Decriminalization of Drugs Essay

Submitted By sarahshore26
Words: 723
Pages: 3

"Over the past 41 years, the constant and geometric expansion of America's longest war- the war one drugs- has led us to incarcerate more of our citizens than any other country." Today I'm going to talk about drug policies currently in place, and a way in which we can improve them.

For years now prohibition has been used in order to eliminate the drug problem in our country. However, so far, it has not provided us with the results we have wanted… As the past shows, policies of prohibition, like that of alcohol prohibition used in the 1920's, are a failure and cause more crime, corruption, and harm to society than they can eradicate. Prohibiting the production or consumption of a product does not eliminate it, it just monopolizes the market for it, and drives transactions and usage underground. Because all the dealings and consumption are done underground, the majority of the people engaging in these activities do not consider themselves victims and will not report the crime (victimless crimes); this leads to more resources needing to be utilized in order for police officers and law enforcers to capture offenders. Valuable time and money is being spent to enforce prohibition that could be better spent elsewhere; in newer policies that could in fact drive down drug usage in society. The resources being saved from altering our ineffective drug policies could be spent elsewhere; such as with crimes in which there are definite victims (thefts, rapes, and murders). In addition, the prison space used to house drug dealers and users puts a limitation on the space we are able to use for more serious offenders. Over 50 percent of inmates in state and federal prisons are being charged with drug-related crimes. Not only is this method not working, but also costing thousands of tax payers’ dollars. Just in the state of California it costs about 50 thousand dollars a year to house one inmate. More funding is going into jails and prisons than it is to education. Jails are overpopulated, so more must be built causing more money to be put in this industry because of policies that are, to say the least, simply not working. There has been no decrease in the amount of drug usage or dealing in the decades that these policies have been in play.

In order to help with this problem I think the best thing would be the decriminalization of drugs. An example where this method has worked is in Portugal, when they decriminalized drugs back in 2001 the usage of drugs substantially decreased. Jail time is now replaced with therapy. People found guilty of possession a small amount of drugs are sent to panel of psychologists, social workers, and legal advisers for appropriate