6 logical reasons why the drug war is hurting society:
1.) Drug abuse is a treatable condition which first requires that the sufferer REQUEST help in some way. It is very unlikely for someone to request help for ANY condition if they feel they are at risk for being arrested.
2.) *Legalized*, adult consensual drug use generally harms only the user. And while that may make us feel sad or angry, it ultimately is not our place to be telling a sovereign adult how to behave or live their life. The choice to get better is a personal one and will only be delayed if someone is manipulated into it.
3.) Drug laws DO NOT WORK. They do zip to solve the actual problem, they prop up violent cartels with underground income and have little to no effect on ease of access.
4.) Prohibition actually makes it EASIER for kids to gain access to drugs. Licensed dealers of alcohol and tobacco are required by law to ask for valid ID, or they could be arrested, fined, or even lose their right to their business or job. Street dealers just ask for money, and no matter how many times they are arrested or fined, they can just go right back to business when they are finished dealing with the law. It’s not a cure-all, by any means, but the logic is undeniable.
5.) Making certain drugs legal will cause the rates of abuse for other, more dangerous drugs to drop. For instance, a lot of pain medicine addicts become that way because they have a medical issue and require the medicine for legitimate reasons. But the medicine is highly addictive and once the prescriptions stop, users are likely to seek their fix on the street. Marijuana is an effective treatment for pain, non addictive and totally safe. Many addicts admit had they been allowed to smoke marijuana they would never have started the addictive pain medicine.
6.) Prison overcrowding is, in part, caused by excessive drug penalties. Which does nothing but refine a users pathology, and/or causes more psychological harm, which in turn makes recovery that much more difficult. It has been shown that any changes in behavior brought about by incarceration are often temporary and only last as long as the person interaction with the law, i.e. probation, parole, etc.
Drug addiction is a serious problem, one that is only made worse by our reaction to it. Solving this problem in it’s entirety may never be realistic, but to make the issue worse with outdated and dogmatic policies should be considered criminal. Yet, that is exactly what we have been doing for decades, with no end in sight.
These failed legislative endeavors have done nothing to quell the epidemic of addiction. Every year the problem gets worse and worse, and people are starting to get addicted at a younger and younger age as the time goes by and these oppressive policies play themselves out.
When will the time come that we stop being so afraid of the unknown? When will we all admit that the well-being of society as a whole is more important than our own personal beliefs about drugs or drug users? When will people realize reaction is not a solution, and that progressive behavior today equals real changes tomorrow?
Why not today?