DRUG LEGALIZATION - SOCIAL & ECONOMIC ISSUES
The debate over whether it is in society's best interest to legalize certain controlled substances has been the subject of much debate over the years. While groups on both sides of the debate seem to have absolute answers to the issue, there are both positive as well as negative factors that must be addressed. The ultimate answer to this question will be decided on the basis of which position results in the most benefit to society, after taking into account the cost to society. It can be likened to the current day automobile. Society has embraced the automobile as the preferred mode of transportation, fully understanding that every day many people are hurt or killed in accidents involving the automobile. The overall benefit to society in rapid transportation and economic dollars outweighs the cost in the form of human lives and pollution. More close to the issue is the tobacco industry.
While the only readily ascertainable benefit to society is the economic impact the industry brings, the cost to society in the form of additional health care costs and deaths is quite large. However, society for the most part has also embraced the tobacco industry. Cigarettes and alcohol are both legal, yet there are many problems associated with their use.
This paper will identify some of the economic and social issues related to the legalization of certain controlled substances, and come to my conclusion as to the proper position society should take.
History is a very good teacher. Looking back at the past gives guidance as to the future. The Prohibition is a very good historical example from which we can learn. Therefore, a discussion of the Prohibition is merited.
The Prohibition was in effect in the United States between 1920...