War vs No War
The group opposing me has a fear of having a world with drugs fully legalized. They say it is because it is a “absolutely untested proposition” and the only evidence provided so far is in small trials in small parts of the world. They make it seam as if a trial in America or possibly other large nations is terrifying with it’s “unforeseeable consequences”.
The Drug Commission recently scrutinized the last four decades of the Drug War and has categorized it as a failure. They are examining parts of the world taking a different approach such as Portugal, which said they would not legalize all drugs but were going to decriminalize them. Which for the most part means that if someone is caught with drugs they will not put them in jail. The money it would take to put these individuals in prison will now be spent on the treatment of their addiction “which is about three-quarters cheaper” The country has seen substantial reduction in people using heroin along with drug-related robbery. “Heroin use among 16- to 18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%. New HIV infections fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003. Deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by half.”
My opposition may be doubtful about the statistics related to Portugal because Portugal seams to be a semi-isolated relatively small nation, and is for the most part well off. They say the poverty stricken South American locations wouldn’t respond well to this type of approach. “Everything we’ve seen about decriminalization just frees up the drug barons, because they are in a position to continue a substantial market without law-enforcement” and there would still be major black market for drugs. New drugs would be coming onto the market constantly and a significant amount of enforcement is the only way to shut this down. Also the focus is usually on addicts getting treated for their drug habits, but the common drug user has a job and a stable life. “Is it right to criminalize them?”
The common drug user (225 million people) is mostly just a marijuana user and there is the argument that drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco are more detrimental to a person’s health than the use of marijuana. “Because marijuana is the drug of choice of young people, is it right that it should be treated any differently from alcohol?” Also very high portions of people who use the drug are not addicts.
A previous experiment around the reclassification of cannabis happened. My opposition claims that the politicians who were for the reclassification were whiped out because of it and that any politician who goes forward into a election with the a position similar to this could not win and there for the laws will never get made. This is not necessarily true though it does not have to be a vote-loser for politicians there was two surveys done in britain and an overwhelming amount of civilians(potential voters) said ” nobody should be sent to prison for taking drugs, they should be decriminalized”
Others say that drugs being illegal is “about protection of people from the really bad guys. Enforcement has to be part of that.” But if done right these “bad guys” don’t even need to exist. These so called bad guys are the “drug pushers” so to eliminate them the government needs to go to the next step and legalize. Let’s say they legalized marijuana and taxed it like any other product there will be vast amounts of income from it. So why not put the nearly “$350 billion dollars” to good use instead of giving it to drug dealers.
But then the question of how legalizing “milder” drugs will move up to cocaine, heroin, and other harder drugs. But one of the main reason that someone acquires these hard drugs is because they are also sold by the black market drug dealer selling these people their marijuana.
Emine Saner. Richard Branson and Ian Blair debate drug decriminalization. TheGaurdian, 16 March 2012. Web. 1st April 2012.