Drugs are referred to as any stimulative substance taken to affect ones body function by stimulating it to react to different conditions depending on the condition itself. However, with drugs comes drug or substance abuse. This on the other hand, it is the excessive use of drugs of chemical substances to achieve a certain effect. Perhaps the effect being mentioned here is that which the stimulant is supposed to cause in the body. Drug and drug abuse has been blamed all over the world for the decaying moral standards witnessed in the society today.
It is true that as a result of drugs and drug abuse what was once known as morality has now gone to the dogs. Be that as it may, it is not possible (in fact it is not fair) to put all the blame squarely on drugs (Antonio, M. 2007). People make their own choices and some choose to abuse drugs while others choose to use them positively. If any thing, drugs have many positives that on many occasions are ignored and no one cares to comment on them while placing all the blame of societal problems on drugs. This paper will analyze and address the pros of drugs and why it should not be prohibited in the United States of America.
It will also address this by looking at one particular drug (marijuana) by addressing the pros of legalizing marijuana and the result (Donnelly, J. 2000). The pros of legalizing drugs As already mentioned, many societal problems are now blamed on drugs and drug abuse. Suppose this is true, it will be a fact that by prohibiting drugs, any thing related to drugs will be illegal. Due to this, the crime rates are sky rocketing. People end up committing crimes in an attempt to acquire drugs. It is therefore logical that by legalizing drugs, the crime rates will steadily decline.
Crime is the cancer that is slowly killing the American society. Particularly in the projects and the “ghettoes”, crime is rampant as a result of drugs. Once drugs have been legalized, the people will no longer find it necessary to sell drugs on the corners of streets, the buyers will also find it easy to walk to a seller a purchase the drug s/he needs. It will no longer force people to rob stores in order to get some money to purchase the drugs they need. This is what the society needs. It does not need laws imposed which instead of helping the society, the end up causing more destruction than construction (Inciardi, J.
A. 2001). Legalization of drugs, will also improve the lives of people. The argument here is from an economic point of view. Once legalized, both the buyer and the seller will benefit from the trade. Both parties will improve on their livelihoods. The seller will definitely improve his life because he generates some income from the trade. He will definitely sell the drug at a higher price than he got it for. The difference between him and a car sales man will only be on the type of goods they deal with. The buyer on the other hand will benefit by getting some value for his money.
It is assumed that the consumer is always rational. The buyer will definitely buy something worth his money and in that case, something that he needs. He on the other hand, can be compared to the car buyer. They will both purchase something worth their money and something that will enable them function better. The only difference, again, is in the type of goods they deal with. Still on this issue, it will help reduce the number of third parties involved in the trade. In many cases, it is normally children who are used as the middle men. By legalizing drugs, this will be curtailed.
Another reason why drugs should be legalized is strictly a health reason and on grounds that some illicit drugs actually are pose fewer health risks than some legalized drugs like alcohol and cigarettes (Eva, M. 2006). Statistics have shown that more people are at a health risk as a result of smoking and drinking than those who take ecstasy. In some countries where traditional cultures are still being upheld, they use some of the prohibited drugs for medical reasons. Marijuana was been used in the Caribbean strictly for medical reasons.
It is only in the late 20th century that this was changed and people began to use it for other reasons. It is not surprising that this treatment often worked for the people. As we shall see later, marijuana is a very good stimulant and therefore makes the body react to different conditions well enough to deal with the situation. Another example of a drug that can be used for medical reasons is ecstasy. Here it is important to note that like any other drug (even those prescribed by physicians) ecstasy is very addictive. The difference however, is that it can be used for some diseases which are often ruled incurable.
Research has shown that ecstasy can be used for cognitive enhancement for people with Parkinson’s disease. It can also be used for people suffering from a post traumatic stress disorder. It has been proved to be an effective treatment for people suffering with these kinds of disorders. Another reason why drugs should be legalized in the US is because it will reduce the spread of diseases. We mentioned earlier that a lot of this drug trade goes on in the corners of streets since it is illegal. Owing to this fact, most of the items used are unhygienic and can easily spread diseases (Inciardi, J.
