The Legalization Of Hard Drugs

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Trevor Allphin
David Visser
A Case for the Legalization of Hard Drugs in the U.S.

The issue of drug abuse is a sad reality in every community, and drug prohibition is present across the globe. Whether it is under the guise of protection of family values, or public safety, prohibition disrupts more than it maintains. Many people view drugs as a problem but they can also be viewed as a problem solver. This essay will address the socioeconomic issues with prohibition of hard drugs, and argue for their legalization.
Prohibition crowds prisons with non-violent criminals, exposing otherwise innocent civilians to the dangers of prison life, and the mental and physical damage it does to not only their own livelihoods, but to their families’ as well. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2011, out of 197,050 inmates in federal prisons, 94,600 were incarcerated for drug-related charges, while only 14,900 for violent offenses. That equates to 48% of the entire federal prison population being incarcerated for drugs, with violent offenders only adding to 7.56%. The FBI states that of all drug arrests in 2011, 81.8% were for simple possession, the remaining 18.2% for sale and distribution. Therefore, there are over 77,000 federal inmates that were non-violent civilians, whose only crime was carrying an illicit substance. With legalization (or at least decriminalization), neither the risk of incarceration nor the risk in becoming involved with illegal, and often
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