Drugs: Should Their Sale and Use Be Legalized
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Instructor: Heather Patton
Drugs: Should Their Sale and Use Be Legalized?
In the last 50 plus years, the support of legalization of drugs has been a very hotly argued topic in the United States society and the world. Many believe that "street drugs" should be legal and everyone should have the choice of using them if they desire. After the introduction of these street drugs, (some that were legal for medicinal purposes), they had to be banned in society because people were abusing them. Many of these drugs now known as illegal substances were considered legal and were manufactured and created by chemists, and at some point were used for medical reasons. Unfortunately, due to many detrimental effects of prolonged use that caused human beings to become sick or die, these drugs were deemed dangerous and made illegal by the government. William Bennett's "Drugs: Should Their Sale and Use Be Legalized" goal was to tell the general American public or the communities know how important it was to uphold the countries current drug policy.
The beginning of Bennett’s statement started by saying, "The issue I want to address is our national drug policy and the intellectuals" (Bennett, William). He was particularly addressing our nation about the danger of making these drugs legal. Bennett wanted everyone to know that he undoubtedly was on the side of keeping and imposing the ban on making narcotics illegal. Bennett’s article seems to be motivated by the desire to confirm his support for the current U.S. national and international policies regarding narcotics.
Bennett’s purpose was to win over those individuals who were not sure and those who were opposing the nations drug policy, by sharing where he stood on the issue of the nations drug policy. In the article that was written by Elliott Currie which was called “Toward a Policy on Drugs”, Currie maintained that illegal drugs are an deep-rooted problem for law enforcement agencies, therefore the only resolution that could aid in resolving the problem is by seeking the views or ideas of the public on how the police and the court would take action in reducing the impact of use and sale of illegal drugs in the community and society. Curie argued that by using the free sell approach it would advocate making laws less restrictive on drugs, as well the law being less discriminating of drug users. This would mean that the government 's ban on illegal imports would be downgraded, which would also cause the drug users not to be treated as criminals and not being punished for their illegal activities. Currie felt that this approach has been proven effective in some of the European countries like Netherlands, where they have legalized the use of small amounts of marijuana. He also argued that decriminalization and deregulation are not the definitive resolution to the deteriorating drug condition, but could significantly lessen the unscientific and cruel methods currently used to battle the use and sale of illegal drugs. Currie contended that it has proven and studied that there is a correlation between the prevention of drugs and the existence of crimes and violence in communities. His contention was that if illegal drugs would be made legal then it would be safe to assume that the incidence of drug-related crimes will decrease and eventually lead to the eradication of drug problems. Although, he did contend that people should not exclusively depend on this type of approach, since there are other factors and complication implicated that cannot be addressed by this approach.
In my opinion, legalization of drugs will cause an increase in drug problems and in crime. The reason I state this is that while dealing research and reading the journals and articles I found that many experts agree that illicit drugs are addictive and dangerous. Those that want to legalize can admit this, but contend that if we legalized them we would have less of a problem because by making illegal drugs legal less people would consume them and therefore by legalizing it and making it accessible people would be less likely to become addicted because they would use drugs more moderately or some may just stop using drugs altogether, since it is available if they ever did want to use, comparing it to those that don’t use cigarettes or alcohol because it is legal to use. But as I read different research and journals I found that the message from history is that periods of careless controls are accompanied by increased drug abuse and that when there is strong drug control, there is less drug abuse.
Barnet, Sylvan, Bedau, Hugo, Contemporary & Classic Arguments, A Portable Anthology, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Haijing Hao (2008). Modeling Drug Market Supply Reductions: Where Do All the Drugs Not Go? Journal of Policy Modeling. 30(2), pp. 251-270, DOI: 10.1016/j.polmod.2007.04.003. Hartnett, Edmund, Deputy Chief and Executive Officer, Narcotic Division, Drug Legalization: Why it Wouldn’t Work in the United States, New York City Police Department, New York [FN1] Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization, U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington, DC U.S.A. May 2003, www.DEA.gov; David Corcoran, Legalizing Drugs: Failures Spur Debate, New York Times, November 27, 1989; Morton M. Kondracke, Don’t Legalize Drugs, The New Republic, June 27, 1988