Why drugs should not be legalized


  • Introduction
  • Why drugs should not be legalized
    • Addiction
    • Social effects
    • Economic effects
    • Health effects
  • Why drugs should be legalized
    • Economic cost.
    • Human rights.
    • Reduced crime rate
    • Consumer protection
  • Conclusion
  • Work cited.


Drugs are considered to be very harmful products that are consumed by individuals for the purposes of pleasure. Most people in the society consider them to be dangerous and having very negative effects. However this is not always the case since some of these drugs are very useful. “The effects that result from the use of drugs have led many governments to curb and regulate the use of drugs in almost all countries,” (Ted, p25).

Most states usually have laws and regulations regarding the use and abuse of the different types of drugs at our disposal. However the way people use drugs and the reasons for which they use these dugs would be a good basis for a debate on whether such regulations should be there or not.

The abuse of drugs may necessarily result when such drugs are used excessively or for the purposes they are not intended for. If we therefore consider a person using the drugs with a sole intention of not abusing them we would not call that drug abuse. In such a case, we would campaign for the legalization of drugs. Different reasons for use and abuse of drugs have been evaluated by different scholars and this paper will analyze use of drugs and give a statement on whether drugs should be legalized or not.

Why drugs should not be legalized


Legalizing the use of drugs would only make it worse by enabling more people to become addicted to the use of drugs. Making it legal would make the drugs to be more available and disposed to more individuals. “Over a period of time the individuals who are introduced to the use of drugs would not be able to stop using drugs in their lives and thus leading to addiction,” (Douglas, p34). Individuals who are addicted to drug use find it very difficult to quit and it is in itself a problem to those who wish to be rehabilitated. Drugs should therefore not be legalized to protect the citizens from such devastating effects

Social effects

Legalizing of drugs leads to a lot of social effects. One of the major effects is the destabilizing of families. Individuals who are under the effects of drugs often engage in very many behaviors which are hardly accepted within the society and also at the family level. “Under the effect of drugs some individuals will engage in anti-social activities such as rape, property damage, crime, murder among other assaults,” (Ted, p29).

Youths who engage in such drug activities are often unable to continue with their education and this leads to increased number of school drop out in the society. Individuals who are under the influence of drugs often engage in criminal activities such as organized gangs that often commit crime in the society. This threatens the security and lives of other individuals. Traditionally most societies do not uphold the use of drugs and therefore legalizing of drugs would collide with the societal norms and values of most individuals.

Economic effects

Economic cost that drug use attracts would increase if the drugs are legalized. Legalizing drug use would have major and devastating effects on the economic activities. Starting from the family level, use of drugs would result to lose of jobs by most individuals since no employer would able to handle an employee working under the influence of drugs.

The out put of such individuals is usually very low and to most employers it would be simply an added cost to the company. This would result to massive job loses increasing the level of unemployment. “The low out put by the workers would also result to a reduced domestic output thus resulting to very low out put in the whole economy thus reduced GDP,” (Thornton, p15). Other economic effects would be increased poverty levels especially due to the resulting high unemployment.

Most individuals who are laid off from employment would not be able to cater for their family’s basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing among other goods and services required by the family. This would lead to many homeless people in the nation. The cost that is incurred by the government in terms of social funds would increase thus an added cost to the government.

The education system would also be affected since there would be high school drop out from the youths under the influence of drugs. This would lower the literacy levels in the economy and over all reduced output due to lack of competent and intelligent individuals to work in the productive sectors of the economy.

Health effects

“Health effects that result from drug use are normally chronic and may cause a lot of damage to the individuals body,” (Ted, p32). Use of drugs is especially associated with brain damage in most individuals. Other health effects that are brought by use of drugs include cancers such as lung cancer, high blood pressure, Liver cirrhosis, heart attack among other effects.

Legalizing drugs would affect the health of most individuals and the government should therefore not legalize the use of drugs. Effect on the health sector would mean an effect on the employment sector since sick people would not be able to work. It is clear that use of drugs would there fore lead to a lot of harm to the health sector of the economy.

Why drugs should be legalized

Economic cost

United States is one of the leading countries in the arrests of individuals who are involved in use and dealing of drugs. The cost that is incurred by the state in arresting the individuals, prosecution, convictions and also the imprisoning of offenders related to drug cases is very high. “60% of the inmates in the US prisons are drug related individuals,” (Douglas, p38).

Most of these cases are minor cases mostly of being in possession of the drugs such as trafficking. The cost incurred in the judicial system is not fruitful at all in reducing the use of drugs within the country.

To reduce such costs the government should instead legalize the drugs and use the resources to protect the innocent citizens from the effects that may result from those using the drugs. The resources being used to enforce the laws just go to waste. Legalizing the drug use would reduce congestion in the prisons and make it a more peaceful environment for other offenders of different and more serious crimes.

Human rights

“Prohibition of drugs use collides with the human rights of personal freedom and choice,” (Thornton, p17). It is extremely impossible for the government to control individuals on the way they want to use their bodies by enacting laws. Majority of people who make a personal decision and choice of using drugs would not be stopped by the laws on the use of drugs. It would be much better for the government to abolish the laws on drug use and make it legal in order for people to become more informed when they are making choices on the use of drugs.

Reduced crime rate

“Price of drugs is normally controlled by the laws and restrictions on the particular drugs,” (Ted, p37). If the laws are more strict and attracting heavy penalties the more expensive the drugs are. When the drugs become very expensive for the consumers they usually engage in criminal activities to look for ways to fill the financial gap.

This encourages a lot of crime and property damage. The income that results from the sale of such drugs are usually very high and therefore laws only attract more dealers into the business who want to earn money in such ways irrespective of whether they are using the drug. If such drugs are legalized the price would be low and thus less crime since the drugs would be affordable. Fewer dealers would be involved and thus reduced use of the drugs.

Consumer protection

Strict laws on drug use, often encourages the rise of the drugs in the black market. “The fact that they are sold in the black market means that the manufacturers of such drugs do not indicate any instructions on use of the drugs or any warnings or disclaimer,” (Thornton, p24). If the demand is high, the products may be tampered with and there may be a lot of imitations thus putting the lives of the consumers at risk.

The government should legalize the use of drugs since this would enable the manufacturers of such drugs to give more information on the drugs to the consumers.

There would be more regulations on the quality of the product since companies would compete for customer loyalty. The consumers would be able to protect themselves better since information on the drugs would be readily available. On the other hand the consumer’s health would improve since gadgets such as injection IV would be cheap and available thus reducing sharing. This would reduce infection rates of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B.


In conclusion, drug use should be legalized. There is no evidence to date to show that the war on drugs use has been effective. Even in the countries such as the US where the laws are strict and very many arrests, people are still using drugs in large volumes.

It would be much better for the government to legalize use of drugs and use the resources it spends on enacting the laws to protect the innocent citizens from the effects that may spill over to them from the users of drugs. However, use of drugs should be a personal decision since the effects on the individual may be devastating especially due to health complications, societal rejection and loss of employment besides facing the law when the use of drugs affects other people.

Work cited

Douglas N. Husak. The Legalization of Drugs. Cambridge University Press, 2005, Pp 34-68.

Ted Gottfried. Should Drugs Be Legalized? 21st Century, 2001, Pp 23-43.

Thornton, Mark. Prohibition vs. Legalization of drugs. Prentice Hall, 2004, Pp 12-26.

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