Prohibition vs. legalization

Essay by Jim NobleCollege, UndergraduateB+, March 1996

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Decriminalization vs. Prohibition

The idea of Drug Prohibition made sense: lower the availability of drugs by the use of law enforcement. Unfortunately, Drug Prohibition means heavy costs while proving to be ineffective and counterproductive.

I was thirteen when I saw drugs for the first time. I was with some of my friends that live down the road from me. They asked me if I wanted to get high with them. At the time, I didn't know what getting high meant, so I asked them. One of them pulled ut a long slender object, similar to a cigarette, but twisted on either end. They told me it was something special. I was still bewildered. They said 'It's pot, you know, marijuana?' Immediately I said no. I had seen several anti-dug commercials, all with the same motto, 'Just Say No'. I felt so good about myself. I had done the right thing.

I said no to my friends, which is a very hard decision to make at that age. I was not going to be one of those sad cases, where my life is wasted away. I was not going to be a crazed addict, who would stop at nothing to get a hit. I was not going to be dodging the law my whole life. I was going to be everything I wanted to be, and drugs were definitely not going to get in the way. I promised myself I would not end up like Jimi Hendrix, or Janis Joplin, both found dead after overdoses, because I had the power to say no. I had read stories and seen news flashes about the side effects of some drugs. I had read newspaper articles about people in Rome, which is just a few minutes away, dying of heroin overdoses. I had...