It is true, of course, but only trivial, that the current illegality of drugs is the cause of the crime surrounding their distribution. Similarly, it is the illegality of car theft that creates car thieves. In fact, the ultimate cause of any crime is the law. As far as I know, no one has ever suggested giving up that right because of that. Moreover, the impossibility of winning the “war” against theft, burglary, theft and fraud has never been used as an argument to abandon these categories of crimes. And as long as the demand for material goods exceeds the supply, people will be tempted to commit criminal acts against the owners of property. In my view, this is not an argument against private ownership or in favour of co-ownership of all property. However, it suggests that we will need a police force for a long time. A nation of prison guards. The lock-in mentality of the war on drugs has pushed our criminal justice system to the limit.
Today, law enforcement consumes more than half of all police resources nationwide, resources that could be better used to combat violent crimes such as rape, assault and robbery. The universality of drug use throughout human history has led some experts to conclude that the desire to change consciousness, for whatever reason, is a fundamental human impulse. People from almost every culture, at all times, have used psychoactive drugs. Local South Americans take coca breaks like we do coffee breaks in this country. Native Americans use peyote and tobacco in their religious ceremonies, just as Europeans use wine. Alcohol is the drug of choice in Europe, the United States and Canada, while many Muslim countries tolerate the use of opium and marijuana. Drug offences also account for the lion`s share of the work of the police, courts and prisons. But what can we do? Some people think we should legalize drugs – treat them like alcohol and tobacco, like regulated products. And legalization doesn`t have to apply to all illegal drugs. The legalization debate is arguably one of the most heated and controversial debates on drugs. It is difficult for me to think of any other issue in this area that is discussed as often or as widely as the legalization debate. This is largely the result of aggressive lobbying by pharmaceutical companies.
Over the past decade, opioid producers and suppliers have spent more than $880 million at the federal and state levels to influence lawmakers to end new regulations for their drugs, while urging policymakers to ease access to painkillers. That`s eight times more than what the gun lobby spent on its goals, according to Mother Jones. And it has often worked: In Maine, for example, drugmakers managed to pass a bill requiring insurers to cover opioid painkillers, which are supposed to be harder to abuse. As drug problems get worse, there is a cry that we have lost the war on drugs and that our best way to stop all death and destruction is to legalize drugs and let the government reap the profits in the form of taxes. It seems simple: legalize all drugs, prices will drop, the associated murders and violence will disappear, and we will all live happily ever after. We can use the increase in tax revenues to build highways and roads or finance other important projects. Perhaps we should not be too strict with Mill`s principle: it is not certain that anyone has ever thought of a better one. But that`s exactly the point. Human affairs cannot be decided by invoking an infallible rule, expressive in a few words, the mere application of which can decide all cases, including the question of whether drugs should be freely accessible to the entire adult population. Philosophical fundamentalism is not preferable to the religious variant; And because the desiderata of human life is numerous and often in conflict with each other, mere philosophical inconsistency in policy – such as allowing alcohol consumption while banning cocaine – is not a sufficient argument against these policies. We all value freedom, and we all value order; Sometimes we sacrifice freedom for order and sometimes order for freedom. But once the ban is lifted, it is difficult to restore it, even if the newfound freedom turns out to be ill-conceived and socially catastrophic.
Would drugs be more available once prohibition is lifted? It is hard to imagine that drugs are more available than they are today. Despite efforts to stem their flow, drugs are accessible to anyone who wants them. In a recent government-sponsored survey of high school students, 55 percent said it would be “easy” for them to get hold of cocaine, and 85 percent said it would be “easy” for them to get marijuana. Access to drugs is particularly easy in our inner cities, and the risk of arrest has been shown to have a negligible deterrent effect. What would change with decriminalization is not so much the availability of drugs as the conditions under which drugs would be available. Without prohibition, it would be easier to help addicts who want to quit their habits, because the money currently wasted on law enforcement could be used for preventive social programs and treatment. The moral argument against legalization suggests that illegal drug use is amoral, antisocial, and unacceptable in today`s society. The concern is that legalization would “send the wrong signal.” Easing the availability of psychoactive substances that are not already commercially available, opponents generally argue, would lead to an immediate and substantial increase in consumption. To support their claim, they point to the prevalence of opium, heroin and cocaine addiction in various countries prior to the entry into force of international controls, the increase in alcohol consumption following the repeal of the Volstead Act in the United States, and studies showing higher rates of abuse among health professionals with better access to prescription drugs. Without explaining the basis of their calculations, some have predicted a dramatic increase in the number of people who use drugs and become addicted. These increases would result in significant direct and indirect costs to society, including increased public health spending as a result of overdoses, foetal malformations and other drug-related accidents such as car accidents; loss of productivity due to absenteeism and accidents at work; and more drug-induced violence, child abuse and other crimes, not to mention school unrest. Looking at this crisis, I slowly but surely realized that full legalization may not be the right answer to the war on drugs.
Perhaps the U.S. simply cannot regulate these potentially lethal substances in a legal environment. Perhaps some form of prohibition – albeit less stringent than the one we have today – is the right way to go. However, what is generally presented as a fairly simple process of lifting prohibitionist controls to reap these supposed benefits would actually mean addressing an extremely complex set of regulatory issues. As with most, if not all, goods supplied by individuals and public funds, the main regulatory issues concern the type of medicines legally available, the conditions under which they are supplied and the conditions under which they are consumed (see page 21). Governments could generate tax revenues from illicit drugs, as they currently do from gambling, alcohol and tobacco. A regulated state monopoly could guarantee direct revenues; Our research suggests this could be as high as $600 million a year for a regulated cannabis market in New South Wales. There is progress in people`s minds: first the unthinkable becomes conceivable, and then it becomes an orthodoxy whose truth seems so obvious that no one remembers that anyone has ever thought otherwise. This is exactly what is happening with the idea of legalising drugs: it has reached a stage where millions of thinking men agree that the obvious, in fact the only, solution to the social problems arising from drug use is to allow people to take what they want. During the Civil War, morphine (an opium derivative and cousin of heroin) proved to have analgesic properties and quickly became the main ingredient in several patented medicines. Im spät 19. In the nineteenth century, marijuana and cocaine were used for various medical purposes – marijuana to treat migraines, rheumatism and insomnia, and cocaine to treat sinusitis, hay fever and chronic fatigue.
All of these drugs were also used recreationally, and cocaine in particular was a common ingredient in wines and sodas, including the popular Coca Cola. As a result, many people died: in terms of overdoses, the opioid epidemic is deadlier than any other drug crisis in U.S. history — more than crack, methamphetamine, and any other heroin epidemic. Overall, more than 560,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses between 1999 and 2015 (the latest year for which complete data are available), a higher mortality rate than the overall Atlanta population. And while many of these deaths are now linked to illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl, the source of the epidemic — leading people to start a chain to harder drugs — was opioid painkillers, and legal painkillers were still linked to most opioid overdose deaths in 2015 (though there were signs that changed in 2016). The argument is that the vast majority of the damage caused to society by the use of currently illegal drugs is not caused by their pharmacological properties, but by their prohibition and the resulting criminal activities that prohibition always triggers. A simple reflection tells us that a supply inevitably grows to meet a demand; And if the demand is widespread, deletion is unnecessary. In fact, it is harmful because by increasing the price of the product in question, it increases the profits of middlemen, which gives them an even stronger incentive to stimulate demand even more.