Philosophy Paper on Legalization of Drugs
Washington, after Colorado is among the states that have legalized drugs, particularly medical marijuana. Through a successful ballot measure, the two states are among the first in the United States to legalize marijuana use. Proponents and opponents were (and still are), to the move by the two states, each side having its reasons for their argument. However, like all the issues that affect humans, there is no black and white, many grey areas exist in the debate for legalization of drugs.
Philosophically, the use of drugs is a personal choice, especially for those living in a free society. Ideally, the use of the drugs among adults should therefore have no caveats when the adult in question is ready to face the consequence of his/her actions. Legalization in this case appeals to the free will of the adult, making the choice whether or not to use drugs and be ready to face the consequences of his/her actions. While those opposed to this view may posit that no human is an island and therefore the consequences of an individual’s actions most certainly have repercussions on the society. It is important to note that it is the concern for the society that this line of argument proposes about an individual facing the consequences for his/her actions. Legalization does not give an individual a free pass on their actions, but provides a free environment to exercise free will, even as it reminds the individual of the responsibility to others within the society.
Human nature is such that anything illegalized attracts. The thrill of doing something illegal and a show of defiance and rebellion are hardwired into humans, particularly the youth in the process of self-discovery. Perhaps the thrill points the youth towards taking illegal drugs, a factor that is possible to eliminate through legalization of drugs. Trading in illegal drugs, apart from being a source of illegal income for the dealers, denies the government millions in taxes. Legalization means setting up proper channels for safe production, distribution, and sales of drugs, which apart from streamlining the supply chain process, reduces the possibility of harm from poorly processed drugs, even as it brings income to the government through taxes.
Drugs are part of the reasons for increased organized crimes like illegal drugs, extortion, slavery, and human trafficking. Legalizing drugs, therefore, is a means to starve off organized crimes of their main source of income. Legalization of drugs market makes it easier to regulate and control the market, in addition to checking other organized crimes.
However, legalization of drugs may have perilous repercussions on the society including addiction to some of the hard drugs which have serious consequences on an individual’s health. The drugs’ exigencies on an individual’s health affect both social and economic productivity of the drug user, putting excessive demand on the healthcare system. Channeling more into the healthcare system starves other areas of developmental funds, in essence, stagnating social and economic progress.
Colorado and Washington are among the first states to legalize drugs, a move that many other states are soon to follow. Legalizing drugs has benefits that accrue to the whole society. While opponents may see it as opening a leeway for drug use, legalizing drugs may just be the way to deal with the menacing drug problems and other drug-related crimes.