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The Benefits Of Drug Legalization Essay

2272 words - 9 pages

The 1920s was a period of time known as the Prohibition, in which alcohol was outlawed. The reason for this was that alcohol was thought to have created a wide variety of social ills. Workers were less productive, some addicts spent much of their money on fueling their drunkenness, and families were torn apart. In addition, alcohol was known to cause various health problems such as liver failure and sclerosis. The outlawing of alcohol, however, did far more harm than good. Criminal gangs were formed and murder rates soared as crime lords started bootlegging. These issues caused prohibition to be repealed mere years after it was enacted. Following prohibition, it was seen that many people could, in-fact, use alcohol responsibly and in moderation. The prohibition era provides a very relevant lesson for the present day. Drugs are outlawed, and because of this gangs can use them to fund themselves, resulting in a proliferation of violence. The excuses for their outlawing is the same as well: they can cause addiction and health issues if used unwisely. If they were to be legalized, there would be a decline in crime, the prison population, and the amount of funding needed for the police force. The drugs in question which are referred to in this paper illegal ones such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, heroin, methamphetamine, morphine, shrooms, and oxycontin. All of these drugs should be legalized and regulated, just as alcohol is today, in order to mend the societal and moral problems caused by outlawing them.
The only reason the government differentiates between alcohol and illegal drugs is that drugs are perceived to cause greater harm and addiction than alcohol can. Yet, this is simply untrue. Alcohol is no less dangerous than the drugs that are currently illegal. For instance, when used in excess, it can cause various health issues such as liver problems, sclerosis, and brain damage (Freeman). It can also lead to addiction, both physical and psychological. This entails cravings, the feeling that one cannot function normally without alcohol, and withdrawal symptoms ("Alcohol Dependence"). These sorts of things are normally associated with illegal drugs, yet alcohol can do just the same. Drugs, just like alcohol, can be used wisely and safely in moderation. Some university students have been known to safely use ecstasy and other drugs in moderation (Sherriff). It is quite fathomable then that if drugs were to be legalized, most of the people that chose to use them would use them in moderation, just as most people that drink alcohol do. There will only be a small minority who use drugs in excess and face addiction and health consequences, just as there are only a few drinkers who become alcoholics.
The government, at any rate, oversteps its authority by outlawing drugs. America is founded on the basic principle of individual rights, that is to say, the right of individuals to make their own decisions. Individuals are...

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