Should Drugs be Legalized?

This should be justified as, should recreational drugs be legalized? With Vancouver’s recent spate of gangland shootings (13 in less than three weeks) this topic has come up that they’re fighting over drug money. A very good supposition and though there are those that say it has to do with pot, I’m guessing there’s a full gamut and the relatively cheaper marijuana is at the bottom of the list, which is topped by crack cocaine, crystal meth and heroin.

So, should drugs be legalized? Remember prohibition, when alcohol suddenly became illegal (having been drunk for years) and the religious right screaming temperance? Of course there were some legitimately good reasons for limiting alcohol intake. The Wild West gained its moniker for a good reason and the TV series Deadwood is not far off the mark, when only men came to new areas to mine gold or trap or work in lumber mills. Vancouver’s own early history is so colored, with the first women in the townships being the bar girls and First Nations women, sometimes married to a lonely man.

But prohibition only meant that what people wanted now had to be procured through illegal means. The underground became more established and organized crime ran booze in from various areas. Rum runners became a common aspect of the prohibition years in the early 20th century. Prohibition did linger in that there are now certain laws around the consumption of alcohol. 

Once alcohol was legalized the only way organized crime could make money off of it was to bring in far larger quantities at cheaper rates. Or say, smuggle tobacco and the far more lucrative and illegal drugs.

So yes, if we legalize all those illicit drugs, we take the cash crop away from the gangs and put it in the hands of the government. Marijuana, which is far less nasty than alcohol in its affects on humans should be legalized to save the cops time for the important issues. Like the drug addled crimes of addicts breaking into homes and cars for their next fix. They don’t tend to do that on marijuana.

So let’s say we legalize all drugs. The cost goes down for the drug, which takes down the cost of law enforcement and break-ins. The price of health care might be the same or might go down. It may not be as fun to take if the drug is no longer illegal. Will there still be addicted people? Yes, but maybe fewer. And they won’t be as stigmatized. Well, maybe. After all, we do have alcoholics in all walks of society and there is still a stigma, but many of them hold down jobs to pay for their habits. They’re less likely to be breaking into someone’shome or car with readily available and cheap liquor. Ask the lawyers and business people who are alcoholics. (Note: this is just an example of a few professions but like I said, it’s in all walks of life.)

There is another aspect. Yes, it’s sad to see people addicted and this often speaks to underlying problems, many of which can be tracked back to one form of abuse or another. So the money saved in crime prevention can be put towards mental health, and the cost and distribution of drugs lessens. It would take time to implement but it can work. This last aspect is that we stop controlling another person’s decisions and let them be responsible to themselves. It’s not perfect and we need laws with which society must function. But changing some of the laws on drugs could lessen the gang crime and the substance abuse.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Should Drugs be Legalized?

  1. nichoussouthern

    some yes others no. crime may go down. the euphoric feelings.

  2. Nice post! Keep it real.I have looked over your blog a few times and I love it.

  3. SMD

    This is probably one of the more sensible approaches to this. Granted, I don’t necessarily support legalization of all drugs, but I think the arguments against marijuana are shotty at best…

    • colleenanderson

      Yeah, it just doesn’t make sense anymore. Many police would also rather not waste their time dealing with it. It’s a leftover from the right wing conservatives (small c) who want to control too much. People can still be under the influence but impairment is greater with alcohol.

  4. Zaribeni

    Nice info! Very cool post.I have looked over your blog a few times and I love it.

  5. SaraMiller

    if we legalise drugs there would be no more organized crime i only worry about the hard drugs though. they should not maybe be legalized??

    • colleenanderson

      And the criminal element would unfortunately rule the hard drugs. But I understand your concern and share it. Some are debilitating and destructive. Crystal meth is pure evil and eats the person’s brain away. They usually die within five years and are very violent. I had a friend who was a cop and his stories about the meth addicts were horrific. If we could only make the destructive ones disappear but alas we can’t.

  6. SaraMiller

    i live in the south in arizona and the problem is they allow the gangs to rule the southern borders. the war on drugs is a joke i agree. what is sad is the millions of people getting into trouble for less than hard drugs. its sad.

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