The War on Drugs
We see it on the news, and in the newspapers. Almost daily there are new headlines reporting drug involvement in many situations in this country; from the war on drugs, trying to stop them from entering the country, to gang trouble, and drugs in the school systems. The debate is whether or not to legalize illegal drugs. You’re probably telling yourself that it’s absurd why anyone would consider this, after reading about the tragedies and horrific headlines as a result of drugs. I’m here to provide you with reasons why it would be beneficial to this country if we actually did legalize all drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and heroine, etc. My first point has to deal with the issue of crime. If drugs are legalized we would see a decrease in crime. In 1999, a kilogram of cocaine worth $5000 in Colombia is sold at wholesale for $40,000, and at retail in the United States for around $400,000(Greer). Drugs are expensive! Addicts must shell out hundreds of times the cost of goods, so they often must turn to crime for funding their habits. The higher the price, the more they need to steal to buy the same amount. At the same time, those who deal or purchase the drugs find themselves carrying extremely valuable goods, and become attractive targets for assault. If drugs are legalized their price would collapse and so would the diverse drug-related motivations to commit crime. Consumers will no longer need to steal to support their habits. A packet of cocaine will be as tempting to steal from its owner as a pack of cigarettes is today. Furthermore, our prisons are overcrowded; Prison overcrowding is a serious and persistent problem. It makes the prison environment violent and dangerous for everyone. In 1994 a survey taken found that there were 31,366 prisoners in federal institutions, and the largest single category was drug violators(Dennis). Legalizing drugs would immediately relieve the pressure on the prison system since there would no longer be "drug offenders" to lock up. Also, since many drug users would no longer need to commit violent or property crimes to pay for their habits, there would be fewer "real" criminals to house in the first place. Instead of building more prisons, the economy could use the money and still be safer. After all it’s our tax dollars that pay for new prisons. Next, drug legalization would free up police resources to fight crimes against people and property. The extensive police efforts now exhausted against drug activity and drug related crimes would be redirected toward protecting innocent people from those who still commit crime in the absence of drug laws. The police could protect us more effectively, and could focus their resources on, catching rapists, murderers and the remaining people committing crimes against people and property.
Also, our court systems are terribly clogged. If one is accused of a crime, it takes months for the trial to actually come. As I stated earlier, crimes would not be as prevalent as they are now. The limited amount of judges will no longer be overwhelmed with cases. This will greatly help the overall efficiency, allowing other cases to come about sooner and move faster.
Lastly, our tax