Legalization: The Answer to the Drug Problem

Table of Content

            Much of the society has been led to believe that drugs like marijuana, heroine and cocaine and dangerous and are a threat to the society. However, no evidence has indicated that these drugs are harmful. From one point of view, legalizing drugs would be the best thing to do since drugs are not to be identified as evil. It may be noted that human laws are based on ethical principles. This is true for most laws but not the drug laws. There is nothing unethical with merely using marijuana or any illegal drug. So there is no reason why merely the use of drugs should be outlawed.

            According to Benson Roe, professor emeritus of the cardiothoracic surgery at the University of California, drugs have not been proven to be inherently harmful or to have any long-term ill effects. He indicated that when legalized, drugs would have far-reaching benefits. He said that there is no reason to quantify drugs as harmful as no medical evidence proves this claim. Also, the only deaths coming from the use of the substance is from infected intravenous injections and a very few cases of overdose. Generally speaking, legalizing the drug trade would be a good move since it would be another source of income for the government while eliminating the high costs associated with the implementation of the drug laws. It will also come with regulation that would eliminate the already minimal number of deaths arising from drug use (Roe, p.16-18).

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            In fact, the number of deaths caused by tobacco and alcohol greatly outnumbers the number of deaths caused by drugs. In England and in Wales, heroine and morphine has been associated with 842 deaths, cocaine with deaths, and 176cannabis with 19. On the other hand, deaths caused by alcohol and tobacco number 6,627 and 86,500, respectively (Transform: Drug Policy Foundation)

            In an ethical stand, a person who uses drugs should not be arrested for merely using the substance since he does not violate the rights of another person. Much like how alcohol is. It is clear that alcohol has proven to be a nuisance to the society such that people under the influence alcohol do all sorts of heinous and even brutal crimes. People are not arrested for merely indulging themselves in alcohol but people who are caught possessing illegal drugs even as they did not use it are incarcerated. How law deals with alcohol should the same as to how they treats drugs. People should be arrested only when the wrongdoing has been done since a person under the influence of drugs will not always commit a crime (Cussen & Block, 2000, p.532).

            The negative image that the illegal drugs get is through negative propaganda by politicians (Russel) and even the media. The phrase “drug-related” is commonly used in media lexicon. Even as the drug is not the motivating factor of a crime, merely the presence of it is enough for the journalist to refer to the crime as “drug-related” (Jackson).

            Many people indicate that drugs should not be legalized because it will result in an increase in crime rate. This may however not be the likely scenario. Holland is one country where drug use is legalized and it has worked for them. They treat it as a social problem rather than as a criminal one. In fact, the rate of street crime in Holland is remarkably lower than that of Britain which implements strict drug laws. Legalizing drugs also does not meaning that anyone can go about smoking pot or sniffing cocaine or heroibe since, just like tobacco and alcohol, it is a regulated industry and shops need to get a permit and minors are not allowed to use drugs. Unbelievably, the number of drug users in Holland is declining since very few young people are replacing the drug users that are dying of old age (Rose).

            From here, we can see that there is nothing wrong with the drug trade. In fact, it might be time to end the war on drugs since evidence have pointed to the drug war as futile and legalizing it would even come with a lot of benefits. Drugs are not even proven to be harmful substances. Alcohol and tobacco are even more harmful. Drugs have only gained a negative image because of negative propaganda by politicians and the media. The right move would be to legalize drugs since it will have a load of benefits.

Works Cited

Cussen, Meaghan & Block, Walter. “Legalize Drugs Now! An Analysis of the Benefits of Legalized Drugs.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 59, (2000): 532.

Jackson, Ted. “Why Are Drugs Illegal”. 3 December 1998. Accessed November 5, 2008, from

Roe, Benson. “Physicians and the War on Drugs: The Case for Legalization.” Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, 86(10), 16-20.

Rose, David. “Two countries took the drugs test. Who passed?”. Guardian. 24 February 2002. Accessed November 5, 2008, from

Russel, Ken. “Propaganda & The War On Drugs – Part one of two”. New Dawn Magazine. July-August 1999. Accessed November 5, 2008, from

Transform: Drug Policy Foundation. “Drug Related Deaths”. Accessed November 5, 2008, from


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