strategy

Decriminalizing drugs

Synonyms:
Legalizing drug use
Context:
Damage done by drug-related crime may be worse than the damage resulting from making them legal.
Implementation:
There have been experiments with decriminalizing drugs in several countries, including the Netherlands, Alaska and Switzerland.
Claim:
1. Decriminalizing drugs would only work as a strategy if implemented simultaneously in all major countries.

2. There are perfectly respectable citizens who have been taking drugs, say heroin, every week or month for years, because they have been able to control their drug use and have self-control.

3. Tobacco kills around 100,000 people in the UK each year; alcohol around 20,000 whereas illegal drugs kill a few hundred. The sellers of tobacco and alcohol are given honours, yet the sellers of other drugs are incarcerated.

4. Self-harm should not be legally restricted.

Counter Claim:
1. Whilst crime problems may be eased by decriminalization, the drug problem itself would not necessarily be helped.

2. If drugs are legalized and become more widely used, the public has to bear the cost of treating drug addicts, not to speak of the loss of productivity in the working population.

3. One of the major practical disadvantages of legalizing drugs is pricing them. If they are taxed to deter people from using them, only the rich can afford them and so a black market situation will prevail as at present. If they are given out free on prescription or through licensed shops, people will sell their surplus.

Subjects:
Addiction, drug abuse
Pharmacy
Legality
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies