Benefits of Drug Legalization
From time immemorial, drug legalization has elicited varying opinions from people across political, religious, and economic divides. The center of the controversy is whether it is correct to make legal the production, use, and supply of drugs legal. In essence, proponents of this argument believe that it would help monitor the production of narcotic governments. The opponents view drug legalization as an avenue for increased crime and other social vices as well as addiction. The paper aims at elaborating in detail the benefits and reasons behind drug legalization. The paper will put on emphasis the arguments brought about by both the proponents and the opponents to arrive at the best conclusion.
Based on these opposing points of view, it is evident that legalizing drugs is a sensitive issue not only for governments but also individuals. However, to realize the hidden benefits of this initiative, it would be appropriate to consider the issue from the perspective of economic benefit to the country, the potentiality of reduced crime evident in the black market of drugs, and the spread of diseases. The paper has been organized into three sections with the final opinion being on the conclusion.
Scholars conclude that legalizing drugs offers massive benefits to society in the form of increasing taxpayers' money, reduction crime, and prevention of the spread of diseases (Curse et.al.526). Their stance emanates from the assumption that allowing the production, distribution, and use of drugs could guarantee freedoms while decreasing the governments’ interference with the business. The drug industry is massive and therefore allowing it would cause an increase in government revenue which in effect will result in an improvement of the economy (Bretteville-Jensen, 556).
The constitutional rights say that any individual has a right to pursue anything that makes one happy. From the legal point of view, the government is violating the fundamental rights of the individuals when they continually prevent people from accessing the drugs. As such, it is important that the government upholds the individual rights by allowing people to access the drugs freely.
Drugs Legalization Reasons
Governments and states set a substantial amount of money every year for the enforcement of the laws intended to inhibit narcotics. For example, $31 billion was set aside in 2017 to cater for drug control and treating addiction of drug users. A vast amount of these funds contributes to the massive deficits that affect some of the large economies such as the United States. Notably, the USA uses at least $10B that goes into the prosecutions, arrests, and incarceration of drug suspects. Since this, the drug market is a potential source of tax revenue that could offset the ever-increasing federal deficits. According to Miron and Waldock, states can raise billions in annual tax revenue if the U.S. government could legalize drugs. Besides, criminal justice consumes a considerable amount of the government expenditure that could be redirected to other more important priorities. In this regard, legalizing drug has a massive economic potential for America (Bretteville-Jensen, 560).
Legalization of drugs would cause a positive impact on the number of crimes that are drug- related. Drug users cannot openly solicit funds for narcotics since they are afraid of the repercussions. Therefore, most of the drug-users are resolving to crime due to the addiction they are undergoing. Notably, these substances often lead to addiction which could lead to the subsequent loss of their jobs. However, when the drugs are legalized the governments will create market price control and help regulate addiction - by recommending favorable doses which will lead to less job losses. This way, users will not have to steal to cater for the high costs of drugs while government regulation will help reduce job losses that lead to street crimes (Branham 63).
Finally, use of drugs in the black market has some impact on the spread of infections among users. Mostly, they share syringes for injecting drugs into their bodies, which might be risky given that it could result in the exchange of body fluids. However, legalizing the use of narcotics could help reduce the spread of deadly diseases such as HIV and others. In essence, the state and the federal government could increase the supply of sufficient, clean, and affordable drug injection equipment to drug users. Similarly, legalizing drugs could help reduce their addiction since there could be prescription and limitations of the amount of substance that individuals should take in a day. This way, fewer people will lose their job, while the spread of deadly viruses will reduce drastically (Branham 160).
Opposing Views on Drug Legalization
While the gains of legalizing drugs are evident in the above discussion, various groups and individuals find it hard to grapple with the proposition citing several reasons. One of the usual reasons is that legalizing drugs does not add much to tax revenues owing to the costs of rehabilitating drug addicts. According to CNBC, the combined costs of education, rehabilitation, and social costs attributable to legalizing marijuana are more than the revenue gained from taxing drugs trade. However, such claims are theoretical projections that lack proven research to show that legalizing substance use will increase the number of users. In essence, the federal government expenditure on the rehabilitation and education has not exceeded the amount that the industry is known to transact.
On the other hand, those opposing the legalization of substances believe that it will increase crimes and drug addiction. However, such claims fail to consider how drug addicts cause social and economic slowdown through crimes and other atrocities on the non-users. According to Hammersley, crime can still occur even without drugs due to other social forces that stimulate demand for illegal wealth (3). Even though a substantial proportion of offences emanates from substance abuse, that does not mean that eliminating drugs causes a decrease in the number of offenses. Besides, legalizing this controversial trade does not mean relaxing the existing measures against crime. To this effect, it is incorrect to consider drugs as the primary agent of crimes, and therefore, that should not be a reason for preventing legalization of narcotics.
All in all, legalization of narcotics is a controversial topic that elicits a heated debate every time it arises. The paper has detailed the arguments that feature the opinions of both the proponents and opponents. The proponents believe the drugs will help governments regulate its trade and collect revenue tax from its sale. Additionally, it could lead to fewer crimes related to addiction and high costs in the black market. As a way to eliminate the notion that legalizing drugs will increase government expenditure, opponents should consider the amount set for education and rehabilitation. The arguments have proved that the drug industry should be legal for the prosperity of the country. With that in mind, I would recommend the government makes the accessibility of drugs legal
Branham, Robert James. Debate and Critical Analysis: The Harmony of Conflict. Routledge, 2013. Pp.45-190
Bretteville-Jensen, Anne Line. "To Legalize or Not To Legalize? Economic Approaches to the Decriminalization of Drugs." Substance Use & Misuse, vol. 41, 2006, pp. 555–565.
CNBC. “Legalizing Marijuana Not Worth the Costs.” CNBC 20 Apr 2010, www.cnbc.com/id/36267217. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.
Cusse, Meachan and Walter Block. "Legalize Dmgs Now! An Analysis of the Benefits of Legalized Drugs." American Journal of Economics and Sociology (2000): 525-536.
Hammersley, Richard. Drugs and Crime: Theories and Practices. Polity, 2008.pp.3-18
Miron, Jeffrey and Katherine Waldock. “Making an Economic Case for Legalizing Drugs.” Cato 3 Oct 2010, www.cato.org/publications/commentary/making-economic-case-legalizing-drugs. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.
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