Essay on DrugAddiction Research Group Project

Submitted By Asia-Muldrow
Words: 1015
Pages: 5

For decades countries such as Portugal, the Netherlands, Colombia, and Argentina have treated people struggling with drug addiction as individuals in need of help, rather than criminals in need of legal punishment. By abiding by the policy that decriminalizes drug use, these nations have yet to experience dramatically high increases in crime rates related to drugs whether it pertains to drug consumption, distribution, or any form of harm related to drugs. In fact, in an article from the Los Angeles Times “Drugs the Dutch Way”, author Ernest Drucker discusses how the Netherlands has clean drugs open for distribution at certified locations for those struggling with addiction. A drug addict is treated with care, given a specific amount of clean drugs according to the type of drug that they are addicted to, and monitored closely as their system absorbs the drugs. Once the mental and physical senses of that individual appear to function clearly again, they are allowed to go back to their daily life. This practice not only helps reduce what numerous addicts feel as the need to steal unnecessarily in order to get their drug fix, but also decreases the risks drug addicts face when out in the streets after a dosage, or in some cases, an overdose of drugs. The United States has recently acknowledged the potential of good benefits that can come from a country having a certain amount of legal drug distributers open to the general public (with specific criteria and restrictions to be followed) with the gradual legalization of marijuana. Of course by the United States deliberately favoring abstinence from all illegal drug usage for centuries, the majority of the nation has yet to legalize marijuana usage. Still, the legalization of “medical marijuana” in certain areas plays a significant role in the overall beginning of decriminalization of drugs in the U.S.
While the United States has dealt with over-crowding in prisons in addition to major hits taken by the nation’s economy for the past several decades, Jan Diehm from Huffington Post, concluded in an informative graph that the world’s “Most Marijuana-Friendly Countries” that have legalized and/ or decriminalized the use of cannabis, both for medical use and/ or general use, have experienced significant changes for the better in finances as well as major reductions in drug-related casualties and crimes. These areas include countries from North and South American regions (excluding the United States as this study was conducted from 1999 through 2006), the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. From 2006 up to the present, the United States has decriminalized the use of marijuana in sixteen states which are the following: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Though the implementation of a more lenient approach towards marijuana use is fairly new and we have yet to experience positively dramatic results, the United States can expect a major improvement in the economy as well as lower drug-related crime rates once the majority, if not all, the states agree to decriminalize and legalize the use of marijuana. By legalizing marijuana throughout the nation as a whole, even if it is to be used strictly for medical purposes, more jobs will be created as additional Medical Marijuana shops are opened. The revenue earned from legally-sold cannabis will stay within the financial walls of the U.S. as long as the crops are continually produced and harvested on American soil. In turn, drug lords within the U.S. can be offered a chance at redemption if their only product is marijuana. This will potentially decrease the number of prisoners overtime and reduce the overcrowded flow in prisons, specifically by decriminalizing those convicted simply for the possession or distribution of marijuana.