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Legalization of Drugs

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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 law'enforcement; 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 non'medical 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.49'50)

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 alcoholism''as

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

drug'related homicides.(Lynch, p.8) The war on drugs might as

well be non'existent; 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 [...

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