ENGL135 Advanced Composition
June 7, 2011
Legalizing All Drugs
Legalizing drugs has been a controversial topic to the American public. An issue such as this conjures up moral and religious beliefs, beliefs that differ from logical reasoning. Our government’s “War on Drugs” is being fought against her citizens, an effort to eliminate both drug distribution and usage. The government’s policies to eradicate drugs have failed only leaving a trail of political chaos and social unrest. Although the policy’s intentions are pure, it is causing undesirable effects that are rampant through society from the policies of prohibition: murder, corruption, assault, racial and economic marginalization, just a few examples of the effects fueled by the cold and inhuman policies of prohibition. The idea of prohibition is an old one and it is not practical to apply in our democratic government that is based on individual rights. The prohibition of alcohol during the roaring 20’s is the perfect example that proves prohibition is a failed policy that cost many people their lives. The legalization of all illegal drugs, will minimize if not eliminate violence related to drugs, will ensure safe regulation through the standards of pharmaceutical companies, and will save money in so many ways.
Violence related to both the sale and use of drugs will minimize if not diminish if they are legalized. How are drugs and violence related? Drugs and violence are related because drugs are in high demand and are expensive due to their illegality. Combine the high demand and price tag to drugs and expect violence to ensue. At one point in time the U.S. government actually practiced the same policy it is doing today and that policy was the prohibition of alcohol. When a government prohibits something, not only is it being intrusive to the lives of its citizens, it is also paving the way for turmoil. During the 1920’s, the U.S. ratified the 18th amendment, enabling the national prohibition of selling alcohol. Prohibition of alcohol did not stop consumption; it caused the exact opposite and managed to put money in the pockets of gangsters. Due to the amount of profits gained from alcohol, mobsters were willing to do anything to hold on to those profits. According to Mystery Net, “Thanks to prohibition, Capone had become the crime czar of Chicago, running gambling, prostitution and bootlegging rackets while continuously expanding his territories by getting rid of rival gangs.” People like Capone all have one feature in common; it is the will to make money by any means necessary. Prohibition ended in 1933 with the 21st amendment and what was once the mobster’s most lucrative substance was now legalized again causing the price to plummet. Remember that alcohol prohibition ended, not because it was a harmless drug, but because prohibition was creating more problems than solving them. With the price down mobsters had to search for other methods to make revenue: prostitution, gambling, and now illegal drugs. The playing field since then has changed. Illegal drugs have become both the most profitable and preferred choice for criminals. One important note is to recognize the difference between criminals: a drug cartel is a business agreement to fix drug prices, gangs are a group of criminals who join together for mutual protection and profit. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center (2005), “Large street gangs readily employ violence to control and expand drug distribution activities, targeting rival gangs and dealers who neglect or refuse to pay extortion fees.” Street gangs have become larger and more violent than during the Prohibition era because illegal drugs have become a profitable commodity. Gangs will do anything to expand or retain their profits and their number one choice is violence. Violence is the preferred method because it is effective and nothing strikes fear into your...