Why Government Doesn't Legalize Drugs Term Paper

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¶ … government doesn't legalize drugs?

The story of drug legalization is a very long one; it has practically started ever since their prohibition in the United States through the Harrison Act in 1914, especially because they had been legal in the 19th century: "For most of the century, opium, morphine, and cocaine were legally and cheaply available without a prescription at drugstores and grocery stores and through the mail. And yet, far from being marked by drug-crazed criminals and drug-paralyzed workers, that period was a time of unprecedented economic growth and productivity." Even though, this problem seems to have reached its edge nowadays, as some recent events have proven the side effects of the fight against drugs: a high crime rate having as main reason the necessity of drugs, the appearance of a black market and a continuous increase of the number of people who are addicted to drugs.

In this framework, the American Government, following the model of other countries, has started a discussion about drug legalization. Moreover, this idea will constitute the thesis of the present essay, bringing as main arguments two ideas: if drugs would be legalized and used in appropriate places, they may bring a lot of benefits and, in addition, if the government legalizes the drugs through appropriate test, the crime rate would be decreased every year.

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In order for these two considerations to be put into practice, I would come up with several strategies for drug legalization, such as their use for medical treatments, the "supermarket model" or their distribution under the police surveillance. The conclusion of the essay would thus strengthen the necessity of drug legalization.

Therefore, it seems that one of the appropriate strategies for drug legalization is the use of these substances in medical treatments. Practically, this would involve the use of non-lethal doses, non-poisoning drugs and warning labels.

Term Paper on Why Government Doesn't Legalize Drugs Assignment

In the first instance, drugs should start to be introduced in the treatment of the people who are going to die. Therefore, nobody could be accused of lightening the way to drug addiction for anybody, since those people are going to die anyway. What it would be done instead is soothing the sufferance of a person who does not have any chance to live anyway. Any negative reaction to drug legalization would also be avoided and a governmental decision as such is supposed to highlight the officials' preoccupation for the citizens' health.

Another solution for introducing the use of drugs in medical treatment consists in administering small doses to the drug-addicted persons in specialized clinics. Thus, when these persons would be hit by addiction crises, the administration of a small amount of an easy drug, such as marijuana, for example, would improve their problematic health. A policy as such may indeed raise accusations, sustaining that the addicted persons would never be cured in this way. What it should be answered in response is that neither marijuana nor cocaine are supposed to cause dependence very easily. They are both considered as addiction drugs indeed, but only after intense usage, so the administration of several doses would do no harm.

The example of the Dutch people is a very concluding one in this sense. The entire world was shocked when they found out that there are some public places in the Netherlands where you are offered a joint of marijuana for your coffee in the morning or, even more, you can buy marijuana from the chemist's shop, and it cannot be said that the Dutch have been greatly affected by the policy of legalizing marijuana, but on the contrary.

Still, I consider that the chances for great vociferations from the part of the American people are poor: maybe the elders would disagree with the policy of drug administration indeed, but a recent report taken from "Legalize," based on 8223 responses in America shows that 84% of the Americans would agree with legalizing marijuana. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that "in the 100 years prior to marijuana prohibition, more than 100 European and American medical journal stories were published regarding the therapeutic use of the drug known as cannabis indica, now known as marijuana." Thus, "the 5000-year history of medical marijuana has been revisited by thousands of medical patients and by doctors such as Lester Grinspoon and Tod Mikuriya." What has been found out is that marijuana has many benefic effects: for glaucoma, reliving intraocular pressure, for Cancer Chemotherapy, by relieving nausea, stimulating appetite and improving attitude, for AIDS, by reducing and eliminating the "wasting symptom," for Multiple Sclerosis, by reliving muscular spasm, for the Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, by reducing stress and anxiety and also for the Menstrual discomfort and PMS relief.

Another strategy for legalizing drugs, as mentioned above, may consist in introducing the "supermarket model" for the drugs legal distribution. This idea is hardly going to be put into practice in the recent future, as it is first of all strictly dependent to the government's decision to legalize drugs. Still, if this policy is going to be enforced, the above-mentioned model may be put into practice; it practically means that "supermarkets' would exist all around the country in which drugs of every variety could be purchased at prices reflecting nothing more than retailers' costs plus reasonable profit margins and sales taxes."

This model may bring many advantages, one of which would be the simple fact the drugs commerce would take place under the judicial eye and in this way any illegal acts would be eliminated from the very beginning. Moreover, it would be able to eliminate all direct and indirect costs of drug prohibition: the money used for legally punishing the American consumers, for their prosecution and incarceration may be used for other purposes, such as charity activities, for example. On the other hand, it is sure that the crime rate, the use of violence and the corruption would highly be reduced, a conclusion inferred even by the British Government when they decided to legalize the use of certain drugs; as a follow-up, the British have reached a 96% reduction of the crime rate. In addition, "other criminal activity associated with the illicit drug markets, the distortion of economic incentives for inner city residents, the severe problems posed by adulterated and otherwise unregulated drugs" would be eliminated, just as the costs of banning them. The great economic advantage of enforcing this method should also be mentioned, as it is commonly known that the drugs black market is quite developed and produces a lot of money, which would otherwise become legal and able to bring a lot of benefits to the American economy.

Even though, the 'supermarket' model also presents a big disadvantage, as it practically invites to drug consumption; what can be done in this sense is to educate the young people in schools and make them aware of the fact that the drug legalization is good in all senses but, on the other hand, this does not mean that the use of this kind of substances is indicated or even more, promoted.

It should be also mentioned that the drugs commercialization under the police surveillance, as indicated by the third solution, would hinder the illicit consume of these substances. Thus, what should be recommended is that anyone who would like to buy drugs would need a police permit, which would be obtained only after a medical examination, meant to point out that the consumer is not addicted to drugs and he is not prone to commit any illegal activity. A method as such would allow the authorities to have a list of all the consumers and, in case a crime would be committed, they would already have the names of the suspects. Moreover, such a list would represent a clear evidence of all the drug transactions and also a great contribution to the process of legalization of the black market.

All in all, the facts presented above clearly state that drug legalization is possible and, moreover, even recommended. If drugs were to be introduced on the market for medical purposes, through the "supermarket" model or under the police surveillance, I do not consider that they would be able to produce any harm. On the contrary, "legal drug use is less dangerous than illegal drug use and is influenced by the mores of society. A given amount of legal drug use would cause much less death and illness than the same amount of illegal drug use." The facts speak for themselves in this case, if we were to take into consideration the already-existing examples: that of the Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden or Australia and the best solution for the legalization process seems to be the free-market distribution of drugs such as cocaine, marijuana or heroin, but under judicial control.


Fish, Jefferson M, Ed. "How to Legalize Drugs." Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc.. July 1998, 675 pages;

Lee P. Brown, "Eight Myths About Drugs," Vital Speeches of the Day, City News Publishing Co. 15 July 1994;

Lester Grinspoon, MD, James… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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