Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The case for legalizing

In the Drug War, Drugs Are Winning

The case for legalizing drugs

Reading the article, I noticed that it made some valid points. I think that it also misses some valid points as well.

Yes, legalizing and taxing drugs might be a solution to escalating violence in other parts of the world as well as in North America. Yes, decriminalizing drugs would remove a criminal record from those people who have only been caught with drugs for personal use. Yes, decriminalizing drugs might even reduce the usage rate.

But there are some points that this article does not make. Drugs today are much more potent than even 20 years ago. Drugs today may have unintended long term effects, or so a Nature of Things documentary tells us. Drug addicts constantly search for a new and better feeling high, often with disastrous results.

What it comes down to is that the pro legalization points come down to an improvement in society through enhanced freedoms and a reliance on the individual to regulate themselves. The con arguments are all about one person telling another what they can and cannot do.

I can't say that I necessarily would push for legalization without certain changes to other parts of the laws. I would advocate that, very much like a co-pay for smokers and other classes of people, medicare be limited for treatment of those problems caused by the use of these drugs. I would advocate an education program to ensure that people know what the current consequences of drug use would be. I would encourage research into the drugs and interactions of currently illicit drugs in order to better educate physicians and the public on the dangers of use.

When I look around today's world, there are many things that I can not fathom being effectively governed by a statute first passed 70 or 80 years ago. I believe that there needs to be a different approach taken as the current approach is clearly not doing the proper job.

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