A. 2001). In these underground markets, there is no care for hygiene and drugs may be mixed with other substances that may affect the consumer’s health system negatively. The toxicity levels in these drugs are very high. They will either make the user addicted to the drug or may result in health complications. This is strictly the product of prohibiting drugs. Since the drug is illegal, the items used e. g. syringes may be those that have been already used by other persons or those that have been disposed by medical institutions.
Since the users and the sellers know tat they will not get these items from the mainstream, they opt for the unhygienic ones (Weisheit, R. A. 2002). This therefore ends up poisoning the health system of the user and the result can be as fatal as death. Another way in which hygiene is not observed is in the fact that the sellers may want to make as much money as possible from the little drugs they posses. This is due to the fact that they may not have the idea as to when they will be busted. They therefore end up mixing the drugs they have with other substances to increase the quantity.
These substances added to the drug are the impurities and this is what affects the health of the people. How then can this be avoided? The remedy is clear and simple, legalize the use of drugs. This will at least ensure that hygiene is looked at carefully. The legalization of drugs will reduce on the number of children lured and forced into the drug trade business. As already seen, the situation that America is dealing with right now is that which drug usage and drug sale is illegal. At this point, it is important to note that it is not the usage that has become difficult for people involved in this sector.
It is the selling/trade. The sentence that one gets as a result of drug trade is higher than that of drug usage. The traders have therefore come up with mechanisms that will make them to be least suspected as being involved in the drug trade business. They therefore use children to transport the drugs from point A to B. children are the least suspected of all since it is assumed that with a back pack, they are automatically going to school. In some instances, the children are not forced into the business. They end up getting into it to make some money (Eva, M. 2006).
Some of these children come from very poor back grounds and may want to live the kind of lives that they see their colleagues living. Since their parents cannot afford to provide for them what they may consider to be “cool”, they end up taking the jobs to meet their demands. By legalizing drugs, this will no longer have to be done in the dark. Children will now be able to take jobs in chemists and dispensaries selling these drugs and earning their money in clean ways (Antonio, M. 2007). The sellers will no longer find it necessary to force children into the business to sell for them the drugs since it is now legal.
They can now do it without the fear of being caught and sentenced to prison for a long time. By legalizing drugs, the government will also be, indirectly, killing corruption in the system. In the forces, there are many crooked cops who will just be paid off to let one drug dealer go. This pay is normally done regularly. Depending on the agreement the cops have with the dealer, the dealer has to produce some amount of money after an agreed period or risk being left out there to hang for the clean cops to bust him. But why do these people engage in this vice? The sellers know that drug usage and its trade is illegal.
The cops on the other hand know that the sellers know it is illegal. It is simple economics and some sort of food chain. The sellers meet the consumer’s demand of drugs by selling it to them. However, for any production entity to meet the demands of its clients and satisfy them, there needs to be some cost incurred. This is what is referred to as the production cost. The production cost in this case, is the money paid to the cops. The demand is the users of the drugs. The supply, the drug traders. It is a question of the traders taking the users money and the cops taking the traders money (Eva, M. 2006).
What is not possible to explain is why the police, who are supposed to be maintaining law and order, would engage in this vice. However, that will forever remain their issue to know and understand. What is clear however is that legalizing drugs will take of this situation effectively. The traders will no longer have to pay the cops for protection since they will no longer need protection. One of the market forces will have been taken out and the production cost will be something else. Maybe, taxes paid to the government for this trade. This brings out another point why legalization of drugs will be important in the US.
For every trading entity in the US, taxation must be imposed and it must be paid to the government. It seems rather absurd but it is true. Legalization of drugs will increase government revenue almost twice (Antonio, M. 2007). The drug business is the most profitable business anywhere in the world. The higher the profits, the more the tax imposed. The government will be able to make a fortune out of these businesses. The tax paid by the traders will be able to cater for a substantial amount of government expenditure. Legalization of drugs will also assist in improving the research systems and the quality of research.
With the legalization, many research centers will be able to work on the once considered illegal drugs and come up with possible cures for possible diseases that are existent in the society today. Many scientists have failed to take the initiative to do so since the government has imposed a ban on some drugs. Legalization will no longer threaten the scientists on the outcome of their research but instead will give them the initiative to research (Lowenstein, L. F. 2003). Legalization of drugs will help curb the litigation problems experienced in the society today.
