Drug Abuse, Prison and Justice in Hungary Essay

Drug Abuse, Prison and Justice in Hungary Essay

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Each year the Hungarian police reports approximately six thousand drug-related
criminal cases. These cases include a wide spectrum of offenses, ranging from cross-border drug
smuggling to possession and consumption of a single marijuana cigarette. Those people who are
lucky enough to be arrested with only a small quantity of illegal drugs have the chance to avoid
incarceration once every two years and instead participate in a rehab program. However, those
caught with a larger amount, or for the second time within a two-year period, face prison sentence
of up to two years regardless of whether it is marijuana or cocaine.iv
Putting drug consumers through a tedious legal procedure and eventually sentencing them
to serve time in prison is an extremely harmful practice for our society’s structural integrity. Being
a convicted felon is a stigma one has to bear for life, making it significantly more difficult to
find jobs and legally earn wages. Consequently these people will be more likely to succumb to
theft, robbery and other violent crimes later on in their livesv. The Hungarian criminal justice
system disproportionately penalizes most acts related to illegal drugs, disregarding both what’s the
most desirable for the individuals and for the society as a whole.
The purpose of the criminal justice should be restoring the state of affairs prior to the
offence instead of ostracizing individuals. The current practice of delivering retributive justice
obviously fails to do so. A fair system can only be achieved through either decriminalization
or legalization of most currently illegal substances, since only then will we punish and tax drug
related acts proportionally to their societal cost ...

... middle of paper ...

...ing rivalries have claimed the
lives of over sixty thousand people in Mexico between 2006 and 2012vii and many more
The leaders of developed democracies should no longer ignore the fact that we are living
in a globally connected world wherein every action and every piece of legislation can influence
people living thousands of miles away. Hungary’s drug strategy should also be determined
keeping in mind the global consequences.
While criminalization shows indifference towards the fate of those who live in drugexporter
countries, legalization allows the creation of a self-sufficient system that’s no longer
dependent on drug imports. Legalization is the only truly humanitarian policy alternative,
through which legislators can save thousands of innocent lives. Unfortunately decriminalization
fails to provide an intermediary solution as well.

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