Legalization And Decriminalization

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It is a common belief that the war on drugs has been a disgraceful failure. The war on drugs has been extremely expensive with the U.S. federal, state and local governments spending a total of $40 billion in 2010 and has done little to curb the appetite of drugs among drug users, while directly targeting the black population. The current drug policy simply does not work and is counterproductive. The reality is drugs are here to stay, wherever there is a need, there will be a demand and individuals may go through dangerous, violent and unhealthy means to satisfy that need. Through the decriminalization of drugs, the U.S government can finally address the issue of addiction as a disease, the health risks that addiction posses to society tackle the immense number of inmates on minor drug charges, and injustice in the sentencing between black and white people. Prior to delving into the heart of this paper, a clear distinction between legalization and decriminalization must be made. The decriminalization of drugs does not mean that individuals can …show more content…
This includes all hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin all the way to marijuana. Portugal’s goal was to treat the possession of small quantities of drugs as a public health issue instead of criminal one. Getting caught by the police with drugs meant that one would either have to pay a fine and or be forced to attend a treatment program. The argument against decriminalization in the US can be wholly captured in one statement by Thomas McLellan, the National Drug Control Policy deputy director who claimed that “if you make any attractive commodity available at lower costs, you will have more users” (Ingraham). However, the data from Portugal has presented a different case. The prevalence of drugs in young adults has fallen dramatically, and overall adult use is down slightly too. In addition, HIV cases among drug users have decreased from over 1000 cases to less than 100 HIV

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