Well if thought straight, then if you want something to stop, then banning or creating a strong law against it, is a good idea. But, this strategy might not work everytime. Here, I am not trying to advocate any drug use, but just want to share the idea which really inspired me. Drugs have been legalized and regulated in countries like Portugal, Uruguay and Switzerland in proper way. And they are showing pretty good results.
Well, I don’t want to say it’s impossible to eliminate drug use from the earth but it’s pretty improbable. Since early days of human history, people have been enjoying the altered state of mind provided by drugs, alcohol, cigarette or by other healthy way like meditating, dancing, singing, praying etc. Even animal seemed to love plants that provided altered state of mind them.
So, why legalize?
1. Many people are already addicted, so they need drugs regularly for their normal performance. But since drugs are banned, they have to be smuggled, which rises the price of it much higher than the normal person can afford, let go of the addict who are generally jobless. Moreover people hesitates to give job opportunity to addict even though he/she has stayed clean for long time. Inorder to afford drugs, addicts need to earn more money in less time, which forces them to involve in crimes like stealing, robbing, kidnapping, killing, illegal prostitution etc. This only increases the crime rate.
2. When drugs are banned, the main groups that benefit from it are the street drug dealers, cartels and gangs. As they control most illegal drug markets which yields pretty high money for them. By legalizing and regulating the drugs, these street gangs and traders can be bankrupted and eliminated. Besides this, these gangs and dealers fight among themselves for territorial control; so that they can control the area where the market for drug is more, this is one of the major causes of drug related deaths and conflicts.
3. Once legalized and regulated by government, children are less vulnerable to drugs. Since it will be only available in certified licensed medical institution under certain condition, children will not get access to drugs. But when banned, it will be sold and dealt only by smugglers, whose only purpose is to sell and earn money and they will not hesitate to sell drugs to their customers who may be either 9 or 90 years old as long as they bring big money.
4. When banned, the price of drugs will be high, so besides doing notorious activities, addicts have another option to support their addiction, they can turn themselves into dealer. And to become dealer, they need to create market. For this, they need to teach and lure youngsters or their friends to use drugs, once the new crews become addicted, they can start to sell drugs to them either by raising price or substituting various harmful chemicals in drugs. This only increases the drug users. Moreover adulterated drug is much more harmful than pure which severely damages the body of addict. And adulteration of drug even increases the chance of overdose when addict mistakes pure drug for adulterated drug and use in higher amount.
5. The money used to control, ban, arrest drugs and drug related activities and people and the tax generated from safe regulation of drugs can be used to create awareness campaign for public especially children and adolescents in more effective and efficient way.
6. Arresting drug addicts won’t solve the problem, but instead makes situation more worse. Addicts need supports and guidance to overcome addiction. They should be brought in healthy environment. Since most addict are the victims of trauma and abuse, once their emotional or psychological issue is dealt and provided healthy environment to live as normal people, most of them starts or be willing to reducing their drug use.
7. Besides this crime rate, HIV transfer rate, death due to overdose and drug related deaths will be reduced when regulated and legalized. But when banned problems get more worse than it should be, use of hard drugs increases, crime rate increases along with breaking of social harmony and stability.
I don’t know about you but I really got inspired by this idea. And if you are interested to read further, you can read the book “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs”, by Johann Hari, a British Journalists who researched and concluded how war against drug is failing. This book is New York Times Bestseller and has received many positive feedbacks from experts all over the world. As myself, I couldn’t stop reading this book once started and I finished in just three days.