Legalizing Drugs the Government Creates Laws Term Paper

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Legalizing Drugs

The government creates laws and regulations in which officials see are suitable for citizens to abide by. The formation of such official customs serves to protect the interests of the people, state, and government. However, in a society ruled by democracy, differences are bound to rise and voices are to be heard regarding various issues, in particular, the one about legalizing drugs. The dispute over such a dilemma has been a continuous one, which if approved and finalized, will influence the government and its people economically, judicially, medically, and socially.

Economically, legalizing drugs would encourage free trade, which would benefit all involved parties. Free trade is the participation of a buyer and seller, which would improve the welfare of both parts in the barter, which Cussen noted, "trade is a positive-sum game. Both parties gain, at least in the ex-ante sense" (527). In a free trade economy, the government is allowing everybody to take part in the market, which creates an equal opportunity when conducting a transaction. The legalization of drugs would impact the economy in a positive manner, especially due to free trade, when both parties, whether purchasing or selling drugs, will create fiscal profit. If the drug market was open, the revenues from drugs will be equally allocated by free-market forces. Therefore, this would lessen the chance of supporting cartels, or organizations in favor of terrorism, and other criminal activities.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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The money the government collects as taxes are spent toward drug enforcement and in the war on drugs. In 2002, the spending that year was forty-billion dollars while in 2000, the budget by the National Drug Control was well over eighteen-billion dollars, while the states will spend about twenty-billion. The total spending from 1991 to 2000 on the war on drug has been more than 140 billion dollars. In 2010, federal spending was well over fifteen-billion, which is at the rate of five-hundred dollars every second. The allocation for drug offenses has grown since 1980, for both, state and federal budgets, where the latter used to be one-billion dollars. As of 2011, the money spent on the war on drugs, the federal government has spent more than three billion dollars while the state has spent more than six billion dollars, with a total of over ten billion dollar in government spending on drug-related issues. However, with the legalization of drugs, the money spent on drug enforcement can be used elsewhere, for example, to fund treatment programs and rehabilitation centers because "drug treatment programs remain notoriously underfunded, turning away tens of thousands of addicts seeking help even as increasing billions of dollars are spent to arrest, prosecute, and imprison illegal drug sellers and users" (Nadelmann, 942). The state budget's biggest funding are to schools and prisons, with the latter occupying the majority, so with reduced imprisonment, it means decreased spending, and it can be spent on places like schools and universities.

In 1997, the United Nations reported drug trafficking was a $400 billion dollar business, which encompassed 8% of the world's trade. Every time the police force breaks down a drug transaction or shipment, it not only depletes the supply on the underground black market, but it increases the price. In the end, suppliers create a larger profit margin for themselves, which further fuels the drug industry. However, legalization of drugs will put the profits in the hands of the government and out of the hands of drug lords. The legalization of drugs would also bring about businesses who would take over the responsibility of inspecting the narcotics to ensure it is up to federal standards. In the end, tax cuts will result since government will relinquish expenses spent on enforcement.

Judicially, there were more arrests made for drug abuse violations than other offenses for 2009, which accumulated to 1.6 million arrests. The Federal Bureau of Investigation noted drug abuse crimes make up 13% of the total number of arrests in 2009, and someone is arrested for breaking a drug-related law every nineteen seconds. Furthermore, the government estimated more than eight-hundred thousand people were arrested for marijuana violations in 2009, and 89% were charged with possession, which calculates to a person being arrested for cannabis related crimes every thirty seconds. The prison population has been on the rise since December 1995, and continues to grow with more than forty-three thousand people being admitted annually, which comes out to about 25% of people being sentenced for drug-related violations.

However, legalizing drugs will reduce crime rates altogether for several reasons. The reason why drugs are monetarily priced at such a high value is because the risk to bring it into the market is very high but there is always a demand. So, when drugs are legalized the price of drugs will be lowered, which will diminish incidences of theft and homicide that is associated with high priced narcotics. Due to such a high cost, people are willing to do unthinkable crimes to attain money to pay for narcotics, which include assault and burglary. As well, the barter of drugs will be a business, which will increase supply to meet the demand, which will impact the price. In the end, drug-related crimes will be reduced, which will not only benefit businessmen and the government, but also the addicts who are looking for their next fix. It is common for gang wars and violence to occur due to drugs but when drugs are legalized, such occurrences will be lowered. As well, since it is legal for people to conduct and use narcotics, when people violate laws related to such drugs, he or she can settle arguments inside the courtroom, rather than in the streets through physical and combative methods. In addition, innocent people will not be hurt when caught between gang violence.

Medically, when drugs are not legalized, the potency effect is immense because "legal suppression does not improve, but rather exacerbates the health problem…the mere existence of prohibition, and the more severely it is administered, the stronger will be the potency of the ensuing drugs" (Block, 692). It is because the same risks are involved when drug dealers have to transport marijuana or cocaine. However, the latter holds a greater value than the former, which would generate a higher price and is more potent. Unfortunately, the more potent a drug is, the more lethal it becomes, which then increases the risks of the health of addicts. The legalization of drugs would reduce potency because people will start to buy narcotics that are not only safer, but weaker, for example, marijuana rather than heroin. Therefore, with a "normalized supply, along with the low elasticity demand for narcotics, will lead to only a small increase in consumption" (Cussen, 534).

Legalization of drugs would eliminate certain medical consequences because the accessibility of narcotics that are clean and pure will be easily available. Drugs would be regulated for its purity by the government, and drug stores will be able to conduct transactions in a safe environment, without putting the life of addicts at risk. Therefore, individuals will be able to purchase and receive drugs in a safe manner. As well, addicts no longer have to hide or seek illegal medical attention with drug-related manners because doctors are then sanctioned to provide assistance. Physicians are able to oversee what the addicts are doing, making sure it is safe, and provide a clean haven. Furthermore, people don't need to share needles, which would reduce the cases of contagious diseases like AIDS. In 1990, it was reported that "about twenty-five percent of AIDS cases are contracted through the sharing of intravenous needles" (Cussen, 230). Since the money used to being spent on drug enforcement is reduced immensely, the government can fund and help addicts who are in need to enter detox programs, and get the medical help they need. As a result, addicts can be healthy, physically and psychologically.

The legalization of drugs may also open up channels to study and medically investigate the impacts of narcotics on illnesses on a wider scale. Marijuana has shown to reduce pain in those with multiple sclerosis, and decreasing nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy. As well, heroin has been seen to work better than morphine when administered to people experiencing intense pain. In mood disorders of depression, tension, or certain fears, drugs like LSD and peyote are shown to reduce such notions.

Socially, the issue and byproduct of dealing with drugs are most influential in impoverished neighborhoods. It is because in communities where drug transactions are seen as a way of poverty and into a world of wealth and money, narcotics are seen as the golden ticket. As a result, a black market is developed, which puts inner-city kids at risk to be drug peddlers. However, if drugs were legalized and sold in places like drug stores, children will not be forced to sell narcotics illegally, not only endangering themselves but others, too. Therefore, competition will be reduced or will not exist between the market and drug dealers.

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How to Cite "Legalizing Drugs the Government Creates Laws" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Legalizing Drugs the Government Creates Laws.  (2011, April 1).  Retrieved December 8, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Legalizing Drugs the Government Creates Laws."  1 April 2011.  Web.  8 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Legalizing Drugs the Government Creates Laws."  April 1, 2011.  Accessed December 8, 2021.