Decriminalization Of Drugs Sample Essay - Essay Prowess

Decriminalization Of Drugs Sample Essay


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VI Discussion

Question 1

The debate on the decriminalization of drugs rages on, especially in light of the recent legalization of marijuana in some states in the US and several other nations across the globe. The primary reason for the legalization of recreational drugs in many Western countries is that drug users should not be considered as criminals (Estevez et al. 27).

Instead, they should be helped in other more meaningful ways, such as the establishment of effective rehabilitation programs. Indeed, many factions in nations such as Canada, the U.S., Indonesia, and Mexico argue that drug-related crimes have not reduced despite the existence of numerous drug policies created during the so-called war on drugs. However, legalizing drugs is not an ideal policy recommendation.

Decriminalization increases people’s access to harmful substances and poses a significant risk to public health. Indeed, decriminalization creates new groups of drug users, especially among children and teenagers. While some people support decriminalization due to its potential to increase government revenues (Estevez et al. 29). However, imposing taxes on drugs would create an even more significant challenge of drug smuggling as some criminal networks aspire to provide the substances cheaply to increase customer base.

More importantly, legalization would not eliminate the many harms of drug use, such as their effects on the lungs, heart, and the brain (Estevez et al. 31). America’s opioid crisis is an ideal example of the impact of legalizing drugs, where an increasing number of people developed addictions and died.

Question 2

The United States has been stuck in the war on drugs for the past 25 years. The country spends about 50 billion dollars on efforts to eradicate drugs. However, official estimates from the Drug Enforcement Authority suggest that authorities only capture about ten percent of all illegal substances. At the same time, the police arrest one American for drug possession every 25 seconds. Indeed, the number of people incarcerated for drug possession has tripled to about 1.3 million since 1980 (Pearl).

Going by these figures, the war on drugs has failed to reach its objectives. It has only managed to deprive people of their freedom, intensified racism, overpopulated prisons, blighted lives, and led to the loss of billions of dollars over the years. Some factions believe that the war on drugs has created some sort of restraint by causing fear of imprisonment, which deters people from abusing drugs.

Other than this, there are no other notable accomplishments. U.S. law enforcement authorities have only managed to drive manufacturers and traffickers underground, thereby creating territorial disputes and dangerous production and transportation techniques that ultimately increase violence (Editorial Staff). The country needs to find alternative ways that could reduce the demand and supply of illegal substances.

Question 3

Part of the war on drugs is a dedicated effort to treat and rehabilitate drug addicts. These activities are responsible for a third of the war’s allocation. Arguably, this is the only aspect of this war that makes economic sense. People need to be rehabilitated to help them stop using drugs. Moreover, treatment and rehabilitation return people to productive functioning in both family and community.

Research shows that people who commit to treatment programs stop using harmful substances, reduce criminal activities, and improve psychological, occupational, and social functioning (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Further, focusing on demand-reduction strategies would be more effective at reducing drug abuse. It would be easier to convince people to stop using drugs due to reasons that affect their wellbeing than trying to convince drug manufacturers and traffickers, whose only motive is money, to stop selling. Indeed, trying to determine the people involved in drug-related businesses to reduce supply would be an even more challenging task, given that most of their operations are unknown to law enforcement officers.

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