Should Recreational Drugs Be Legalized In The U. S.? Team C SLS-1105 Strategy for Success March 6, 2010 By definition, Recreational drug is any substance with pharmacologic effects that is taken voluntarily for personal pleasure or satisfaction rather than for medicinal purposes. The term is generally applied to alcohol, barbiturates, amphetamines, THC, PCP, cocaine, and heroin but also includes caffeine in coffee and cola beverages. Most substance abuse through any agent has significant psychotropic effects–used without medical indications or prescription in the context of social interactions–e. . , parties) On the other hand, Legalize is defined under law to make lawful or legal, to confirm or validate something previously unlawful or to decriminalize. What is the connection between the two? By excluding the legal substances from a definition of drugs, the legalist emphasizes that what matters in the issue of drug control is not what a drug does to the body or mind but how a drug is classified by the law. I believe that the legalistic definition of drugs represents a barrier to our understanding of drug legalization debate.
In effect it closes off the debate on legalization. If the currently illegal drugs were legalized, would that mean that, overnight- according to this definition- they would automatically cease to be drugs? As we dig deeper and look below the surface, there are developing new insights on the issue to decriminalized recreational drugs. Some believers think marijuana has real value for sick people. They’ve seen that it’s not the demon weed the government often makes it out to be.
Sensible Colorado’s Brian Vicente, while he opposes Representative Tom Massey’s measure as currently written in his bill – a bill the lawmakers say would protect patients’ access to marijuana while forcing providers to be licensed by the state and to operate as nonprofits (http://vvoice. vo. llnwd. net/e6/4395719. 0. pdf). Vicente is in favor of both regulating medical marijuana and marijuana legalization. He believes the mainstreaming of medical marijuana will help the average person to realize that legalization needn’t be feared.
Many will argue that we are not getting the most possible gain from this war on drugs we should give it up. Economic logic dictates that we should just cut our losses short and just make it legal. Some will say we could jeopardize our free society that we enjoy today if our effort against drugs increases. Some people try to compare gay marriage to having legalized recreational drugs. As well as creating the argument to allow the person taking the drugs to have his or her own choice just like the choice of smoking cigarettes or chew tobacco.
On the other hand, some will also argue that the use of illegal drugs has ruined many lives all across America. The television and radio airwaves are full of stories about the fall of prominent individuals, who allowed themselves to become slaves to drugs. That there are mothers out there who will sell their bodies in order to get a hit from a crack pipe and some will even go as far as to sell their own children in hopes of getting “high”. And According to William Bennett who served as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under Presidents Reagan and Bush.
He argues that the cost that we would incur in legalizing drugs is surely more than we would like to bear. Bennett is of the deontological position that we have a duty he states that “Government has a responsibility to craft and uphold laws that help educate citizens about right and wrong. ” He advocates “a larger criminal justice system to take drug users off the streets and deter users from becoming more deeply involved in so hazardous an activity. ” (Bonevac, 1999. P. 197. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2006, an estimated 20. 4 million Americans aged 12 and older were current illicit drug users. The main drugs used were marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs (used non-medically), hallucinogens, and methamphetamine. (Bittercrank, www. philosophyforums. com). Because illegal drugs are claiming the lives of many of our youth, the first lady Nancy Reagan led a campaign back in the 80’s and 90’s to educate children about the dangers of drug use. Her slogan was, “Just Say No”. Mrs.
Reagan stated, “understanding what drugs can do to your children, understanding peer pressure, and understanding why they turn to drugs is the first step in solving the problem. ” Evans (1998). The question is; how are many of these drugs are getting into our country? President Obama stated, With escalating violence along our Southwest borders and far too many suffering from the disease of addiction here at home, never has it been more important to have a national control drug strategy guided by sound principles of public safety and public health.
We must demonstrate to our international partners, the criminal organizations threatening undermine stability and the rule of law in those nations, and the American people, that we take seriously our responsibility to reduce drug use in the United States. Lance (2009) While analyzing the information on the issue, we can ask ourselves these questions. Why do we need drugs? Why it is good or bad, right or wrong, proper or improper to legalize recreational drug? Do we gain from this war on drugs? Would the economy be better?
If the law were to be passed, would there be more deaths in our society considering their health using the drugs? Will it create more legal drug abusers? Will drug use affect just the person who uses them and not those around them? Would we jeopardize our free society that we enjoy today if our effort against drugs increases? What kind of recreational drugs should be legalized? How will these drugs be distributed legally and how do we tax distributors? Will the crime rate decrease in reference to drug dealers?
In order to answer these questions, we should research what the current law permits on drug use. Research the states that have already legalized these illicit drugs and analyze what kind of problem exist (bill passed by that states law makers). Research some of the articles written concerning the arguments for and against legalization. Research what the positive and negative impact will be perusing the current cases on drug use and the effect of immediate and free access of these drugs if it is legalized (medical research review).
Unless you have just done a comprehensive, unbiased study of one of these issues, the topic “should recreational drugs be legalized in the United States? ” will first generate a form of opinion, or surface old arguments, and you can feel your emotions coming to play as you think about the question. What are the chances that my first response to the issue will not cloud or distort my objectivity? The likelihood is that my emotions, past judgment and opinions will enter my decision making process. If we allow our emotions to run rampantly, not using restraint, and fail to use research, logic and evidence, we cannot xamine the issue critically. What can be done to make the decision more objective? According to (Sherfield, 2006) “if you feel that your emotions caused you to be less than objective, you might consider listening to all sides of the argument and make a conscious effort to identify which emotions are causing you to lose objectivity”. You should devise a plan for critical thinking for example, on the topic “Should recreational drugs be legalized in the United States? ” Define the words “recreational drug” and “legalize”. What are the connections between the two?
Where does the research originate, how old is the research, and for how long of a period the research was conducted? With these plans, you can address the topic critically without emotional interference. In light of the above arguments, the issue of drug use is far from simple. It is known and agreed that drug use is harmful. Even if the drugs have no harmful side effects, surely the lost labor is of a significant impact on the economy. The issue of personal freedom is another such issue that must be taken into consideration.
Smoking, alcohol consumption, gambling, and drug use all effect not just the person who use them but those around them also. While people would like to enjoy recreation, it should not be at the price of harming others. References Bonevac, D. ed. : “Today’s Moral Problems” (Mayfield Pub. Co. , 2d. ed. 1995; 3d. ed. , 1999; 4th ed. , 2001). Evan, R. I. (1998). Just-Say-No. Retrieved February 23, 2010 from http://www. answers. com/topic/just-say. -no. Lance, J. (2009). Where Exactly Does Obama Stand On The War On Drugs?
Retrieved February 23, 2010 from http://redgreenandblue. org/2009/06/01/where-exactly-does-obama-stand-on-the-war-on-drugs Politics, N. ;. (2007, April 4). Dailymotion: Train Deaths: Government Drug Smuggling at Mena part 3 of 3. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from Dailymotion: http://www. dailymotion. com/video/x1miwv_train-deaths-drug-smuggling-at-mena_news Sherfield, M. M. (2006). Cornerstone: Building on Your Best for Career Success. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. http://forums. philosophyforums. com/threads/should-recreational-drugs-be-legalized-39756. html