Drug Prohibition Essay

2048 words - 8 pages

As early as ancient times, drugs have been used for medicinal and personal, psychoactive purposes. Only around 1970 were a large variety of drugs deemed completely illegal and the law was actually enforced. Previously drugs had been illegal, but no police officer would ever really arrest you for using them. When “The Drug Misuse Act of 1967” law was passed, the dangerous effects of psychoactive and hallucinogens had only just been fully realized, so governments across the world felt it necessary to prohibit them. In 1971 US President Richard Nixon officially started ‘The War on Drugs’. It brought tighter restrictions, complete illegalization of the majority of personally-used drugs and traffickers, and serious prison sentences for any offenders. The US government had a new division opened: D.E.A. (US Drug Enforcement Agency) and billions of US dollars in tax payer’s money went towards this cause. Also, because drugs were illegal and, of course, people still use them, a drug black-market has opened up. There is no where else that people can obtain these drugs, apart from the black-market. Every type of illegal drug can be obtained off the black market. If prohibition was ended, there would be no black market, governments could regulate and tax the use of drugs, and the dangers of trying to produce, buy, and use substances would be eradicated. People think that the War on Drugs is stopping the flow of drugs, but it really isn’t. “Despite increasing amounts of money being spent on prohibition, drugs have become more accessible, cheaper, and more potent.” (“2000 National Household”).The money from the drug black-market goes to fueling terrorists or other dangerous ventures. Drug prohibition should be ended because it causes more damage than it prevents.Prohibition is a political attempt at trying to control abuse of the drugs. Laws have been in affect since 1967 to try and criminalize ‘physically dangerous’ drugs. Drug abuse became popular around the 1960’s in the USA. A new generation of radical and free people came through and a widespread way of expressing themselves was through the use of drugs. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), Cannabis (Marijuana), Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms) were the most common and widely used during the time, so they were first illegalized in a series of Drug Acts. Between 1967 and 2008, hundreds of laws have been passed and the UN has become involved in the War on Drugs, pressuring countries to criminalize certain drugs. At present there is a huge list of over three hundred different drugs that are classed as illegal, but still, most are commonly used among all different people. The control of so many different synthetically and organically produced drugs is almost impossible, no matter what type of penalty or enforcement agency is applied.In the early 20th century the US, Finland, Canada and the USSR criminalized the production and consumption of alcohol....

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