Legalize Recreational Drugs?

Recreational drugs can have many damaging effects on your health. They can cause many things such as organ failure, brain Damage, mental confusion, and more depending on the substance. But does outlawing drugs actually cause more issues? 

The effects of criminalization can actually be seen during prohibition. When we outlawed alcohol in 1920 until 1933, many things happened. One of the effects was the rise of organized crime. Many notorious gangsters rose up during this time, like Al Capone. Sounds a little familiar? Many drugs are brought up to the US not by manufacturing them in the US, but by smuggling them in from Mexico by drug cartels. This brings up another similarity with prohibition. When alcohol was outlawed, some people started putting tainted alcohol in beverages because it was easier to get and was cheaper. Many people died due to the consumption of tainted alcohol. Again, sound very familiar? We have a fentanyl epidemic with over 150 people dying every day from fentanyl. It is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Due to its potency, it is often mixed into drugs as a cost-saving measure because you only need micrograms of it for the same effect. Though, this means that if the manufacturer of the drug added just a tiny too much, you will overdose and most likely die if some reversal agent like Narcan is not administered. Illegal drugs do not have an ingredient list or any disclosures like legal drugs are required to which means people do not know what they are consuming. 

Another potential reason we should legalize drugs is the victimless aspect of the crimes. If a crime has no victim, should it really be a crime? Let’s use a current legal drug as an example, alcohol. If someone were to get blackout drunk, and they do not assault anyone or do anything else, there is no victim. They would not get punished for that because it did not harm other people. We spend way too much money keeping drugs addicts in our criminal justice system. They are not a danger to society unless they commit other crimes while using drugs, and we are wasting valuable resources on them. Jail time also does not help these mentally ill individuals seek to better themselves because it is harder to get a job or get a life together with a criminal record. 

Also, some drugs that are already legal cause more deaths than the ones that are not legal. Alcohol has killed many people due to their liver shutting down, while no one has died from an overdose on cannabis. Experts say that Alcohol actually has more harm to the user than Cocaine. Some illegal drugs, such as cannabis, also have some promising new medical developments. The use of cannabis on patients with Parkinson’s disease has shown some real benefits to the user. 

So should we legalize drugs? Yes, I think we should legalize drugs. It would save many lives. It would make it so that people actually know what they are consuming. It does not have a victim and causes unnecessary use of our resources. We would have more space in jail for actual dangers to society. Lastly, some legal drugs are already worse than the illegal ones, such as alcohol.