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drug_legalization - Arguments For and Against drug...

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Arguments For and A gainst drug prohibition Arguments for prohibition o Health o Drug prohibition as a solution to perceived problems of society o Crime rates o Commercial exploitation of drug addiction o Worker productivity Arguments against prohibition o Reduction in drug dealing profits o Drug addiction as a public health issue o Cost of drugs o Unequal enforcement of drug laws o Effect on producer countries Compromise Arguments for prohibition Health The most common reason given for banning drug use is that it is unhealthy, with possible effects ranging from lowered intelligence to insanity to death by overdose. The typical response is that many things are unhealthy while still being legal, and that the health effects of tobacco smoking, for example, are more serious than those of some drugs. A usual rejoinder is that illegal drugs are statistically more dangerous than other unhealthy things. Whether drugs are in fact more dangerous and whether prohibition can be justified for health reasons are much debated issues. Drug prohibition as a solution to perceived problems of society Some proponents of drug prohibition, such as members of the Temperance movement, support drug prohibition on the basis that many of the perceived problems or flaws of society are caused by the use of drugs or drug addiction. Proponents of drug prohibition fear a society with more addicts and drug pushers (attracted by profits) if drugs are legalized. Drug stores would sell cocaine and other drugs. They believe addicts are more likely to commit more crimes because their minds are altered, much as drunk criminals do sometimes; however scientific studies have demonstrated users under the influence of alcohol are far more likely to commit violent crimes than users under the influence of most illegal drugs. More drugs would seem to promote more drug addicts, and therefore more problematic behavior. Thus, prohibition solves some of these problems and improves society as a whole.
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Crime rates Many studies have been conducted concerning the connection between drug addiction and property crime. One such study, conducted by Douglas Anglin and John Ball, shows that the most addicted commit large number of crimes. "Crime rates seem to increase when their heroin use increases and to fall when it declines." Studied drug addicts in Baltimore committed crime (including the possession of the drug as a crime) on an average of 255 days per year, during which time they were "actively addicted" to heroin. When they were not actively taking heroin, they only committed crime on 65 days (Currie 61). In general, it is estimated that 80% of property crimes are committed in order to support a drug habit. Opponents point out that property crime to support addictions to LEGAL drugs (such as alcohol) is hardly unknown and that if all drugs were legalised they would be more affordable and therfore there would be less necessity for addicts to resort to crime to fund their addiction.
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