Like roaches in a rundown apartment, when the sun sets in the city, drug dealers scurry upon street corners, empty warehouses, and serve their product to cars with rolled down windows as if it were a drive through McDonalds. Bullets buzz like angry bees through the open streets and find homes in innocent bodies leaving only tears and chalk outlines as a memory of their past owners. Our cities have become battle fields and the war is triggered by illegal drugs. ?The consequences for America's central cities, which serve as the hub of a vast underground economy should not be underestimated. Tens of thousands of our children are caught in the violent network of gangs financed by the drug-trade and hundreds of thousands find their streets and neighborhoods torn apart by drug trade related crime.?(Geers, 1995, paragraph 4) If one were to look at the statistics, one in four African American males are in jail or on probation due to some variety of a drug related crime.
The war on drugs is real and seemingly is being lost. This has caused many politicians, statisticians, and advocacy groups to brainstorm new ideas on how to help elevate the drug problem in the United States. Many have voiced the idea of decriminalization of controlled substances. The idea of decriminalization of drugs is a two sided issue that is built upon four main issues: what is the chemical difference between legal and illegal drugs, the costs of such a policy, the facts about our nation?s current policies on illegal drugs, and if adopting a foreign nations approach to decriminalizing drugs would be plausible.
?The distinction between legal and illegal substances is clearly arbitrary, and would seem to be based on nothing more than the fact that some drugs have a...