Character And Ecstasy: Against The Legalization Of Drugs

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Now that election season is looming ever closer many activists ask the candidates what their views and policy around drugs. Most focus mainly on just marijuana and forget about the hard drugs that it tends to get lumped in with. Well, it is due to these hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin that the policy in the United States has been to prohibit them. Why is the policy like it is today? That is mainly attributed to James Q. Wilson, who was part of the National Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse Prevention, while there he wrote the article “Character and Ecstasy: Against the Legalization of Drugs”. In his article he explains why having drugs prohibited benefits society more than if they were legalized. Despite the large amount of people who …show more content…
Actions are as good as to how much pleasure or happiness they provide and as bad as to how much unhappiness or pain they create. Using Utilitarianism it can be determined whether prohibition provides “utility” or lacks it compared to legalization. So what are the gains and costs of prohibition to its “utility”? Well to start with the gains, prohibition scares those who are curious away from trying the drugs while at the same time making it hard for them to obtain it. That in turn makes heroin and cocaine more expensive and farther out of reach from those who do not have a way to make their own income. It also helps prevent those that do buy their own cocaine from sharing with others due to the high price and low supply, effectively keeping the spread of the drug under control. Children are less likely to come in contact with the drugs since they do not have the money nor connections to get to them. In regards to those who are already addicted to heroin or cocaine, it would be legally hard to get them a mandatory order to go into rehab if the hard drugs were legalized. Someone cannot be punished without having committed a crime in some manner. Although the utility that prohibition provides does not have the means to end the use of these hard drugs it is able to contain the spread so that less people have their …show more content…
Filling prisons is generally bad for the government but when someone will refuse to go through rehab it becomes one of the few options left; you cannot force someone into rehab without prohibition. The chronic pain argument is a very strong argument as it is hard for doctors to prescribe hard drugs to a patient due to the possibility of someone asking for a higher and higher dosage. They could then use the extra dosages to make money by selling it illegally or using it themselves and eventually getting addicted. The one thing that gets ignored by the argument is the existence of other drugs that are specifically for pain and that are completely legal. Despite that there is still an under treatment of chronic pain, so would the legalization of hard drugs have a significant effect on it? Most likely not, the hard drugs would follow the same route of the drugs that are specifically for pain; low prescriptions to prevent damage, resistance, and addiction. It could also be argued that if hard drugs were legalized that the number of new addicts would dramatically increase with the availability of the drug in common stores and with much cheaper prices. It would be unknown how many new addicts would appear and that is the most uncertain part of

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