Just say no.
These three words have been permanently ingrained into our collective consciousness our entire lives. We have been force-fed the notion that illegal drugs such as cocaine, LSD, and marijuana are terrible societal and moral evils which must be eradicated from the face of the green earth. Our government has spent and will continue to spend billions of our precious tax dollars every year on the war against drugs. Every other TV spot is a public service announcement warning us against the dangers of drugs and every night on the news innumerable murders, muggings and burglaries are paraded in front of us, all attributed to - you guessed it - drugs.
And all of which, we are told, can be avoided if we do one simple thing: just say no. But let's be realistic. If you approach the typical poor teenager and offer him a thousand bucks a night hustling crack on the street, he's not going to just say no. He's going to become a dealer, and not because the drugs make him do it. He'll do it because he has no other choice. And the only reason Joe Junkie has to rob houses to get money for heroin is because his dealer keeps jacking up the prices, since there are no laws to prevent this. In fact, just about every evil attributed to drug abuse is actually brought about by some underlying social problem. And most of these problems can be blamed on our government, the same guys who are telling us to just say no.
There will always be drugs, and therefore there will always be people who will use them. Nothing we can say or do will change that. Therefore, we are presented with only one solution:
This may seem like a very extremist point of view, and many of you will have a knee-jerk reaction against it, but hear me out. We can no longer continue to wage this futile and senseless war against drugs because there is no way that we can possibly win. No matter how much money we allow our government to waste on Coast Guard patrols and congressional committees, there will always be a demand for drugs, and therefore a supply. We must learn to give up struggling and accept drugs as a part of society.
However, this should not be regarded as a compromise. On the contrary, legalization could be of great benefit to our society. Consider:
1. The American drug dealer would become extinct. After all, why buy from a street hustler when you can get a cheaper, better-quality product at the nearest pharmacy?
2. Legally-produced narcotics would be subject to government regulation, thereby keeping the product purer than the average street junk and possibly reducing the chance of user overdose.
3. Without dealers to worry about, police would be left with more time to combat more serious crimes.
4. The legal production and sale of drugs could bring thousands of new jobs into the country.
5. Narcotics sold over-the-counter would be taxed, contributing millions of dollars to our sagging economy.
6. The billions of dollars we spend every year keeping drugs out of the country could be redirected into programs for the homeless, the preservation of the environment, better public education, drug prevention, and AIDS research.
It's about time we as Americans faced reality. Drugs are an undeniable part of our society; we cannot continue to fight against them. Legalizing drugs will cut down on street crime, strengthen our economy, and quite possibly improve our way of life.
The time has come to legalize drugs. The time has come to just say yes. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
Show MoreThis paper will prove that America’s drug laws are ineffective and cause more harm than good. The notion that a state of freedom exists in America is completely voided by narcotic laws. Narcotic laws cause a black market, which raises the prices of drugs to astronomical levels. These high prices cause drug addicts to turn to crime in order to support their habit. There exists substantial evidence that marijuana is less harmful than legal product like alcohol or nicotine. The war on drugs is comparable to the Vietnam War in its harm on the current generation of minorities. The government avoids ending anti-narcotic legislation because of the vast amount of capital which is spent on the war on drugs in terms of law enforcement and…show more content…
For these addicts, attainment of drugs takes precedence over possible jail time. The attainment of these drugs is a problem for these addicts. Considering that the entirety of drug trade is done on an illegal black market, prices are astronomical. “A typical heroin addict is spending 200 dollars a day on drugs”. Many of these addicts are at a point where they are so addicted, that they can no longer function in a workplace environment. In order to obtain narcotics the user will often turn to crime. “In a 2 1/2-year study of Detroit crime, Lester P. Silverman, former associate director of the National Academy of Sciences' Assembly of Behavior and Social Sciences, found that a 10 percent increase in the price of heroin alone produced an increase of 3.1 percent total property crimes in poor nonwhite neighborhoods. Armed robbery jumped 6.4 percent and simple assault by 5.6 percent throughout the city”. The street crime, which most political candidates pledge to clean up, is a direct result of the measures which the United States has taken in order to make it a so called better place. The War on Drugs costs the United States billions of dollars. “Fifteen billion dollars are fed into the federal drug control budget annually”. This money would be better spent on schools, roads, and other things that the people of America could use. Instead it is spent on prisons, police