“Should Laws Against Drug Use Remain Restrictive?”
In this article, executive vice president of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Herbert Kleber, along with the founder of this organization Joseph Califano Jr. states their opinions supporting the restrictive laws against drug use. On the other end of the spectrum, author Peter Gorman provides his ideas as to why these drug laws have been ineffective and actually increase the amount of drug abuse in our society.
Kleber and Califano Jr. feel very strongly that the drug laws need to remain in act. They make note that those who reach the age of twenty-one without ever using illegal drugs most likely will never in their lifetime. This shows that substance abuse and addiction is a disease acquired during the time periods where people experiment with these drugs. They feel that this shows that if in the event drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana were legalized that the abuse rate would sky rocket. They also notice that if marijuana were legalized, there would be marijuana cigarettes available just as commonly as regular cigarettes. Kleber and Califano Jr. also feel that decriminalization proposals suggest that possession of drugs for personal use to be legal would only result in fines as civil penalties. With such a ‘slap on the wrist’ as punishment, many more people would abuse drugs.
Peter Gorman feels that these restrictive drug laws have been ineffective. He states that since these laws have become in effect, the rates of drug abuse have increased. He feels that these drugs have become more available and at a lower cost because of the drug laws. Gorman also points out that those European countries who have legalized drugs and have removed the restrictive laws actually have many lower drug-related incidents and a much lower addiction rate than we have here in the United States. He also notes that these laws provide an easy way for law enforcement officials to utilize bias...