The illegal usage of drugs is very prevalent in our country today. The problem has gotten so severe, that many options are being considered to control it or even solve it. The war on drugs does not seem to be accomplishing enough, and different options need to be considered. Legalization is an option that hasn't gotten a chance but should be given one. Although many people feel that legalizing drugs would increase the amount of use, drugs should be legalized because it will reduce the great amounts of money spent on enforcement and it will increase our country's revenue.
Legalization is considered unnecessary by many people. They feel that it will increase the amount of drug use in our country. They say that many cases of drug users who have quit, did so because of troubles with the law. Legalization would eliminate the legal force that discourages the users from using or selling drugs. They also say that by making drugs legal, the people that have never tried drugs before for fear of getting caught by the law, will have no reason to be afraid anymore and they will become users.
However, making drugs legal will reduce the great amounts of money spent on enforcement every year. Drug dealers and users are one step ahead of the enforcement process. If one drug lord is caught, another one will show up somewhere else. We cannot win. In 1987, 10 billion dollars were spent alone just on enforcing drug laws. Drugs accounted for about 40 percent of all felony indictments in the New York City courts in 1989. This figure quadrupled since 1985. One can only imagine what this figure would be like today. Forty percent of the people in federal prison are drug law violators. Too much money is wasted on a cause for which there seems to be no end. In 1989 a Republican county executive of Mercer County NJ estimated that it would cost him as much as one billion dollars to build the jail space needed to house all the hard-core drug users in Trenton alone. All of this money could be used on better things.
Legalizing drugs would also increase our economy's revenue. During Prohibition alcohol use was still rampant. People were still drinking it, even though is was illegal. The 21st Amendment repealed prohibition and alcohol taxes were increased. The same thing should happen with drugs. The drugs should be taxed heavily to increase our revenue. The drugs would be made by the same people who make aspirin so the quality would be assured- no poisons, no adulterants. Sterile hypodermic needles will be readily available at corner drug stores. These could be taxed heavily because the users will be assured of "clean drugs." The money collected from the taxes could be used for method owned clinics for the users.
As George P. Schultz stated, "We're not really going to get anywhere until we can take the criminality out of the drug business and the incentives for criminality out of it." Legalization will be profitable to our economy in two ways. It will allow for the money spent on drug law enforcement to be spent more wisely and it will increase our revenue. As for whether or not there will be an increase in use, we can never tell unless we give legalization a chance.