Drugs and Society Term Paper

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¶ … trafficking of drugs has been something that has been a problem in the United States of America for many decades. From the Drug Cartel in Mexico to the Pharmaceutical companies getting federal funding, Americans have a fascination with drug production and usage. Regardless of the many attempts that the government has made to completely cease the drug problems, issues still arise and matters seem to be getting a lot worse without any sign of resolution. In order for something to occur, a more effective policy needs to be put into effect. There are a variety of categories that the different drugs fit into. Not all drugs have the same potency, nor the same side effects, and this is something that needs to be made clear before proceeding with any comprehensive drug policy. The seven categories that currently divide the types of drugs available is something that should still be present in the new policy in order for them to be better understood. These categories currently divide the drugs into: (1) Central Nervous System Depressants, (2) Central Nervous System Stimulants, (3) Hallucinogens, (4) Dissociative Anesthetics, (5) Narcotic Analgesics, (6) Inhalants, and finally (7) Cannabis (DRE). The reason that these categories would still be in effect are because of practical reasons. The current classification system categorizes these drugs into how they affect the body, not necessarily how their legality affect people.

As stated previously, the new proposed Drug Policy would maintain the categories already set by the International Drug Evaluation & Classification Program. In the new proposed Drug Policy, all drugs would not be legally punishable by law. Every drug would be considered legal and no legal repercussions would be taken against any individual caught with any sort of drug. This seems to be the only option left after o many other policies have tried to give harsh punishments that do not seem to be working. During the years of 1920 to 1933, the United States of America went through a period called Prohibition. During this time period, alcoholic beverages were considered illegal and any individual caught either using or distributing this substance would be harshly punished (Behr, p.78). As a result of illegalizing a substance that so many people consumed regularly, an underground community was formed. This underground community still produced, distributed, and sold alcohol illegally. During this time, crime rates shot up, people were put into dangerous situations when they went to purchase, and they still ran the risk of getting caught and putting their families in harm's way (Behr, p.163). This previous situation was described in order to compare history to what the United States is currently going through now. At this moment, most drugs are illegal, and it is putting individuals in danger. The War on Drugs is a war that has continuously been in affect for four decades, to not much avail. Drugs are still being trafficked into the United States through every United States border state. Whether it is the Mexican Cartel, Colombian Cartel, or the Italian, Bosnian, and Polish Mafia, they still are finding ways to get drugs that are considered illegal into the United States (Hartstein, p.23). In providing legality to this process, the United States could regulate more and make some much needed money after this.

Financial motivations should be the number one reason why drugs should be legalized. The United States is currently going through the worse economic recession in recent history, and legalizing drugs would bring some much needed money to the nation. In providing legality to any narcotic substance, the War on Drugs could stop being funded. This alone will save millions of dollars being spent on trying to fight a battle that apparently is not working out too well, since billions of dollars worth in drugs is still going through the borders (Harstein, p.65). Now in legalizing the production and distribution of drugs, everything could be regulated by the government. Instead of spending those millions of dollars in vain during a time where the nation most needs this money, the United States could actually benefit. Taxing these substances will bring millions, if not billions, of dollars in revenue for the government and the American citizens. Controlling distribution will also limit the dangerous situations that everyday Americans are put in when ever they want to purchase a narcotic substance, such as Cannabis. By controlling production and distribution, and treating every drug just as legal pharmaceutical substances and alcohol are, the government could regulate what goes into these drugs, they could study all the drugs more effectively since legality will not be an issue. Making these drugs in factories could revive the economic situation in the United States since now the government will be in need of people in order for these substances to be made, therefore providing Americans with jobs in every field from research to production to manufacturing to distribution at all levels. This will give individuals the opportunities of starting new businesses in order to distribute these substances in the retail market. Since these drugs are still potentially dangerous to a person's health, such as caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes currently are now (Hartstein, p.44), a higher tax amount could be applied to these drugs, which might discourage some people from purchasing because they do not have the money to afford it, but if they still choose to continue with the purchase, the economy will benefit since people would still be willing to buy them. The government and its people could also benefit because less tax money will go into penitentiaries where a vast majority of people housed in there go in because of something drug related. The number of people going in will be reduced, and therefore less tax money to maintain them will be needed and could be utilized into other systems that could provide better usage of that money.

The social effects of this policy might come into question, but think about how the current policies are working: they are not (Caulkins, p.3). Crime rates are at an extremely high rate, even though there is so much information known about the potential dangers that drugs bring. By legalizing, more money could be spent on educating and battling other issues such poverty, discrimination, and fixing the troubled education system for the children of the United States. More money will be available to put more beneficial programs into affect. People are willing to put themselves, their family, and their friends at risk in the current situation, why not try to diminish a problem that potentially cause more problems in the future. More research could be done on all the potentially risky factors involved in usage in order to fully educate the public about these drugs in an unbiased form (Hansen et al., p.9). More money will be available for programs to rehabilitate those who might need it. Of course the issue of age will also be an issue; how will this affect the nation's children? Starting at the lowest level of education, children who are being exposed to all types of dangerous situations by living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods where these illegal sales go on anyway are being affected as it is. By legalizing all drug substances, their living situation will actually improve since effective police vigilance will be in effect and more funding will be available from the legal drug sales. As far as the age limits, there should be a 21 or older policy, just as alcohol has in affect now. This will be an age where a child will legally be considered a mature adult (versus 18 years old) and the usage will not have too much developmental affect. The policy should be federal so that states do not provide inconsistency in the policy. By making this a universal law, the issues of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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