Legalization of Drugs Such an issue stirs up moral and religious beliefs; beliefs that are contrary to what America should “believe”. However, such a debate has been apparent in the American marketplace of ideas before with the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s. With the illegality of alcohol the mafia could produce liquor and therefore had considerable control over those who wanted their substance and service. The role that the mafia played in the 1920’s has transformed into the corner drug dealers and drug cartel of the 1990’s. The justification that legalized alcohol under Amendment 21 in 1933 should also legalize drugs in 1996.
With the legalization of drugs a decrease in deaths related to drug deals would occur and also the price would lessen because bigger businesses could produce drugs at a cheaper price. Thus, reducing crimes that are committed to support a drug habit. Another drug that has played a major role in American society is nicotine. For hundreds of years, cigarettes have been a popular legal drug within the United States. Only through legalization and education has the popularity and the use of cigarettes declined within the past ten years.
Physically, the actual consequences of using illicit drugs is much less than of using drugs like alcohol or cigarettes and the consequences will be diminished. Illicit drugs can and will be made safer than they are in the present system. In making comparisons, the best is to look at how countries are functioning that have less enforcement on drugs and what the statistics were after drugs were decriminalized. Within the last thirty years many groups have their attempts. The use of drugs is a victimless crime much like homosexuality.
Homosexuals have fought for a great deal of freedom that is based on their basic human rights; the right to make decisions and act freely based on what is protected under the Constitution, so long as anyone else is not affected. Economically, the production of drugs in the United States would benefit the financial well being of the American government and people. Taxes should immediately be placed on drugs thus resulting in a significant increase in government income. The more money that government receives is more money that they can put towards the education of how drugs effect the human mind and body. Prohibition breeds disrespect for lawenforcement; the agency that “should” hold the highest respect of the American society. Money spent on prohibition is an overwhelming figure that is not needed and is obviously accomplishing little. Those who want to be controlled by a substance should have every right to do so, because this right has equal jurisdiction as any other human right that has emerged from the sea of oppression and persecuted freedoms. The deaths resulting in the acquiring of alcohol have all but disappeared. When all nonmedical dealings in alcohol were prohibited in the United States in 1919, the results were very similar to today’s drug trade. Alcohol quality was brewed illicitly; importers were considered criminals and behaved as such; protection rackets, bribes and gang warfare organized crime in the United States.
(Boaz, p.118) The enforcement budget rose from $7 million in 1921 to $15 million in 1930, $108 million in 1988 dollars. In 1926, the Senate Judiciary Committee produced a 1,650-page report evaluating enforcement efforts and proposing reforms. In 1927, the Bureau of Prohibition was created to streamline enforcement efforts, and agents were brought under civil service protection to eliminate corruption and improve professionalism. In that same year, President Hoover appointed a blue-ribbon commission to evaluate enforcement efforts and recommend reforms. Three years later Prohibition was over and alcohol was legalized.(Boaz, pps.4950) Immediately, the bootlegger stopped running around the streets supplying illicit contraband. People stopped worrying about drunks mugging them in the streets or breaking into their apartments to get funds to buy a pint of wine.
We now deal with alcohol abuse as a medical problem. Let us deal with the drug problem in the same way. Let us try not to repeat the mistakes of the past by continuing to escalate a war that is totally unnecessary.(Boaz, p.120) The repeal of alcohol prohibition provides the perfect analogy. Repeal did not end alcoholismas indeed Prohibition did not–but it did solve many of the problems created by Prohibition, such as corruption, murder, and poisoned alcohol.(Boaz, p.50) We can expect no more and no less from drug legalization today. United States has not tried to ban the use of tobacco on cigarette smoking is one of America’s most dangerous drug habits.
Nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco, is exceedingly poisonous. When isolated and taken orally, it can bring death in a matter of minutes. Cigarette tobacco contains about 1.5 percent nicotine; an average cigarette yields six to eight milligrams of the drug. Cigar tobacco is potentially more lethal; a standard size cigar contains about 120 milligrams of nicotine, twice the amount of a lethal dose. What apparently irony is that tobacco which can be seen as just of a danger if not more so than many illicit drugs of today is considered a “good” and perfectly legal drug among the American society.
A terrible, controlling substance that alters the mind and kills. This is a true statement; however lead to more deaths in the United States than do illicit drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the official 1988 toll of drug-caused deaths in 27 U.S. cities, the best available measure of the nation’s “drug problems” was, for cocaine products, 3,308; for heroin and morphine, 2,480; course, for marijuana, zero. “Emergency-room mentions” for cocaine in the same cities totaled only 62,141.
For comparison, smoking killed 390,000 last year and alcohol killed at least 100,000. Alcohol is responsible for more fetal damage than crack and remains the major menace on our highways.(Boaz, p.123) States that approximately 57 million people in this country are addicted to cigarettes, 18 million are addicted to alcohol and 10 million are abusing psychotherapeutic drugs. By comparison, crack, heroin and hallucinogens each accounts for one million addicts. Further, the report states that every day in this country 1,000 people die of smoking-related illnesses, 550 die of alcohol-related accidents and diseases, while 20 die of drug overdoses and drugrelated homicides.(Lynch, p.8) The war on drugs might as well be nonexistent; supporters argue that the government’s needs to be focused on more abused drugs that do more harm to the American people, such as alcohol. Therefore drug decriminalization, gives his views on governmental involvement in drug related issues.
Nadelmann believes that the government should use the tax system to discourage consumption among kids, and even among adults to some extent. Nadelmann states, “I think it’s legitimate for government to play a role in trying to discourage people from using cigarettes. If they want to put the information out there, that sounds fine. But I find incredibly distasteful is the way that they’re demonizing cigarette users now. What’s happening now, with [FDA Commissioner David] Kessler, is they’re heading in a prohibitionist direction, which is something I would regard as very bad on both policy grounds and ethical grounds.” Nadelmann continues to point out that, “Progress in the rights oftechnology sophisticated environment, may redound to the benefit of the drug issue.
I think also that the war on cigarette users if you want to call it that–is raising the issue of individual autonomy vis-a-vis drug use in a context to which tens of millions of Americans still relate. And the more that cigarettes get tarred as a drug, the more the connection is going to be prominent. You’re going to have tens of millions of Americans beginning to identify more and more with the heroin, cocaine and marijuana users. At the same time, you’re going to have these arguments about individual rights and the freedom to use drugs in your own home.(Reason, July 1994 p.43) The personal rights and freedoms issue is a pressing point that supporters of prohibition must look towards and decide on what their beliefs are on how deeply government should interact and limit the actions of people. Call for a crusade or an exterminatory witchhunt.
In the Netherlands, the focus is pragmatically centered on minimizing the harm that addict population does to itself and the rest of society. The record speaks for itself: American adolescents use marijuana at about twice the rate of their counterparts in Holland, where marijua …