rates would increase if such drug usage were no longer criminalized. However, part of the difference is due to the fact that these two perfectly legal drugs are very dangerous substances that are not regulated as dangerous substances. Instead of looking at the science behind the substances, the idea that these drugs have been considered morally acceptable for public usage has made their impact on society acceptable, as well.

TOPIC: Essay on Drug Policies the Legacy of Assignment

Current drug policies also ignore what is known about addiction as a medical issue. Throughout time addicts of all kinds have been viewed as somehow morally deficient people lacking the self-control or will power to engage in reasonable substance use without becoming substance abusers. While modern medicine has definitely shown that addiction is a disease and has even shown substantial success with treating addiction when it is approached as a medical problem rather than as a moral problem, the fact remains that many people view addicts as somehow morally deficient. This has led to people feeling as if it is permissible to attack drug addiction as a crime, rather than treating drug addicts as people with illnesses. The problem with this approach is that it does nothing to treat the underlying addiction and does not begin to address the underlying social problems that might contribute to addiction. As long as drug abuse is treated as a moral problem and not a medical and social problem, drug policies, no matter how harsh they are, will remain ineffective.


Maguire, M., Morgan, R., & Reiner, R. (Eds.). (2007). The Oxford handbook of criminology.

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"Drug Policies the Legacy."  Essaytown.com.  April 24, 2012.  Accessed December 8, 2021.