Legalizing Drugs; Why not?

by alexanedub on September 10, 2013 - 8:36pm



            The war on drugs is a war that has been going on for far too long. Constant debates are going on about the legalization of drugs and the consequences of it. After reading the article Why not… Legalize Drugs? by Brian Wheeler, a reporter for BBC news, the author brings up many points that support the legalization of all drugs. The author talks about the history of the Drug War and when it started. Since 1960, the climate changed because of the outburst of drug use amongst young adults. The Misuse of Drugs Act was signed in 1971, which classifies drugs by their potential harm. This clearly did nothing because after 50 years of drug prohibition, these substances have become cheaper and more widely used than ever. The author mentions the corruption involved in the drug world that affects the societies directly. Corruption with drugs means military and police forces are concentrated on this issue while other important things deserves the police and military’s attention. The author supports the fact that the prohibition of drugs is obviously not working and a new approach is needed. The ethical issue raised in the article is that drugs will be circulating whether they are legal or not, and maybe the legalization would make it a safer and controlled environment.


            Many ethical principles revolve around the legalization of all drugs. The most important one is the freedom of choice every human should be entitled to. Most debates that support legalization support the moral principle that every person should have the choice to take drugs if they would like to. If someone would like to use these substances, they should be allowed to as long as they do not harm anyone else around them. The legalization of these substances by the government could also promote awareness of using these drugs. Since the underground market for drugs will always exist, a simple solution would be to find ways to regulate this market. Drugs will obviously always be dangerous, but people should be able to make a decision on their own whether they want to use these drugs or not. This leaves no autonomy for people in their decisions because if they get caught, they will be faced with severe consequences. Instead of punishment, the government should regulate; people don’t need the government telling them what is good and bad for their bodies.


            The other side of this ethical issue would be that legislating drugs would only promote drug abuse and make it spread. The sale of highly dangerous drugs would make a population more at risk. Personally, I support the legalization of these substances because military and police forces should take care of more serious issues like child abuse or murder cases. The corruption that the drug market brings on is too big to be taken control of, so the best way to face it would be to implement laws that would regulate these drugs, also leaving the population the freedom of choice, which is a strong moral value for most people. The drug market will forever exist, so why not just regulate it?  


Legalization of all drugs as you mentioned, would bring about a less productive work ethic in our society. Therefore leaving it as an 'underground' market brings a better productive environment since people are less tempted to consume them in the open.

) I really enjoyed reading your summary of the article; however, I did not agree with your opinion. You want drugs to be legalized as a consequence of lowering the heavy load of duty from the military’s and the police’s back and also as a consequence of regulating the drug market. You are being a consequentialist when you state your opinion; you look at the consequences that it can cause rather than just the action of legalizing drugs.
I am too a consequentialist, however, my consequences are different from yours since our values are different and this is why I understand and respect your opinion. I assume that your values are more focused on justice and economy. I, however, would rather put more pressure on health and safety regarding this ethical dilemma.
In my opinion, I believe that legalizing drugs would do the opposite of what you have stated about the effect on the army and the police. On the contrary I think that they will need to do twice more work than before since more citizens will get their hands on drugs which will lead to more chaos(economically and environmentally).

I believe it’s absolutely ridiculous to wish for the legalization of all drugs given that many pose potent risks to both physical and mental well being. You raise a valid argument, bringing forth a consequentialist approach, evaluating the, in your opinion, benefits of such legalization, arguing that military and police have more pressing issues to deal with. However, what you fail to recognize is that the workload doesn’t seemly vanish from the military and the police’s hands, but is rather simply passed over to doctors and nurses who will have to tend to the needs of those who consume such substances, doing so while they could very well be working with cancer patients or others affected by serious illnesses. I wouldn’t adopt a complete deontological perspective and say that drugs are bad and therefore they shouldn’t be legalized because I don’t think that the emphasis should be placed on that and the act in and of themselves; but rather on the severe strain the legalization would impose on society in terms of creating an ideal environment for everyone. Imagine your dentist doing a routine check up while under the influence of crystal meth or ecstasy?

Imagine your dentist doing a routine check up while under the influence of alcohol? Yet alcohol is legal... It's simply that it is pretty well legislated.

" People don't need the government telling them what is good and bad for their bodies" I believe this statement is not necessarily true. I mean doctors, hospital are here because of the government. Does this mean that if someone has a rare disease they should not know about it? We should not legalize all drugs because that would be complete anarchy, some drugs can have a bad effect on our lives. I am against the legalization of all sorts of drugs. They should not be on store shells being sold like candy. Not only can it dangerous to our health but also to those around us. Of course it could be a issue about freedom, autonomy and what we want to do, but in this case, the cons are probably bigger than the cons, so why would we legalize it making it possible for everyone to acquire it?

The title of your post really caught my attention, as it is indeed a subject that has been debated for far too long now!
I agree with your position supporting the legalization of drugs. I mean, people do drugs anyways whether it is legal or not, so might as well legalize it and regulate it for the benefits of all. I think it would not only be beneficial for the economy, as the government will be able to tax them, but it would allow the government to promote awareness on drug use. Everyone is using the false argument about how dangerous drugs are for our health, that it shouldn't be sold in stores like candy, and that legalizing drugs would be like promoting it. However, it is completely wrong. Let's take the example of alcohol. It is legal, and is even promoted all the time on TV and on billboards. Yet, everyone knows how bad it is for our health, and what are the possible consequences of drinking alcohol. Should the government therefore forbid it too? It does pretty much the same damage as drugs: it's unhealthy, hallucinogen, and addictive. How about cigarettes? People die of these things all the time, yet it is still legal. Drugs should be legalized because it is people's choice to use them or not. It's the principle of autonomy. It's a personal choice. However, it indeed should not be sold like candy. It needs to be well regulated, just like alcohol and cigarettes, with specific laws and norms. The drug "industry" has been and will always exist in our society, shouldn't we stop being so close-minded and let people live by their own personal decisions, whether they are good for themselves or bad?

I chose to answer your post because I was wondering: when you say drug, you are talking about all kinds of drugs, or only on soft drugs? It is important to make a distinction because there is a major gap between hard drugs and soft drugs. The legalization of marijuana is not the same thing as cocaine. I do believe that legalizing hard drugs is a bad idea. I believe that in this particular case, the ethical principle of non-maleficence is more important than the freedom of choice because the security of human being is really important. Government is already trying to aware citizens that drugs can be really harmful for human being. Legalizing drugs will not necessarily make government do more campaign. On the other hand, I am in between concerning the legalization of marijuana. This drug can be regulated-users, sellers-buyers-, government could male profit out of it and organized crime could decrease a little bit. We can see what is going on in Holland to have a better idea. In Holland, there is no abuse of marijuana and the drug is consumed adequately. The level of addiction decreased. Maybe it could be the same in Canada, but I know that everything is relative. You are right, whether or not drug is legalized, it will always be circulating and we cannot change anything about that. Do you think Holland is a model to follow?