Criminalization of drug use

Illegality of drug use
Prohibition of addictive drugs
Making the use of drugs illegal has created a criminal class and increased the profits of organized crime to the point that producers and dealers of illegal drugs are able to dictate to governments.
Federal, state and local governments in the USA spend more than 8 billion USA dollars a year on the detection, repression and punishment of drug related crimes. The governments of Columbia and Bolivia are increasingly under the control of drug gangsters. Wherever drug gangs operate, corruption increases.
1. The consequences of making a drug illegal are that it is only available on the black market, usually adulterated, of uncertain dosage, and dangerous to consume. Using an illegal drug makes a person a criminal, but making the drug illegal does not stop him or her from using it. The substances themselves do not make people lie, cheat, steal, or prostitute themselves. Illegal drugs have much the same effect as legal ones: coffee, alcohol, tobacco and various stimulants and depressants readily available in pharmacies. The difference is legislative, not pharmacological.

2. If these drugs were available on the legal market, their sale could be controlled, taxed and supervised, and their dangers proclaimed on every packet. The result would be that fewer people would be poisoned, fewer dealers would be killed, fewer police officers would be corrupted, and more public revenue would be raised. Keeping these drugs on the illegal market enriches those at the top of drug syndicates, and impoverishes the ordinary non-affluent recreational consumer. If the extraordinary profit incentive artificially created by criminalization of drug use did not exist drug dealing would not be the temptation that it now is for underprivileged youth.

3. The quality and purity of illegal drugs is controlled by those who produce it; that of legal drugs is controlled by government bodies. Yet alcohol and tobacco cause more illness and death, and cost health services far more, than the drugs labelled "illegal". Futhermore, prohibiting certain drugs simply means that people do have the opportunity to learn how to use them safely.

3. Police forces rely on public cooperation and respect for the law to maintain order. The anti-drug laws are probably the single biggest impediment to developing this respect.

4. The recent upsurge of recreational drug use among young people has highlighted the inability to exercise quality control over the illicit market. The opportunity for selling impure counterfeit drugs is such that quite literally the customers do not know what they are putting in their bodies.

5. Drug consuming countries should put an end to the self-seeking, pernicious, useless war they inflict on the drug producing countries and confront the drug problem throughout the world as a fundamental ethical and political question that can be defined clearly only by an international agreement. The drug polemic should not continue to be caught between war and permissiveness, but should rather focus on the ways in which legalization can be administered.

1. The costs to society would increase if drugs were legalized, especially those like cocaine. To effect the black market, legal drugs would have to be cheaper, leading to wider use. Hospital cost would rise. The prescribed maintenance doses of heroin programme of the UK failed. Cheaper and more easily obtained cocaine would lead to heavier use and an increase in the incidents of depression, paranoia and violent psychotic behaviour.

2. To what forms of social exploitation would the illegal drug networks be obliged to turn to satisfy their need for funds if drugs were legalized?.

3. Campaigns against illegal drug use have succeeded in reducing drug abuse. The number of drugs users in the USA dropped by 50% between 1979 and 1995, and the number of hard addicts remained constant, thanks to active campaigning against the use of illegal drugs. Experiments in legalization have failed to reduce drug abuse. In the Netherlands, where drug use is officially condoned, the use of marijuana among adolescents has increased by 250%, and the number of hard drug addicts has increased by 22%.

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems