Advantages and Disadvantages of Legalizing Drugs

Decriminalization could also increase the supply of drugs in the illicit drug market. Higher inventories usually lead to lower prices. This could make it easier for people to support their addiction. People who are criminalized by their addictions may feel less interested in society and more easily slip into other problematic behaviors. Addicts also have to deal with criminals to get their drugs. Legalization would undermine existing drug gangs and could reduce drug-related violence. The government could generate tax revenue from a legalized drug market. In June 2019, it was reported that the U.S. state of Colorado had surpassed $1 billion in government revenue from the sale of cannabis since it was legalized in 2014. The Liberal Democrats have suggested that legalising cannabis in the UK could bring in £1.5 billion a year. There could also be huge savings in money and resources if the illicit drug trade is not monitored to the same extent.

In 1971, the U.S. federal government declared a «war on drugs.» This initiative has resulted in much harsher criminal penalties for use, possession and other violations of the Drug Act. A 2018 Gallup poll found record 66 percent support for marijuana legalization, up from 12 percent in 1969, the first year the pollster asked about marijuana. [249] The survey exceeded 50% support for the first time in 2011. According to Gallup, «the shift in public attitudes toward marijuana over the past half-century has reflected the liberalization of public attitudes toward gay rights and the same-sex marriage movement.» [67] While Democrats (72 percent) and independents (67 percent) were more likely to support legalization, a majority of Republicans (51 percent) now agree. [67] Both CBS News and AP polls found that 61 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. [68] [170] Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine have found that «rates of marijuana use by youth are declining, even as more U.S. states legalize or decriminalize marijuana use and the number of adults using the drug has increased.» [38] Marijuana use among students in the 8.

The class in Washington state declined after legalization in 2012 from 9.8 percent to 7.3 percent in 2014/2016, according to a December 2018 rand report. [254] A study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that marijuana use among U.S. children ages 12 to 17 dropped 17 percent last year, from 15.8 percent in 2002 to 13.1 percent in 2014. [37] [41] Teens aged 12 to 17 in Colorado reported a nearly 12% decrease in marijuana use, just two years after adult use was legalized, according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. [39] [40] There are a number of pros and cons to legalizing drugs, and there is no simple answer. To whisper even further, for some there is a moral or ideological argument, while others prefer to go with evidence and statistics. Drug legislation in the UK can also be a highly politicised issue, and the debate will undoubtedly continue, with people on both sides pointing out the pros and cons of legalising drugs in the UK. You may also receive fines or warnings. People who stockpile, manufacture or trade illegal drugs for more than ten days still have to impose criminal penalties. Should drugs be legalized? What for? Is it time to lift the ban on recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine? Can we stop the drug trade? If so, what would be the best way to reduce consumption? Those in favor of prohibition and criminalization often argue that legalizing drugs would send the wrong message, suggesting that it is more socially acceptable to use drugs.

It can also give the impression that taking medication is safe, although there is ample evidence that this is not the case. As in the past, some observers will undoubtedly see the solution in much harsher sanctions to deter both suppliers and users of illicit psychoactive substances. Others will say that the answer lies not in more prosecutions and harsher penalties, but in less. In particular, they will argue that the edifice of national laws and international conventions that collectively prohibit the production, sale and consumption of a large number of drugs for purposes other than medical or scientific has proven to be physically harmful, socially divisive, prohibitive and ultimately counterproductive, in order to create the very incentives that support a violent black market for illegal drugs. They will also conclude that the only logical step for the United States is to «legalize» drugs — essentially by repealing and dismantling current drug laws and enforcement mechanisms in the same way that America abandoned its brief experience of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. There is also evidence of successful partial decriminalization in Canada, Switzerland, Portugal and Uruguay. Other countries, such as Ireland, appear to be following a similar path and plan to decriminalize some recreational drugs soon. In addition, the United Nations held a special session on drugs in 2016r, UNGASS 2016, at the request of the presidents of Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala. The objective of this session was to analyse the effects of the war on drugs. explore new options and establish a new paradigm in international drug policy to prevent the flow of resources to organized crime organizations.

This meeting was seen as an opportunity and even a call for far-reaching reforms of drug legislation. The end result, however, could not change the status quo and trigger ambitious reform. Similarly, in 2021, Oregon became the first U.S. state to decriminalize all illegal drugs. Like Portugal, Oregon now treats drug trafficking as a criminal offense, but treats possession of small amounts of illegal drugs for personal use as a health condition that requires medical treatment. Unless other countries do the same, the UK or other countries that decriminalise or legalise drugs could attract drug tourists. This could actually be beneficial from a purely economic point of view, but it could also be problematic behavior. For example, in 2001, Portugal decriminalized but did not legalize all drug use. Citizens who buy, possess or use illegal drugs for up to ten days are referred to drug treatment programs rather than prisons and prisons. As is clear, the legalization of drugs is not a political option suitable for simplistic or superficial debate. It requires dissection and verification of an order that has been remarkably absent, despite the attention it constantly receives.

Apart from the discussion of some very broadly defined proposals, there has been no detailed assessment of the operational importance of legalisation. There is not even a generally accepted lexicon of terms that allows for an intellectually rigorous exchange. As a result, legalization means different things to different people. Some, for example, use legalization interchangeably with «decriminalization,» which generally refers to the lifting of criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use. Others equate legalization, at least implicitly, with complete deregulation, without acknowledging the extent to which currently legally available drugs are subject to strict controls. Disadvantages: On the other hand, because psychoactive drugs, including marijuana, cause acute mental impairment when people use the drug, as well as addiction (about 9% of marijuana users), the increased accessibility, destigmatization and reduced price associated with legalization would lead to more users and therefore to more dangers and potential harms in the population (for example, Driving under the influence of drugs) as well as for cases of dependence. The number of marijuana-related deaths increased by 62% after marijuana was legalized in Colorado. [78] Jim Leal, former police chief of Newark, California, said of the legalization of marijuana: «They are marketing a product that will only put more impaired drivers on the road and exacerbate a problem we already have. What officials with very high THC levels see is that they see that impairment is much worse than they have ever seen in the past.

[158] A relaxation of the availability of psychoactive substances that are not already commercially available, opponents generally argue, would lead to an immediate and significant increase in consumption. To support their claim, they point to the prevalence of opium, heroin and cocaine addiction in various countries prior to the entry into force of international controls, the increase in alcohol use following the repeal of the Volstead Act in the United States, and studies showing higher rates of abuse among health professionals with better access to prescription drugs. Without explaining the basis of their calculations, some have predicted a dramatic increase in the number of people taking drugs and becoming addicted. These increases would result in significant direct and indirect costs to society, including higher public health expenditures due to drug overdoses, fetal malformations and other drug-related incidents, such as car accidents; loss of productivity due to worker absenteeism and accidents at work; and more drug-induced violence, child abuse and other crimes, not to mention educational disorders. Many people have criticized these sanctions and advocated for the decriminalization of drugs, which could have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some other arguments in favour of legalising drugs in the UK and beyond: One way in which recreational drugs (e.g. marijuana) can be legalised is by allowing production, distribution and sale, but prohibiting marketing.

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