Essay on Drug Addiction and Drugs

Submitted By AFThompson
Words: 1020
Pages: 5

Abby Thompson
Dr. Richard Johnson
Governance in America
5 May 2013
U.S. Drug Policy There has been much controversy over the United States current drug policy. With new studies showing that some current illegal drugs actually have medical benefits, there has been a sudden outcry from the public on drug legalization. There are certain questions regarding the drug policy that I felt most relevant to this policy issue today in the following paragraphs. I have given the two opposing views of each question. The war on drugs in the United States has resulted in countless tragedies, lives ruined and children left parentless. Our society loses an average of 200 billion dollars each year on drug related social costs, not to mention the families it destroys in ways that can never amount to any dollar (United States). Drugs don’t solely affect the user; they have a severe negative impact on others, such as children, who suffer from the consequences as well. So my first question is should the use of drugs be a personal choice or do the harmful affects that carry over to others outweigh it? 90% of sexually abused children are victimized by offenders with drug abuse records. Children who have grown up with drug-addicted parents are also at a much higher risk to develop the addiction as well (United States). Not to mention its impact in prostitution among poor addicted women. The opposing side regarding this question is that certain drugs are actually harmless. The current dangerous parts about them are the means by which someone accesses them. There have been no reported cases of lung cancer attributed to marijuana. In fact professor at Harvard Medical School made the statement, “I suspect that a day's breathing in any city with poor air quality poses more of a threat than inhaling a day's dose -- which for many ailments is just a portion of a joint -- of marijuana” (2006). My next question is whether or not the legalization of drugs will reduce crime rates? Drug use itself urges violence due to the impaired judgment as its side effects. The decriminalization of drugs would not change its addictive capabilities or the criminal organizations that profit from drug trafficking. Even with the legalization of drugs, the black market would still exist. Because the majority of sexual assaults are linked to drug abuse as well, the legalization would only make sexual assault rates rise and thereby increase crime rates (United States). The counter argument to this is that the legalization will in fact reduce crime rates. During the 1920’s, the prohibition era, when alcohol was forbidden, crime rates went up (Legalization). The current adult ban of drugs does not prevent people from getting them. A teenager has access to drugs at high school at an alarming rate. It’s easier for a minor to get his hands on drugs than alcohol because drug dealers do not card people, unlike the government regulated liquor stores, and are solely concerned about profit. A following question is whether or not drug regulation would bring revenue to the United States Government? Those against the legalization of drugs believe that the legalization of drugs would induce the belief that it is acceptable for society to profit from a person’s addiction. They argue that alcohol and Tabaco regulations haven’t kept minors from consuming those products and are both harmful and addictive so what would adding another potentially dangerous product to the list do? Those in favor of the legalization argue that the profit is too much to ignore. If the government taxed drugs such as marijuana, one of the least harmful drugs, in large amounts, our government would be earning much needed revenue. $68 billion dollars is annually spent on the United States prisoners. One-third of these prisoners are confined for nonviolent drug crimes, and about half are marijuana offenders. If the government legalized this drug alone, $11.3 billion less would be spent on prisons. Not including the