The Case for Legalizing Drugs

Essay by CybrJunkyHigh School, 12th gradeA, December 1996

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Man, as a creature, is inherently bored. Since the dawn of time, it has been the natural instinct of

man to find alternative methods to enhance his being. The many means by which man has turned to

include sex, gambling, and the consumption of substances beyond the requirements of nutrition. The

consumption of substances can be further broken down into legal and illegal substances. The

question then becomes, who are we to place labels on certain substances by deeming them legal

and prohibit others by creating penalties for their use?

The issue of prohibition is certainly not a new one to our nation. In 1919, the 18th Amendment

prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages. 'Suddenly honest,

responsible Americans who just wanted a drink, were turned into criminals. Respectable bars

became underground speak-easys, and legitimate liquor manufacturers were replaced by criminal

bootleggers.' Gang warfare, bribery, and criminal activity reached an all-time high.

Standards on

illegal alcohol were much lower than those on the previously legal alcohol which led to the blinding

or death of many consumers. Finally in 1933, politicians buckled and repealed the 18th

Amendment. The Prohibition attempt of the early 20th century provides the perfect historical

support for the decriminalization of drugs.

'Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within

itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by

legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at

the very principles upon which our government was founded.'

The rise in violent crime over the years has been a concern to most. A major cause of this increase

in crime is the illegal trafficking of drugs. As violent...