Revising Laws on Illegal Drugs

Current laws banning illegal drugs should be revised because they are not working.  In 1973, there were 300,000 arrests for drug law violations.  In 2007, there were 1,800,000 drug law violation arrests, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2008.  This represents a +460.2% increase in the number of people imprisoned in the U.S.A. for drug law violations.

Drugs should be legalized so that manufacturers and sellers of drugs (pushers) will have concerns for safety and quality control of the drugs.  As it is now, pushers can use anything to make the drugs, and charge the addicts as much money as they want.  The addicts will do anything they can do to get money for drugs.  They will steal money and things they can pawn or sell from family and friends.  After stealing everything they can from people they know, they often branch out into stealing money and things elsewhere.

They will lie, cheat, and steal to get drugs.  Spouses and children of drug addicts greatly suffer, as they see their family member sink into the depths of criminal depravity.  Addicts will prostitute themselves to obtain money for drugs.  Children are often neglected, and may be abandoned by the addicted parent.   In some very sad cases, the children are sold or traded for drugs.  

An addict may sell drugs by himself or herself.  Addicts do not usually have the necessary self-discipline to have drugs to sell without using them.  Then, he or she will have a serious problem with the distributor for not having either the drugs or the money to pay for them.  They may be required to “work off” the debt by committing crimes as demanded by the distributor. 

Since drugs still are illegal, the addict is likely to be arrested and sent to rehabilitation (rehab) at least one time.  If they are willing to admit they have an addiction and are willing to work to end it, rehab may work.  Because of the tantalizing lure of drugs, though, they may back slide into addiction again.  After being arrested again, they are likely to be imprisoned.  Drugs are available in prison to anybody who is willing to pay the price.   

Once out of prison, he or she will not be able to rent an apartment or trailer in a lot of places because the managers will not rent to convicted felons.  When they apply for jobs, they will find that most employers will not hire convicted felons.  Even if they want to become responsible citizens, not use drugs and care for their children, the paths to those areas may be blocked.  All of this could have been avoided if drugs were legalized.

Almost certainly, some people would become addicted to the legal drugs, as happens now with alcohol and prescription medicines.  Since the drugs would be legal, though, criminal charges would not be filed, thereby avoiding all of those complications.  Medical treatment would be available to anyone who requested it.  It is time to admit that we have lost the war on drugs.  Let’s just help anybody who needs it.