What is the sense? Arguments against the legalization of drugs

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Drug enforcement administration is completely against the legalization of drugs as they think that they are very harmful and cause many negative sides of person and society in general.

There are still many countries which demand to legalize drugs. Somewhere the movement for legalization is very well organized and has in its command powerful financial recourses.

The organization which doesn’t want to legalize drugs state that it was already proved that: drugs are killing; drugs cause the addiction; drugs cause mental and physical disorders; drugs lead to social inactivity/ passivity; drugs engender violence and other kinds of crime; drugs cause harm to children and young people; drugs negatively influence at direct environment of drug addict; drugs are serious threat in manufacture and in transport; drugs are enslaving, suppressing and humiliating the personality.

In the majority of the European countries, especially in the countries of the European Union, there is reconsideration of the traditional politics towards drugs. Many considerably distinguishing groups of people (from drug addicts to leading political figures) now dispute old and generally accepted idea about the fact that any not medical usage of drugs must be prohibited. And there are different points of view towards this problem. Some say that it is necessary to allow the free selling of some drug substances, and some aspects of drugs turnover, for example, their usage. Other think that it is necessary to provide a legal distribution of the prescriptions for drugs; drugs must be prescribed by doctors at the legal basis. Other think about the legalization of drugs; this means that all or almost all drugs must be in sale more or less freely, approximately so like today the alcohol is selling. And it seems to the supporters of these three currents that they opened for the society several new bright methods of the partial solving of the drug problem. In the ideas of such types, however, there is nothing new. Those measures, in favor of which the nowadays movement for the legalization is arguing today, they were discussed and were accepted at practice in different times. That’s why there are some arguments in favor of full or partial cancellation of prohibition of drugs.

As for the argument of the fighters with mafia: legalized and controlled by the state, and also taxable sale of drugs would oust the international drug mafia. But the drugs sale is prohibited according to weighty reasons, as the murders, theft and fraud. The logical conclusion from this reasoning is that it is possible to finish with these crimes if every of them would be moved into the plane of the ordinary entrepreneurial activity which is similar to any other activity. However, mafioso-like argument it is important to examine in details because this notion is widely spread not only inside the movement for the legalization. Those who live and work in the environment where drugs are widely spread (generally, policemen and social workers) it is often supposed that legalization is the single step which can reduce the violence, theft and damage which are correlated with not legal sale of drugs. This argument supposes that prohibition of any kinds of drugs will be fully abrogated. If cocaine and crack, or some other new drugs are allowed, the black market, probably, will be undermined in some extent but the extensiveness of the drug sale will not be reduced. Then, the circulation of the majority of pharmacological drugs is strictly controlled by means of the difficult international and national legislation. How will the control under the usage of morphine, hypnotics or antibiotics be done if heroin and ecstasy are selling freely? What is the way of averting the repeated appearance of drugs at the market which were prohibited due to their unfitness? What can be done with other prohibited toxic agents? Must the drugs be sold freely everywhere or only in some special places? Such questions, which were asked to the supporters of legalization, always lead to the acknowledgement that still it is necessary this or that form of regulation of drugs sale. So where is it necessary to set the limits and how much will this undermine the activity of mafia?

So probably that in case of full drug legalization mafia will either begin its drug dealing at the illegal basis, or transfer its activity at the other illegal regions. As the goal of the criminal syndicates is not the violation of law as it is, their goal is to get as much money as it is possible.

It doesn’t matter what are the means, noble or criminal, they will achieve this. To fight with the international criminality is necessary not by means of providing it the greater freedom of actions but the measures of strong and democratic state apparatus which are directed to limitation of its activity. Weak state apparatus (like in Italy) serves as the favorable ground for mafia.

The other argument is crime among drug addicts. If drugs are sold with low prices or dispense them free to those who depend on them, such people will not need to perform crime for the sake of money to receive drugs. And this point of view often reflects “humane” approach to drug addicts, and even solidarity with them, and not rare it is put forward by doctors and other workers of public health. This point of view was also figuring that the drug addict must perform a crime to satisfy his addiction which he is unable to control. And here it is the attractiveness of the argument.

