Prairie View A&M University
The legalization of drugs is one of the most controversial and debated topics of the 21st century. There are both negative and positive reasons to legalize them as well as negative and positive reasons to keep them prohibited.
According to LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, drug prohibition is the true cause of much of the social and personal damage that has historically been attributed to drug use. It is prohibition that makes these drugs so valuable – while giving criminals a monopoly over their supply ("Why Legalize Drugs? | LEAP").LEAP goes on to say that criminal gangs are driven by the huge profits from this monopoly,…show more content… Antilegalization proponents also point out that drug dealers and hardcore addicts would not suddenly become productive, law-abiding members of society (Hartnett, 2005). The antilegalization point of view is that dealers will still be involved in crime and violence and that users will still need to support themselves by engaging in criminal activity (Hartnett, 2005)Also, opponents of legalization often cite statistics that show that drug prevention initiatives, drug awareness curricula in schools, and drug treatment programs are working (Hartnett, 2005). They point to the fact that there are fewer addicts today than there were 20 years ago (Hartnett, 2005).
An article in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Don’t Legalize Drugs”, discusses additional reasons why drugs should not be legalized. Drug abuse alone cost an estimated $55 billion in 1998 (excluding criminal justice costs), and deaths directly related to drug use have more than doubled since 1980 (Walters, 2002). Legalization, by removing penalties and reducing price, would increase drug demand (Walters, 2002). Make something easier and cheaper to obtain, and you increase the number of people who will try it (Walters, 2002). However that many not always be the case. Alcohol is, in my opinion, a dangerous LEGAL drug that causes thousands of deaths per year due to alcohol related accidents and mistakes such as DUI’s. Yet although alcohol is legal not everyone buys