The Issue With Drugs

Drugs.

Some use them for medicinal purposes. Some use them for recreational purposes. Some use them as performance enhancers. And some aren’t even aware that they use them. The point is that a substantial portion of the population uses them for one reason or another.

Drugs are one of the biggest domestic issues facing the United States. Our prisons are filled with drug users and dealers and drug related crime is one of the biggest killers on our streets.

But is the danger in the drugs themselves or the situations that surround their use and distribution?

Because the most desirable drugs are often the ones that are illegal or are obtained illegally, their production and distribution is almost entirely underground and uncontrolled. This often results in the prices being inflated and the purity difficult for users to predict.

It’s a given that even the most pure drugs can have extremely negative side effects. That being said, it is much easier for the user to determine the proper dose and calculate how they will be affected when the substance is controlled.

Am I arguing for the outright legalization of all drugs?

Not quite. But maybe.

Let’s face it, people are going to use drugs regardless of their legality. Mak-ing drugs legal would at least ensure that the drugs being taken are controlled and were produced in legitimate conditions.

While there might be an initial spike is overall usage, but more likely than not those numbers would level off.

If you need proof, look no further than Holland, where the use “soft drugs” such as marijuana and mushrooms has been legalized. In Holland, these drugs can be bought over the counter and their potency and effects are usually described.

The laws against the use and distribution of hard drugs in Holland, such as heroin or cocaine, are similarly strict to those in the United States. However, the rates at which these drugs are used are considerably lower.

While the Dutch are considered quite tolerant in their attitudes towards drug use, the degree to which they actually partake is relatively small considering the availability. Much of the drug consumption that takes place in Holland-particularly in cities like Amsterdam, comes in the form of narco-tourism.

It’s a gross oversimplification to say that outright legalization of all drugs would solve drug-related problems in the United States.

It would, however, save billions of dollars which are being spent fighting drugs and incarcerating drug criminals, eliminate an illegal drug industry which ruins countless lives every day and make using these drugs safer than it ever has been.

The money that had been spent on the “War on Drugs” could instead be spent treating drug abusers and accurately informing people on the dangers of drug use.

You can’t stop drug use; you can only hope to contain it. The best way to do this is by taking drugs off the streets and making them safely accessible for those who are going to use them regardless of their legality.