FOR Legalising Drugs

AGAINST Legalising Drugs

1. PERSONAL FREEDOM

If they are not harming other people, the government has no right to restrict what consenting adults do in their personal lives. It is the right of every individual to decide whether to take drugs. The taking of drugs is a “victimless crime” where only the user is taking any risk. Yes, a violent industry has grown up around the drug trade, but that is a direct consequence of the prohibition of drugs. It is immoral to tell people how they can, or cannot enjoy themselves.

1. DRUGS KILL

In the United States, prescription opioids are legal and regulated. Yet, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, overdose deaths from prescription drugs have reached “epidemic levels”. Over 8,400 people died in Europe in 2015 of drug overdoses. Legalising harder drugs like heroin would only lead to more addiction and more deaths. Even if the hardest drugs remained illegal, softer drugs would only act as a gateway to more dangerous substances.

2. LEGALISATION MEANS REGULATION

Illegal drugs are frequently cut with toxic substances or with other drugs, and the purity and strength of each batch produced can vary enormously. This is because drugs are bought and sold on the black market, away from the rules and enforcement mechanisms of legal products. If drugs were legalised, then they could be standardised and regulated.

2. MORE PEOPLE WILL USE IT

Drugs are highly addictive. Over seven million people are classified with illicit drug dependence or abuse in the United States. Making it legal will mean more people will use it – including young people – and more people will become addicted.

3. MORE EFFECTIVE TREATMENT OF ADDICTION

If drugs were legal, it would be easier to identify and treat people with addiction. Drug addiction should be treated as a medical issue, not an issue of criminal justice. Addicts are driven underground if the purchase and possession of drugs is illegal. Legalisation of drugs could be accompanied by more effective pathways to rehabilitation and support for addicts.

3. LEGALISING DRUGS WON’T SOLVE SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Legalising drugs won’t stop violence and social problems. Just look at Amsterdam or the Czech Republic, where more liberal approaches have led to increases in drug tourism and public disorder. In the Netherlands, some cities have been tightening restrictions on cannabis because of this. Furthermore, the US Drug Enforcement Administration claims that “crime, violence and drug use go hand in hand”. They argue that “six times as many homicides are committed by people under the influence of drugs, as by those who are looking for money to buy drugs”.


IMAGE CREDITS: (C) / BigStock – MediaWhalestock