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Essay on The Solution to the Immoral, Unwinnable War on Drugs

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A new report indicates that the economic cost of lost productivity from drug-related incarcerations is considerably higher than the cost associated with drug use. The Prime Minister of your country is weighing the option of proposing new legislation which experiments with models of legal regulation of certain illicit drugs, including the decriminalization of marijuana possession. The proposed policy has received sharp criticism from members of the law enforcement, as well as groups of parents and other constituencies who believe that the government should pursue the goal of a “drug-free” society.

The solution to the immoral, unwinnable war on drugs

Key recommendations:

• All currently illegal drugs should be decriminalised.
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Despite the safety risks, the popularity of these 'research chemicals' remains high, due in part to fear of prosecution if caught with illegal substances. Some illegal drugs provide health benefits that are currently unavailable to most, purely because of their continued illegality. Sativex – the cannabinoid medicine which is most frequently used to help spasticity due to multiple sclerosis – is an example of this. Medical marijuana is common in the USA and Canada for conditions such as crohn's disease, whereas in the UK the continued blanket ban on forms of cannabis that aren't GW Pharmaceuticals' Sativex means that costs are too high for it to be used to help sufferers (Erhorn, 2010). Decriminalization would be a solution to all these problems, and more.

Decriminalization: Why this is the route our nation must take.

Economically intelligent:

There is no doubt that decriminalising drugs would be an economically smart move for the United Kingdom to take. With each prisoner having been shown to cost the taxpayer £40,000 on average (Marsh, 2009), the fact that decriminalising drugs has been shown to reduce the prison population greatly (Hughes and Stevens, 2007) should not be ignored. It would also remove the issue of lost productivity from drug-related incarcerations, as highlighted in the new report you have been privy to.
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