Drug legalization - Episode Preview and Article
Written by: Alvina Anwar - Writer for the Topilitical article chain
Simply the title of this article can immediately trigger opinions to run through the reader's mind. Some think it's a direct response, yes or no, with how much time and research they've put into it. Everyone else may have heard about the topic but figure it to be too shameful to discuss. Nonetheless, drug legalization has been a widespread but doubtful debate topic for decades, and in this article, we plan to break down long-running points from each side.
Ever since the '70s, the use of marijuana and other unprescribed drugs has become more and more accepted. It's even become common for regular day-to-day citizens to smoke street drugs. That doesn't make it acceptable in the eyes of more traditional and conservative civilians, but for more modern and liberal citizens, it is. However, no matter where you stand on the issue of unprescribed drugs yourself, there's one teeny-tiny thing you must keep in mind.
Only within the last decade have states and countries considered legalizing marijuana, which is only one drug. Other drugs like heroin, cocaine, molly, crystal meth and countless others don't even get to see the light of legal day. Never mind the health risks, in recent years, more arguments have concurred supporting drug use.
One of these arguments is the potential tax revenue from legalizing drugs. In June 2019, the US state of Colorado surpassed over $1 billion in state revenue from cannabis sales after legalizing marijuana in 2014. Those who support the legalization of drugs believe that if even more places were to approve drugs, the economy could skyrocket. That means there would be massive savings in resources, which could end up also helping the people with government-paid support. Supporters believe that if people are going to do it anyway, why criminalize them when we can legalize it and make money out of it?
Nonetheless, this very point has a response from the opposing side. Even though more people smoking drugs could boost the economy, it could normalize drug addiction. At least with it being illegal, people have a harder time accessing drugs and subconsciously know what they're doing is wrong. But if we legalize it, it'll seem like no big deal to many people. This could lead to, what some opposers call, a "drugged society". Nearly anybody who can get their hands on it might, which could lead to irresponsible decisions such as being high and driving, committing crimes, etc. The money, in their opinions, isn't worth it.
Those on the supporting side understand the concern of this view but disagree. Although legalizing drugs could lead to addicts, supporters believe that more addicts appear if we illegalize it or continue to. After the decriminalization of drugs in Portugal, the substance misuse rate has gone down over the last few years due to one main reason: rehabilitation. Instead of jailing those who had a substance addiction, they put them in rehab as it was no longer a crime. This not only repaired their mental health but overall limited or even stopped their smoking habits. The possibility of either scenario taking place is quite possible and should be considered.
An otherwise point brought from the opposing side is how a black market could remain. One of the main reasons supporters want to decriminalize marijuana and other drugs is because of drug underworlds and dealers. When drugs are passed through untrustworthy sources, the health effects can be detrimental to one's life. If dependable drugs were offered at local supermarkets and other safe places, it could reduce the risk of harm. But this doesn't mean that dealers would no longer operate. Alternatively just giving out the same drugs they were before, they could buy the approved drugs, test them out, and make "better" ones (stronger, cheaper, longer effects). So not only could illegal dealers continue dealing, the situation could get worse.
Supporters have a solution to this argument. Rather than just opening every drug to every person, it could be closely monitored and limited. That means only allowing it to some people, controlling the use, and lessening the amount of THC (the main psychoactive component in cannabis). You may think this will turn people to drug dealers more, but advocates suggest using the money earned from decriminalization towards a stronger police force. They would not only keep a closer eye on questionable citizens but also make sure the people who purchase cannabis smoke it instead of making it more stimulating for others with frequent urine testing.
Yet this idea is still risky as it is only a vision and not a guarantee. Plus, occasional cannabis users only have marijuana in their system for 24 hours, so unless they're invariably smoking, the plausibility of urine testing catching substances is unlikely. Perhaps this idea could improve if risky drug dealing remains an issue even after most-all places have legalized it.
If you'd like to learn more information on the issue of drug legalization, look no further. This Sunday, 06/13/21, our team plans to have an intricating debate discussing decriminalizing cannabis and other drugs. On the opposing side, our team producer and founder, David Barbu, will debate. On the promoting side, a loyal and longtime co-host, Sheng Chang Li, will argue his points. They'll discuss ideas mentioned in this article, and some of their own in this exciting and profound debate. Until next time, stay Topilitical.