Should Drugs Be Legalized?

Sana Mezghani

Image credit: “Break” by mimi_n

In many countries around the world, the use of certain types of drugs is prohibited and their consumption may lead to jail sentences. In Tunisia, this sentence could be 1 year and in some cases, up to 30 years.

This drug issue has been on the debate table for years. Some people agree that drugs should be legalized and some other are against it. This article tends to expose both perspectives.

Drugs Should Be Legal:

Many people argue that all types of drugs should be legalized for numerous reasons. As a matter of fact, the money which the government spends fighting the use of drugs is higher than drug use itself. For example, in the United States, it costs the government approximately more than $3.3 billion annually just to incarcerate people charged with drug-related offenses (statistics of 2015). It is an insane amount of money that could be used for a better cause. Imagine how many mouths could be fed in poorer countries, especially those suffering from war. For a reason or another, the drug prohibition laws has not reduced the use of these substances.

It is said that the best way to prevent and stop the use of drugs is to never start doing them in the first place. That’s where the government’s role comes in to raise awareness since the early age.

People suffering from mental health problems such as depression, ADHD, anixiety etc. are in grave need of some of these illegal substances in order to calm the sympotoms and become more comfortable in their own skin and mind. It is possible to get these medical drugs using a prescription from doctor. Since drugs are illegal, it encourages drug dealers to grow their business which can lead to violence and killing.

Some drugs are origianated from plants such as Cocaine and Cannabis (also known as Marijuana) that have a positive side. Some countries have actually legalized Marijuana for medical reasons. It was scientifically proven that these drugs minimize pain, might be helpful to treat conditions and reduce inflammations caused by, for example, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. According to a study made by University of California San Francisco, it was shown that Marijuana is less damaging to lungs than Tobacco. It is known that cigarettes are smoked daily by millions and they have a more dangerous effect on the human body. However, Tobacco is legalized whereas drugs are illegal.

Drugs Should Be Legally Prohibited:

We were taught at school, since childhood, that we should never try smoking any type of substance whatsoever. We were told that it is dangerous and harmful in numerous ways. However, we never understood the reason. It is similar to an outside reality that is totally intangible to us.

It is agreed that some types of drugs have short and long-term negative consequenecs. They gravely damage brain cells and slows down the body’s functions. Cannabis slows the nervous system which makes it hard to retain information and concentrate. In addition, it reduces fertility and might causes lung or heart cancer. These side effects not only affects the user but, it also affects the economy because of the decreased rate of productivity of the workers.

Some people, who are self-conscious about their excessive weight, tend to use Cocaine because it drives away their appetite. It is very dangerous because, in some cases, it might lead to dehydration; and it is know that the human body can survive without water for only 3 days. Thus, the user might eventually die.

32-year-old Kate Flowers, shares her drug addiction story and how much it has affected her life. When she was younger, her life revolved around dancing and, specifically, ballet. Her first time using Cocaine was at the age of 15 at a party. She slowly became addicted as she tried to become thinner. That is when her life and mental health started getting worse.

Just as her dream seemed to fade away because of her addiction, she knew that she had to quit using drugs no matter the cost. “I was surving but not living”. Throughout the video, Kate keeps insisting that it is not worth it at all because drugs are just a temporary bandage that will fall out sooner or later.

Many countries around the world such as Portugal, Netherlands, Mexico.. have debated and decriminalized drug use with different level of effectiveness. On one hand, these new laws might increase the crime rate. On the other hand, criminal justice system costs come down and therefore, the government’s costs will decrease.