60 second ideas (blog 12)

Should Drugs Come Out of the Shadows?


As everyone knows the United States has been involved in a massive war on drugs within the nation.  More than $40 billion is spent annually to fund this massive war.  And, this figure is only in regards to the actual war and not the results of it.  It does not include the costs of the poverty that drugs cause or the costs of keeping these people in prison.  I propose that instead of continuing this war on drugs the United States should legalize all drugs and control them.

Clearly this is a radical idea, but one that does not seem too far off.  Since 2001, all drugs have been decriminalized in Portugal with very encouraging results.  I suggest that the United States take it a step further and legalize the drugs in order to control the distribution and the regulation of drugs.  Obviously, many people will dismiss this idea as ridiculous.  However, when we think about it this action could have extremely positive results.  First, we could regulate the drugs that come in as well as tax all drugs that come into the country.  Second, we would save a tremendous amount of money by stopping the war on drugs as well as the money spent housing these “criminals” in our prisons.  By doing this the United States could open a number of new revenue streams just as it has done with cigarettes and tobacco.

Continuing with this idea, I believe that the United States could use money saved from the war on drugs and create many new rehabilitation centers and drug education programs.  By doing this they can educate people and help those who are indeed addicted.  These people are not criminals but instead have a disease that they need help with.  These rehabilitation centers and education programs can be the help they are looking for.

In regards to employers, they should be allowed to enforce whatever drug policy that they choose.  They can regulate their workforce by random drug tests or whatever they deem fit.  Although these drugs would be legal that does not mean they would be allowed to be in the work place or affect your working condition.  Therefore, by using these leal drugs people would be jeopardizing their future.  It would be up to them to decide their future.

Personally, I do not believe the war on drugs is very successful.  While success can be seen here and there, if someone wants to get drugs it is relatively easy to find them.  It is because of this I believe that this could be a solution for the United States.  I think they have the resources and the capable minds required to make this work.

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4 thoughts on “Should Drugs Come Out of the Shadows?

  1. It’s definitely a radical idea–one that I don’t see coming into fruition any time soon–but we’re getting close. I hope that the legalization of marijuana–which may be coming soon–will significantly reduce the costs associated with America’s War on Drugs.

  2. Very interesting topic, and one that will be opposed by much. But I do agree we are throwing money away with our War on Drugs. I would definitely support the decriminalization of drugs, we waste so much money imprisoning those brought up on drug charges when it would cost millions less to have educational and rehab programs in place.

  3. I didn’t know about Portugal.

    I certainly agree that the criminalization of some drugs- marijuana- and the acceptance of others- alcohol, nicotine, caffeine- is not very rational.

    We could also use the money to figure out why so many turn to drugs… focus on drying up demand and rehabilitation.

  4. Pingback: Blog 12 Council | B-Ethics

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