Drugs Should NOT be Legal


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Drugs Should NOT be Legal


Everyone agrees that something must be done about the tremendous physical
and emotional health problems that drug abuse causes. Concern about the abuse
of drugs is so widespread that recent polls indicate it to be one of the most
serious problems in today's world, threatening the security and freedom of whole
nations. Politicians, health experts and much of the general public feel that no
issue is more important than drug abuse. America's other pressing social
problems- disease, poverty, child abuse and neglect, and corruption- often have
a common element; that is drug abuse. The use of illegal drugs such as cocaine,
crack, heroin and marijuana cause extensive harm to the body and brain. Yet,
even after knowing this many people want illegal drugs to be legalized in every
aspect. The last thing we need is a policy that makes widely available
substances that impair memory, concentration and attention span; why in God's
name foster the uses of drugs that make you stupid? The campaign for drug
legalization is morally disgusting.The number of people who are addicted to
illegal drugs or are users of these drugs is quite shocking. Drug abuse is
clearly an injurious and sometimes fatal problem. The leaders of the
international economic summit in Paris in July 1989 concluded that the
devastating proportions of the drug problem calls for decisive action. On
September 5, 1989, President Bush called upon the United States to join in an
all-out fight against drugs. The United States Congress reports an estimated 25
to 30 million addicts of illegal drugs worldwide. Not all users are addicts, but
some of the 26 million regular users of illegal drugs in the United States are
addicted. Reports of child abuse to New York social services tripled between
1986 and 1988 and most of the cases involved drug abuse. Approximately 35
percent of the inmates of state prison were under the influence of illegal drugs
at the time they committed the crimes for which they are incarcerated. In some
parts of the country, that percentage is as high as 75 to 80! Another fact that
hits people hard is that out-right deaths from illegal drugs have quadrupled in
the last ten years! The proportion of 19 to 22 year olds who were at risk from
using illegal drugs rose from 44 percent in 1980 to 69 percent in 1987. Among
17-18 year olds the shift over the same interval was from 50 percent to 74
percent (Williams 226)! The abuse of illegal drugs is very threatening to
America's future. These drugs are the cause of many problems and crimes.