The other argument is that drugs must be clean. Complications and death which are connected with drugs (for example, AIDS), in significant degree are caused by dirty needles and syringes or by that the drug is dirty or mixed with other substances so that the user have no any idea about its concentration. Sterile drugs with the indication of the content would not cause such complications. But…cases of death which are caused by drugs are practically not correlated with the knowledge of the user about the concentration of the drug. The most wide-spread reason of death among drug addicts is a sharp heroine poisoning, often called overdose, which leads to the hard respiratory depression. But only in the half or one third of all heroin overdose cases in the blood of dead people there was only one this drug discovered. In many of these cases heroin was taken in combination with alcohol and hypnotics with the known content which also made a contribution into the poisoning. It goes without saying that other widespread reasons of death among drug addicts are murders, suicides and accidents – they are associated not with the degree of the drugs purity, but with their effects.

Not taking into account the threat of death from the sharp poisoning, the most serious threat for health, which accompanies drugs, is addiction, and it appears the same way as from legal, as from prohibited drugs.

That argument that it is possible to avoid not so dangerous infectious complications (like abscesses and furuncles) if you use clean drugs and sterile needles, is probably true. However if the talk is about AIDS, then the spreading of this infection can be reduced even without providing drug addicts the drugs which are produced at pharmaceutical plants or free needles and syringes. For example, sploff is a drug which presents by itself the pure natural product. And nobody else like user, reduces its purity and strength by mixing hashish or marijuana with tobacco.

The next argument is harm reduction. The drug problem is so big today that fighting with drugs is all the same useless. Repressive politics only worsened this problem. In such situation people should be pragmatic and instead of drug prohibition, people should try with maximum possible degree to reduce the harm which is brought by the spreading of drugs, providing the user with metadon or other cheap and clean drugs, sterile needles and the knowledge that how it is possible to take drugs with the least risk. This attitude towards the problem is often called harm reduction. But…the epidemics of drugs continue to widen in many countries. It is true also that policy which predominates nowadays is prohibitive and is carrying out in the first place with the forces of police. However, this doesn’t mean that restrictive (not prohibitive) policy can aggravate this problem.

Notwithstanding that all legalization supporters argue, majority of facts give the evidence that to reach success in the thing of reducing the level of drugs spreading in the society is quite possible.

The argument for harm reduction is retorted by inevitable fact that the more drugs are accessible, the more people try them and become drug addictive.

The argument of freedom. In free society everybody must have a right to do everything with his body, what he likes, and sometimes with such condition – till this doesn’t cause any harm to others. The drug market also must be free and not limited by the state. Then the free competition automatically would lead to the reduction to the minimum price of drugs and maximum improvement of their quality. But…a person makes his own free choice – to use drugs or not, but when he become addictive, he loses the freedom of choice forever. The usage of drugs becomes imperative which exceeds the limitations from the side of even the most authoritarian society. The surroundings of the drug addict, his family and society always feel the influence of his baneful addiction. And that’s why, of course, it is impossible to state something concerning the validity of unlimited freedom of personality. This is just political and ideological position, which is borrowed from the doctrine about the freedom of will.

The liberal argument of the “free market” cannot be applied to drugs. The price and the quality of this good are not rebated to the regulation according to the ordinary theories of demand and supply. In this case the laws of free competition don’t work, because the buyer wittingly is in the hopelessly disadvantageous position in relation to a seller. A drug addict must get the goods immediately and he is ready to pay any price for it.

The argument about the harm of drugs is exaggerated. Clean, properly used drugs not so harmful, as they say. The prohibitions and not drugs are presenting the biggest risk for health because the drug addict has to use drugs with the admixtures and mix with the criminal environment subjecting to huge risk. But… the most difficult consequences (the cases of death due to the overdose and addiction which is leading to the suicides, illnesses and accidents) are caused exactly by drug abuse and not their prohibition. It is possible to add to this the damage to the immune and reproductive systems, damage to inner organs and other complications, which have nothing common with some impurities. All of them are registered in the scientific literature and in the medical practice all over the world.

