Many proponents of the current drug laws claim that legalization and/or decriminalization would in turn increase the number of drug users. If a drug is legalized/decriminalized, the price will fall and the quantity of demand will rise. The evidence from prohibition suggests we can expect two broad patterns of response if legalization occurs. First, there will be a small rise in consumption, which will take place to some extent across the spectrum of consumers. People who had never used drugs may choose to use them. Secondly, there will be a change in the nature of the drugs used and in the way in which they will be used. Specifically, there will be a move toward less intensive drug forms and less abusive patterns of use. When drugs are illegal, more damaging drugs drive out less damaging ones. In jurisdictions that liberalize their drug laws, this process will reverse itself. The evidence on this from Prohibition is unequivocal: as soon as repeal occurred, the consumption of hard liquor dropped by more than two-thirds. In addition, there was a massive shift from higher potency liquor toward the lower-proof varieties of liquor.
The vast majority of all people, addicts and alcoholics included, do not consume drugs as a means of destroying their lives. Nor do they consume them intending to become addicted to them. Abuse and addiction are the adverse consequences that sometimes occur when drugs are ...
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...its goal and at this rate we as a nation will run out of money long before it does ever come close.
The real tragedy of this situation are those who suffer, and those are the ones incarcerated. From the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 1997 3 out of 4 state and 4 out of 5 federal prisoners may be characterized as an alcohol or drug involved offender. The percentage of those in prison for drug offenses was 54.8% in 2002. Prisons are overcrowding and it seems less money is being put into them. Prison sentences are being handed out everyday and the average length of those put in for drugs has doubled from 1986 to 1999. The rehabilitation of these “criminals” is almost nonexistent. The culture inside of prison hardly reinforces the recovery of the inmates, instead it breeds a criminal culture from which it s hard to escape.
In conclusion, the government’s war on drugs has not been successful to date, and shows no sign of victory in the future. I think it that is about time we reconsider what values we hold high and take a second look at the damage that already has been done by the war on drugs. What it comes down to is personal freedom and the constitutional anomaly that destroys it.
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