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Among
these many drug users exist some people who continue to resist drugs and have
been called the real heroes of the drug war (Hyde, 372). Although, drug abuse is
a serious and threatening problem today, it can be brought under control with
acceptable means.
The use of illegal drugs such as cocaine, crack, heroin and marijuana have
been proved to cause unbelievable damage and harm to the body and brain. As well
as we know, AIDS is a deadly disease which people are very frightened of today.
When parents bring a child into this world the main concern is that the child
be healthy. It is an impossible deed for a drug addict female to give birth to a
healthy child. Babies who are born with the AIDS virus should thank their
mothers who were drug addicts and brought them into this world to pay for their
own mistakes! According to Patrick Emmet, author of Drugs in America, when
cocaine is smoked, it is absorbed into the lungs and carried to the brain in
about 8 seconds (152). It depresses the breathing center in the brain and
increases the risk of death from heart failure or overdose. Doctors believe that
when a pregnant woman uses crack, the drug can trigger spasms in the blood
vessels of the fetus, restricting the supply of oxygen and nutrients, in turn
causing problems in development. When a pregnant woman takes large doses of
cocaine, the placenta may tear loose, killing the fetus and putting the mother's
life in danger. Even one use of crack can cause serious damage to fetus or to a
breast-fed baby. Heroin is another illegal drug that causes great harm and can
be life-taking too. When heroin is used it reaches the brain via the bloodstream
and is transformed into the depressant morphine. Heroin produces feelings of
euphoria, mental confusion and drowsiness. In addiction to many other effects on
the body, it depresses respiratory function (168). Thousands of heroin addicts
die from overdoses each year. Heroin users are also at great risk of getting
AIDS from the used of unclean needles. An estimated 60 percent of heroin addicts
in New York City carry the virus, and needle sharing among addicts represents a
major potential route for the spreading of the AIDS virus. According to a
National Research Council report in 1989, nearly 70 percent of the heterosexual
adults infected with the AIDS virus got the virus through an intravenous
connection. The U.S. Public Health service predicted about a threefold increase
in the cumulative total of reported cases of AIDS among addicts between 1989 and
1991. When marijuana is smoked, about two thousand separate chemicals are
produced, and many of the chemicals do not readily pass through the body. Some
are stored in fatty tissues of the brain, lungs, and reproductive organs, where
they remain for a long time. In a book titled, Drug Policy and Intellectuals,
Stephen Thomas points out that one of the areas of great concern about the
effect of smoking marijuana is the changes in the reproductive system (156).
Heavy marijuana smoking reduces the level of testosterone, the principal male
hormone. It may delay sexual maturation in teenage boys and may possible reduce
sperm counts. The use of marijuana also has negative effects on the menstrual
cycle of females. Marijuana use during pregnancy increases the risk of death of
the fetus and of abnormal offspring. Some other effects of marijuana are
sedation, depression, hormone changes and brain damage. It is certain that the
smoking of marijuana leads to as much as a 50 percent short-term increase in
heart rate and a possible decrease in blood supply to the heart. It is crystal
clear that the use of these illegal drugs causes permanent and serious damage to
the body, brain and to innocent babies. Sometimes this deadly "sickness" stops
at distorting bodies and brains, but often goes to snatch the lives of their
users (Thomas 189).
Richard Williams explains in his book, Illegalizing Drugs, that the use of
illicit drugs causes the user to engage in violent acts. The need and craving of
these drugs forces the user to commit crimes such as robbery or murder. They
hurt themselves and innocent people usually become victims of such cases. These
drugs are addictive which may cause brain damage in the habitual user, and may
cause the user to engage in violence or self-destructive acts. Dealers arm
themselves with automatic weapons to protect themselves (124). Even the drug
abusers of the sixties had a slogan, Speed Kills. Young drug dealers have a good
supply of guns, and they do not hesitate to use them. The streets of many inner
cities are bloody battlegrounds where crack wars are fought. Bathrooms in
shelters for the homeless are transformed into part-time crack houses. Thomas
writes that crack pipes are hidden under mattresses next to the beds of people
who are only down on their luck (125). Last year one residential area in New
York, more than one hundred people were killed and most deaths were drug related.
The use of illicit drugs alters the brain's thinking, acting and responding
capacity, which results in violent and self-destructing acts. Innocent people
are injured or killed simply in order to continue the distribution and the use
of these isgusting and correctly illegal drugs (78).
After being altered with the effects of the use of illegal drugs on bodies,
brains, societies and nations, some people are brave enough to come forward and
campaign for the legalization of illicit drugs will reduce the number of addicts
and users, crime and deaths (Hyde 29). I disagree with this theory because that
is exactly what it is- a theory. Sure, we don't know what's going to happen in
the future, but we can use our statistics and be somewhat logical. If illegal
drugs were to be legalized, millions of Americans were to be enticed into
addiction by legalization. The pushers would cut prices, making more money than
ever from the ever-growing mass market. They would immediately increase the
potency and variety beyond anything available at any government-approved
narcotics counter. Crime would increase if these drugs were legalized. Crack
produces paranoid violence. More permissiveness equals more use equals more
violence. Alcohol which is now legal, but was once illegal is proof that after
legalizing it more alcohol-related crimes and car accidents have occurred.
Millions of people, including and increasing number of teenagers, are dependent
on what has been called the most dangerous drug on earth: alcohol. Dr. Stephen
Cohen writes in his book, The Alcoholism Problem, "The harm that comes from
Drug X (alcohol) is much greater than the harm from heroin from all respects"
(151). Why should we believe that the legalization of illegal drugs will reduce
the number of users of these drugs? Actually, it's quite logical these drugs
would be easily available if legalized, and the number of users will increase
because there won't be any breaking of laws that will end imprisonment. Illegal
drugs should be kept illegal to secure the lives of those who are not addicts.
The drug problem in our nation today is overwhelming, but can be controlled
by numerous strategies. Reducing the supply of foreign that are causing serious
problems in the Unites States is an important part on the war on drugs. Another
way the drug problem could be controlled is if drug dealers were punished more
severely. Whipping posts, the death penalty, and long jail sentences might be a
start. The following suggestions were made at a meeting at a meeting of the
Senate Committee Drugs and Crime held on April 4, 1989, to reduce the drug
problem: put more police on the streets, both to arrest drug dealers and to give
people a visible sense of hope; increase the number of prosecutors so that
arrests are meaningful: increase prison capacity, perhaps by using army bases
that are being phased out; increase drug education in schools; help the coast
guard interdiction; and learn more about drugs from health authorities. No
single strategy will win this war, but approach is aimed at preventing drug
abuse, treating and rehabilitating a


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