The argument for legalization of Cannabis or its derivatives. Hashish or marijuana are soft drugs. They only cause the moderate intoxication which doesn’t bother surrounding people. The smoker of hashish never becomes so aggressive as the alcoholic, and for the health – it is not so harmful. Hemp doesn’t cause neither hangover nor addiction. But…all the same hashish and marijuana are drugs. The conception of “soft drugs” is not considered neither by medicine nor by international laws. The fact the cannabis causes some other type of intoxication (like alcohol, heroine or amphetamine) doesn’t mean that it is not harmful, moreover, it is harmful but in other way. Cannabis attacks not only the whole body but the soul as well. This especially harmful for young people. The natural process of puberty is suspended, so the users cannabis who are twenty-five or thirty years old (who are smoking regularly), they behave like teenagers when the thing is about the responsibility for their own future, for the fulfilling of the studying tasks, punctuality, work or fulfilling their own parental obligations. However, there can be some alcoholics who go to work every day, and inveterate tobacco smokers who live till the deep old age. In the case of cannabis, however, the problem is that the mental abilities of the drug addict are uninterruptedly worsen. He or she simply becomes more stupid. And no one can feel secured against it. The smoking of cannabis is damaging also the heart and lungs, the system of immune defense, the reproductive system and damaging the fetus development. Dramatic state “cannabis psychosis” which is experienced by not big per cent of smokers is accompanied by the general confusion, anxiety and misrepresentation of perception of the reality. The major part of those who experiences this psychosis never recovers.

As all drugs, cannabis causes addiction and is able simply lead to abuse of other substances. The smokers of cannabis can be rather aggressive towards themselves and other people. It was also proved that some murders were performed exactly during the time when the criminals were under the effect of cannabis.

The alcohol argument. Alcohol is very harmful. In spite of this it is not prohibited. So, it is not logic to prohibit other drugs. Besides, failed attempts to prohibit alcohol showed that any other drug, in the long run, will have to be allowed all the same. But… this arguments are unconvincing. These arguments can be easily everted and declare that as we already have one drug with so harmful effects, and this is alcohol, so there is no place for other drugs in our society. Alcohol usage is an endemic drug addiction which should be stopped a thousand years ago. Nowadays drug addicts’ dependence has an epidemic nature, it is deviant behavior which is spreading by means of personal contacts.

The argument that the prohibition is only strengthen the drugs’ attractiveness. If we refuse from the brand of immorality which is accompanying everything which has in common with drugs, their users will not stay at the position of isolation when they face the problems, and it will be possible to help them and support them. But…it is absolutely obvious that more people will try the things which are not prohibited than the things which are outside the law. If we accept the argument that it is attractive to be rebel, then people, very likely, should try heroin and cocaine because hashish is no more associated with the protest. Besides, the most important reason for taking drugs is their ability to cause the intoxication and not the rebellion against the law. The fighters against the spreading of drugs never need the arguments concerning the morality, it was just enough facts. The drug addict at the early stage never voluntarily addresses his requests about help because he thinks that he faced with the problem. And this doesn’t have any relation to the fear before the repressions, but fully connected with his own all-absorbing passion to drug and this passion is too strong.

The argument about leaving the drug addicts alone. It is necessary to fight against big sellers of drugs but it is necessary to leave the drug users alone. If we put drug addicts outside the law, this will push them to the criminal world. Accordingly, taking drugs and having them for personal needs must not be punished. But…the criminal way of life and taking the drugs are often parallel. Many people at first become criminals and only then – drug addicts. There exists a myth about that tenacious contrabandists and the sellers themselves give the new users access to drugs. Actually, people rarely try drugs because of the recommendations of unfamiliar people. Usually, they are involved in the drugs addiction by somebody their friends, who wants to have a companion. Thereby, the single indispensable link in the drug chain is the user himself. Those who are growing up “grass”, producers, wholesalers and retailers always have the replacement while the demand for goods can so be easily satisfied. And the motive powers of all this colossal enterprise are simple “street” drug addicts, especially at the beginning of their drug career. Due to this reason it is impossible to leave the free zone at the foundation of the drug pyramid. The laws which are clearly limiting the usage of drugs not only juristically effective but also humane because they are relieving the early interference of the social workers, school and parents.

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