“Should We Legalize Drugs?”
In the early 1900’s the government banned alcohol and prohibition ushered in the roaring twenties. Did prohibition really work or did it exacerbate the
whole social issue of alcohol consumption? Did prohibition eliminate the ills of alcoholism or did it add to the criminal behavior to illegally distribute and sell alcohol? In retrospect prohibition did nothing to eliminate the total consumption of alcohol. What prohibition did do was create an industry of criminal behavior in the forms of bootlegging and speakeasies and a gangster community that brought in the roaring twenties with a hug roar of illegal activities.
As we progressed into the realization that prohibition didn’t work and alcohol again was made legal the criminal activities associated with prohibition soon dissipated. Can we make the same argument for legalizing drugs in the twenty first century? If we where to legalize drugs would we eliminate all the illegal activities associated with drug usage? Looking at the distribution of drugs from the top down. From the drug cartels to street dealers to end users involving themselves in all types of criminal behaviors to support their drug habits. Can we put forth the hypothesis that with the legalization of drugs we would eliminate the drug cartels, the street dealers and for those needing to feed their addictions the criminal behaviors they enter to support their drug usage?
Would there be a huge cost savings to society because we could reduce huge amounts amount of money by reducing a huge strain on our judicial system that would not need to deal with all the criminal issues associated with illegal drug usage. Could we also achieve significant cost reductions in our law enforcement agencies throughout the country by legalizing drugs? We could also potentially achieve huge cost savings in our medical community by legalizing drugs. What is the annual cost of treating drug addictions? Literally billions of dollars annually is needed to treat this insidious disease. Monies coming not only from the private sector in terms of health care insurers and families paying out of pocket for treatment, but also federal, state and local budgets earmarked for the treatment of addictions.
I think society in general would be much better served by legalizing drugs because we could reduce the criminality at all levels by doing so. No more need for drug cartels, street dealers and the total elimination of criminal behavior for those addicted needing to generate money to support their drug addictions. One of the most compelling issues that has brought me to the conclusion for advocating for the legalization of drugs is due to the fact we have been unable in any significant measure to really deal with the illegal drug issue. So in summary my opinion is as follows. We can achieve more good for individuals and society by legalizing drugs as compared to staying the course we have been the last twenty-five years without making any real progress in terms of reducing availability of illegal drugs and thereby reducing the incidence of substance abuse in our country.
Who among you agree with me or disagree with me and for what reasons?