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Against the Legalization of Drugs

NCJ Number
NarcOfficer Volume: 6 Issue: 5 Dated: (May 1990) Pages: 13,18-22
J Q Wilson
Date Published
6 pages
These arguments against drug legalization emphasize addiction, dependency, and treatment issues.
If drugs such as heroin are legalized, their price will be reduced significantly, hypodermic needles will be readily available at the neighborhood drug store, and drugs can be purchased anywhere. There would no longer be any financial or medical reason to avoid drug use. Great Britain's experiment with legalizing heroin did not work, primarily because of increased addiction. The current crack problem is far worse than the heroin problem. Those addicted to crack and its effects virtually exclude almost all other considerations such as job, sleep, food, family and children. Crack abuse is not a victimless crime; users regularly victimize their children by neglect and their employers and coworkers by lethargy and carelessness. The percentage of occasional cocaine users who become binge users does not indicate the percentage who will become dependent if the drug is legal, but this percentage is most likely to increase. Illegal drugs increase crime, partly because some users turn to crime to pay for their habits and partly because some users are stimulated by certain drugs to act more violently. Legalization, however, will not affect addiction and its effects on the propensity to violence. Instead of legalizing drugs, better treatment, education, and research are needed to curb dependency on drugs and the adverse health and social effects of drug use.


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