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Should Drugs Be Legalized?

By cihan10 Jan 07, 2006 961 Words
Should Drugs Be Legalized?

Possible Alternatives
Organized crime is a big business today. Some main products associated with organized crime are guns, drugs and prostitution. What effects do these commodities have on today's society? Today drugs are a big business in the underworld. There is a lot of crime associated with the drug world, so many people who want drugs legalized say that the government could control the sales and ultimately bring down the crime rate and also make lots of money off it. If you look at Holland, that is what the government did and it did have an effect on crime. When we look at this issue we have to take into account our values and apply them to this situation and then come up with our own position, individually. Each of us have different values so we may not come up with the same position.

Positive and negative consequences

1. Yes, drugs should be legalized.
Positive consequencesNegative consequences
If the government controlled the sales they could stand to make a lot of money through taxes. The money made could go to help needy organizations and groups. People would use it more and addictions would rise, costing money for rehab centres. Organized crime may be reduced, therefore lowering the crime rate and making our streets safer. If could cause more accidents or deaths when driving or in recreational use. The government could control the amount coming in and where it comes from, therefore makit it safer (not as potent or contaminated). It may lead to more violence or aggression. This would make it easier for people who need it for medical purposes to get it. If it were privatized a few would stand to make a lot of money (like the privitization of liquor stores in some provinces). Organized crime would find something else to sell even more deadlier or they could rebel and fight back.

2. No, drugs should not be legalized.
Positive consequencesNegative consequences
•There would not be as widespread use as there is with alcohol. •Crime is very high, and this would only increase chances to break the law. •It would be easier to control and eliminate the use of drugs. •The government would spend lots of money finding drug dealers. •It would discourage the use of drugs. •When prosecuting drug users & pushers, it takes millions of dollars to prosecute them. •Pushers would be jailed.

3. Just a few drugs should be legalized. Which ones should be? Cannabis, Cocaine, Heroin? Why should some be considered and others not?
Positive consequencesNegative consequences
•Some drugs are useful if not used regularly. Cannabis is useful for people who have balance problems, throw up regularly (nauseated), or have eating disorders. Heroin helps control diarrhea and slows down hyperactive people. Cocaine is a stimulant that can help people's senses. •Hard to define "need" for drugs.

• Drug cartels are still getting rich and powerful.
• Legalizing could cut down on some crime. •People would abuse the drugs. • More addictions.

4. Alternatives discussed a little further (and how to talk about them in class, with no positives or negatives -- just more open discussion)
•Medical reasons are the biggest reasons for legalizing drugs today, but most scientists do not think this is the way to go because there are legal drugs available that have the same effect. But sometimes hospitals use illegal drugs for relief of pain and other medical reasons. Does this, therefore, warrant its legalization? Hospitals and doctors can use it but normal people cannot and some people feel that is an impingement on their rights. •What would the Religious community have to say about this issue? Could society possibly rebel against such a law? •Who would have ultimate responsibility to say who can use it and how much -- the government, doctors, or a lay-medical board? •How many more studies on the effects of each drug in question is needed? •History has shown that many substances used today are very harmful to the human body and they are still legal (like smoking and alcohol), so why not legalize some other drugs? •Does a country like Holland have the right idea?

•Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Or do the negatives outweigh the positives? •What effect can this have on your children?
•What if, ten years down the road, these drugs are proven to be harmful? They what do we as a society do?

Solution
Students will arrive at this themselves, but here are things to consider to help them arrive at a decision. •What do you feel is most important in this issue?
•What position do you feel is best for the government to take? •Should we spend billions fighting the drug war -- or make billions legalizing it? •Reflect on the question: is it dangerous to us?

•Should the question of legalizing it only be dealt with once we understand these drugs more, including their long term effects? Some drugs could be very dangerous and we just do not know enough about them yet.

Conclusion
When dealing with an issue like this you have to draw upon your own values to come up with a decision. You have to look at all sides thoroughly and understand the issue before you come to a conclusion. We do know whether each drug has a positive or a negative effect, or how much these effects affect our body -- even the drugs that are used in hospitals and are prescribed to us by doctors! To come to your own conclusions you have to take into account that we know very little on the total long term effects of drugs on the body. Can we afford to wait? Can we afford to not wait? How do you feel about this issue?

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