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Drug Legalization

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No on Drug Legalization

Everyone will agree that the drug issue in America is prominent. After so many drug related crimes, deaths, and federal spending, debates spur with opposing views in the political arena on how to rectify the problem. One view on solving the problem according to Judge James P. Gray's proposal is to legalize drugs or as legalization advocates call it "harm reduction." This approach believes that drugs use is inevitable and the only way to solve the drug problem is through the legalization of harmful and habit forming drugs such as, cocaine, heroine, and marijuana. Through Legalization, James P. Gray believes drug use and drug related crime rates will decrease. After so many drug related deaths and crimes, America has come too far with the successful War on Drugs to consider surrendering to legalization and committing national suicide.

If James P Gray's Proposal's purpose is to stabilize the drug problem in America, it will fail because drug use will increase. As written in James P Gray's proposal to sell drugs in licensed pharmacies, drug stores will sell drugs lower than street price which will only promote use because of its easy accessibility, cheap price, and having not to be worried of getting caught. Between 1973 and 1979 eleven states legalized marijuana. According to the former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Barry R. McCaffrey, during this period marijuana use increased form 14 to 31 percent in adolescents, 48 percents to 68 percent in young adults, and 7 percent to 20 percent among adults over twenty-six. In a more recent event of drug policy leniency Mayor Kurt Schmoke of Baltimore reduced drug enforcement, distributed clean needles to addicts, and emphasized on "harm reduction." Since Schmoke's actions Baltimore is the most abundant in addicts in one year having 342 cocaine related emergency-room cases per 100,000 and 346 heroine related emergency-room cases per 100,000. Under James P. Gray's proposal drugs will be more affordable taking down a major barrier for users abstaining from drug use: money. Drug legalization will only increase drug use resulting in increase of drug related disasters.

Social chaos will follow drug legalization. A substantial amount of crime, car accidents, work-related accidents, rape, and child abuse are drug related. According to Senator Bill McCollum's article "Q: Would Legalization Serve America's National Interest? No: Don't Wave The White Flag Yet, a True War on Drugs Has Yet to Be Launched", drug related crime and violence account for 20,000 American deaths at a cost of 67 billion dollars. Bill McCollum further states that in a survey of prison inmates 28 percent of prisoners convicted of murder, 20 percent convicted of sexual assault and 23 percent of inmates convicted of assault were under the influence of drugs when the crimes were committed. Decrease of workplace productivity will increase with drug legalization. According to a Gallup Survey in 1995, 35 percent of American employees report having seen drug use on the job by co-workers, and one out of then say they were offered drugs at work. Decreasing productivity will lead to incompetent employees which will result in workplace mishaps. Working at a well known restaurant as a server and cashier, I had a co-worker who was a regular drug user. He often told me he was "high" which answered for his repeated mistakes by serving our customers the wrong food and billing them for things they haven't even ordered, and after giving a customer 50 dollars too much in change he was eventually fired. As if drunk driving isn't already a problem in America, Drug legalization will increase drugged driving. A study by The National Transportation Safety Board showed that out of 182 truck accidents, 12.5 percent used marijuana, and 18.5 percent used cocaine. Another survey found that 13 percent of people between the ages of sixteen and twenty drove a car less than two hours after drug use. Drunk drivers already kill enough people, and we can not afford to lose more lives to drugged drivers. We need more than a plan, and more than a proposal legalizing drugs to solve the drug problems and the social chaos drug use brings. We need a war.

Critics may argue that we are losing in the War on Drugs, but they are refuted by the facts that show its success. The measures that the government takes such as law enforcement and interdiction to reduce the use, sales, and transportation of drugs, is referred to The War on Drugs. Drugs are illegal because they are harmful. Because of drug interdiction drug use in Americans dropped from 50 percent in 1979 to a current 6 percent. Law enforcement along with treatment programs continues to be a success. A testimonial by the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Donnie Marshall



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