Drugs are a major influential force in our country today. The problem
has gotten so out of hand that many options are being considered to control
it or even solve it. Ending the drug war seems to be a bit impossible.
The war on drugs seems to be accomplishing a lot but this is not true.
Different options need to be considered. Legalization is an option that
hasn’t gotten a chance but should be given one. Although many people feel
that legalizing drugs would increase the amount of use, drugs should be
legalized because it will reduce the great amounts of money spent on
enforcement and it will increase our countries revenue.
Legalization is considered unnecessary by many people. They feel that
it will increase the amount of drug use in our country. They say that many
cases of drug users who have quit, quit because of troubles with the law.
Legalization would eliminate the legal force that discourages the users
from using or selling drugs. They also say that by making drugs legal, the
people that have never tried drugs before for fear of getting caught by the
law, will have no reason to be afraid anymore and they will become users.
However, making drugs legal will reduce the great amounts of money
spent on enforcement every year. Drug dealers and users are one step ahead
of the enforcement process. If one drug lord is caught, another one will
show up somewhere else. We cannot win. In 1987, 10 billion dollars were
spent alone just on enforcing drug laws. Drugs accounted for about 40
percent of all felony indictments in the New York City courts in 1989.
This figure is quadruple what it was in 1985. One can only imagine what
this figure would be like today. Forty percent of the people in federal
prison are drug law violators. Too much money is wasted on a cause that
there seems to be no end to. In 1989 a Republican county executive of
Mercer County N.J. estimated that it would cost him as much as 1 billion
dollars to build the jail space needed to house all the hard-core drug
users in Trenton alone. All of this money could be used on better things.
Legalizing drugs would also increase our economy’s revenue. During
Prohibition alcohol use was still ramped. People were still doing it but
illegally. The 21st amendment repealed prohibition and alcohol taxes were
increased. The same thing should happen with drugs. The drugs should be
taxed heavily to increase our revenue. The drugs would be made by the same
people who make aspirin so the quality would be assured- no poisons, no
adulterants. Sterile hypodermic needles will be readily available at
corner drug stores. These could be taxed heavily because the users will be
assured of “clean drugs.” The money collected from the taxes could be used
for method owned clinics for the users.
As George P. Schultz stated, “We’re not really going to get anywhere
until we can take the criminality out of the drug business and the
incentives for criminality out of it.” Legalization will be profitable to
our economy in two ways. It will allow for the money spent on drug law
enforcement to be spent more wisely and it will increase our revenue. As
for whether or not there will be an increase in use, we can never tell
unless we give legalization a chance.