The war on drugs began with good intentions, but it is becoming clear that this battle is a failure. Not only do drug laws violate American’s freedoms, but they further complicate the lives of drug users. These laws have inadvertently been responsible for the deaths of thousands through bad drug deals and dirty drugs, which leads one to ask the question, “Is this a war on drugs or a war on drug users?” Body bags and HIV are becoming the most widely known side effects of drug prohibition. Contrary to what many may think, drug use will never be eliminated. Only through legalization and strict state-controlled regulations will the violent and deadly consequences of drug laws be controlled. By making these substances available, the drugs
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Drug education classes across America warn children every year not to use dirty needles due to deadly health concerns. But, where would an intravenous drug addict find clean needles? For thousands that are addicted, reusing or sharing needles may seem like the only options. If drugs and drug paraphernalia were not illegal in America, clean needles could be made readily available at local state health departments, thereby greatly reducing the number of HIV/AIDS cases (American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU]). In Liverpool, England, health departments offer users clean needles and as a result, less than one percent of IV drug users there are HIV positive, compared to New York City’s 60 percent (ACLU).
By legalizing and regulating these substances, their prices would decrease, crime would reduce, and the criminal black market for drugs would be eliminated. The law of supply and demand can help explain why the prices of drugs continue to increase. When drugs are taken off the streets, the prices simply go up for what remains. Inflation makes international crime lords and corner hustlers even richer, while disadvantaged drug users get poorer and desperate. Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist said about the black market of prohibition, “Al Capone epitomizes our earlier attempts at Prohibition; the Crips and Bloods epitomize this one.” (qtd. in Rogers) While the higher