Some drugs are considered illegal but they are also found naturally in mans body. The irony here is that not only is possessing the drug illegal in the American system but also having it in your body system once tested may result to serious charges. This is rather confusing to the regular man out there who may not be aware of this situation. The only way to take care of this will be by legalization of drugs to avoid unnecessary litigations. It is also a fact that by legalizing drugs the living standards of many will be improved. As it is now drugs are quite expensive.
By legalizing drugs, the cost of drugs will be reduced because of two reasons; (1) making it legal will mean that the cost of drugs has to go down since the number of sellers will increase. Since the supply has increased, it affects the cost of the good by creating a reduction on the cost of it, (2) making it legal, as mentioned earlier, will also mean that the cost of production will decrease. This is due to the fact that one of the factors of production has been eliminated. Since the cost of production has reduced, the final cost of the good will also decrease.
The positive effect of this to the society is that since the cost of the good has gone down, people no longer have to spend a lot of money on the drugs and can therefore make other purchases if not investing in other areas. Many people will also end up in this business in order to make ends meet (Weisheit, R. A. 2002). In a nutshell, prohibitation of drugs has resulted to more of damage than good. It has led to crime, spread of diseases, poverty and other factors that have been discussed above. A good example of a drug that can be of more good to the society than evil and has been banned is marijuana.
Scientifically referred to as cannabis sativa, this drug was banned by the US government but has been used in other places in the world and has proved to have positive effects (Lowenstein, L. F. 2003). What then are the pros of legalizing marijuana? The pros of marijuana are more or less the same as those of legalizing drugs. The difference comes in the fact that marijuana has been tested and has been used for a long time in the world for this good. One of the reasons why it should be legalized is due to the fact that it can be used for health reasons.
People who suffer from illnesses such as depression, cancer and AIDS, have a higher chance of getting through the illness using marijuana than using the prescribed drugs by the physician. It is highly recommended to use marijuana when one is feeling nauseated as it helps combat the feeling. Another pro of marijuana is the fact that by legalizing it, the number of arrests associated with marijuana usage will be reduced. Many of the drug users prefer marijuana to other drugs. The reasons for this are probably the reasons why marijuana should be legalized. As a result of this, many of the users end up being arrested.
By legalizing marijuana, the number of arrests will be reduced. Another pro of marijuana is that unlike other drugs, the forms in which marijuana is consumed are least likely to lead to the spread of diseases that are spread mainly through blood contact. It is mainly smoked, boiled or even baked it cake. The hygiene observed when preparing marijuana is least likely to lead to the spread of diseases (Trebach, A. S. & James, A. I. 1999). Finally, people have this misconception that the use of marijuana will lead to the usage of even stronger drugs. In my opinion, that is a baseless argument.
I mentioned earlier that people make their own choices and depending on whether or not one wants to abuse marijuana, it is totally up to them. We cannot put this blame on marijuana. Conclusion In conclusion, it is my belief that the prohibitation of drugs will never work. This is due to the fact that the more the drugs are prohibited, the more that people tend to commit crimes that are drug related. It is granted that drugs and drug abuse have resulted to low moral standards and in some instances even death. What I fail to understand is why we have never learnt to take the blame ourselves.
It is due to poverty that people end up engaging in this activity to meet their needs. I do not think it is logical to put the blame on drugs (Humphreys, A. 1999). We are living in a free and liberal society. If people decide that they need drugs then so be it. It should be up to one (as long as s/he is an adult) to make their own choices and decisions. Imposing bans and prohibiting of drugs will not solve anything. References Antonio, M. (2007). The Independent (UK), cannabis call it anything but soft. London: SAGE. Donnelly, J. (2000). Drugs and there abuse. London: Oxford University Press.
Eva, M. (2006). Living in the ‘projects’ and coping with drugs. New York: Haworth Press. Humphreys, A. (1999). Cannabis Sativa. Oxford: Oxford University Press Inciardi, James A. (2001). The Drug Legalization Debate. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE. Lowenstein, L. F. (2003). Legalizing or not legalizing drugs. Police Journal. Vol. 66(3):296-302. Trebach, Arnold. S. and James, A. I. (1999). Legalize It? : Debating American Drug Policy. Washington, D. C. : American University Press. Weisheit, Ralph. A. (2002). Domestic Marijuana: A Neglected Industry. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.