The Question Of Legalizing Drugs Essay Research

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The Question Of Legalizing Drugs Essay, Research Paper The Question of Legalizing Drugs? Drug legalization is an enduring question that presently faces our scholars. This issue embraces two positions: drugs should not be legalized and drugs should be legalized. These two positions contain an array of angles that supports each issue. This brief of the issues enables one to consider the strengths and weakness of each argument, become aware of the grounds of disagreement and agreement and ultimately form an opinion based upon the positions stated within the articles. In the article ?Against the Legalization of Drugs?, by James Q. Wilson, the current status of drugs is supported. Wilson believes if a drug such as heroin were legalized there would be no financial or medical reason

to avoid heroin usage; therefore, anybody could afford it (367). Wilson stated that during 1960?s, British physicians were allowed to prescribe heroin to addicts until the number of addicts increased fivefold. He argued that cocaine is not a ?victimless crime.? Addicts victimize children by neglect and spouses by not providing (370). Wilson upholds that illegality of drugs increases crime because users need to pay for their habit (372). He believes the benefit of illegal drugs is it forces patients who enter under legal compulsion to complete their treatment due to the pressure and drug-education programs in the schools (374). Wilson is convinced the difference between nicotine and cocaine is that while tobacco shortens one?s life, cocaine debase it and destroys the addicts

humanity (375). Wilson?s argument is strong because he demonstrates his knowledge of the subject and supports it with many clear, scientific facts and historical examples of drug usage. He interprets facts differently by seeing ?logical fallacy and factual error? (371) in what other perceive as being a true. He also acknowledges his opposition by addressing how the advocates of legalization respond to his position. Wilson recognizes that that he may be wrong about his conclusions of drug legalization. Yet he states if he is wrong, money will be saved, while if he is right, and the legalizers prevail, then millions of people, thousands of infants and hundreds of neighborhoods will live a life of disease (377-8). In the article ?Drug Policy and the Intellectuals,? by William J.

Bennentt, drug legalization was not supported. Bennett wants to address the ?root causes? of drugs by means of the education, prevention, the media, and most of all the law (359). Bennett believes legalization will remove the incentive to stay away from a life of drugs (360). He thinks legalizing drugs would lower the cost to the allowance budget of a sixth-grader (360-1). Bennett believes that drug use will rise dramatically if legalized. (361). Bennett says that legalization advocates believe the cost of enforcing the drug laws is too great, but they do not ask what is the cost of not enforcing the laws. Bennett thinks the hospitals would be filled, more school dropouts would occur, and more crack babies raise the stakes of legalizing drugs (361). Contrary to Wilson, Bennett

argues that crime would not decline with legalization. He believes there is a particular lesson to be learned from Prohibition. He is convinced that when alcohol was illegal, consumption went down, less alcohol-related disease existed, and much less public drunkenness happened(362). Bennett has no doubt law enforcement is needed with drug treatment and education plans and calls for a bigger criminal justice system in the form of drug prevention (363). Bennett holds a relatively strong argument. He blends clear and concise facts with a logical understanding of the matter well within his argument. He shows an understanding of others? viewpoints by addressing points of opposition several times during the article. Bennett demonstrates knowledge of the subject by supporting his points