Drug Legalazation


John Hardwick
Philosophy 305
Louisiana Tech University
February 21, 2000




Table of Contents 1

A Look at Drug Legalization 2

Bibliography 9



The United States is by far the richest and most powerful country in the world. We citizens take for granted luxuries that people of other countries can only dream. Yet in our society there are serious social issues that for reasons unknown are not being addressed. One of the most important issues that typical politicians are afraid to address is that of what to do with the nation’s illegal drug problems. Although we hear terms like "The War on Drugs" and "Drug Treatment", a fresh approach to this issue is overdue. The country should take a new look at drug legalization as a solution to a problem that has been long out of control.
Addiction and drug abuse are such buzzwords these days that a clear clarification is needed of what is meant by these terms. Addiction has crossed the line from being defined as a physical dependency on drugs to include such classifications as religious addiction, shopping addiction, food addiction, work addiction, television addiction, and love addiction. Although a person may feel that he or she can’t live without their particular "addiction", there is no scientific proof or medical test for an addict. To keep things in the broadest perspective, addiction will be defined here as the continual repetition of a normally non-problematic behavior to self-destructive access. This
definition leaves room for a broad range of behaviors without physical cause that will allow for a search of the real problem behind the behavior and not the excuse of saying that it is the result of a disease.
Since addiction is believed to be a social problem then an attempt at cutting off the source of addiction, drugs in this case, is thought to cure the problem. If that be the case then gambling and food abusers should be treated the same as addicts. Since drug legalization is the topic of this essay let us focus on alternatives to the "War on Drugs".
One possibility for controlling drug abuse is to legalize illegal drugs. In the 1920’s alcohol was made illegal by the eighteenth amendment better know as prohibition. This experiment at cutting off the source of alcohol to alleviate alcohol abuse was a dismal failure. From it stemmed all sort of crime, illegal alcohol sales, gang controlled territories, police shootings and above all, most people continued to drink. In contrast to today’s society where drugs are illegal there is not much difference. We have the same type of violent crime and gang control as in the roaring twenties, and people continue to use drugs. Another result of prohibition was an increase in binge drinking, much the same as we have the binge drug user today.
Countries where alcohol is considered a normal part of life, such as Greece and Italy, have low occurrences of alcoholism. However, where alcohol is looked upon as a moral problem, such as the United States or Finland, alcoholism is rampant. This is the result of social conditioning much like Pavlov’s dogs. Since drugs are considered the demon here in America, citizens use as a method of rebelling as well as out of curiosity of
what the big deal is. Contrary to popular belief, using a drug for its euphoric effect is not a bad thing and dates back historically to the beginning of time. Hundreds of test have been conducted on addicts and the result is that the setting and mind set are the reasons for addiction. For example, a patient in a hospital may be given large doses of drugs over a long period of time but when he is released he suffers no withdrawal symptoms nor drug cravings. This is the result of the attitude that it is ok to take drugs in the hospital. However, taking the same drugs out of a hospital for recreation purposes causes a person to become "hooked" because this is what he has subconsciously learned. What should be done is to build a cultural setting of more tolerance and less guilt.
Legalizing drugs is a viable alternative to the current policy on drugs in America. If the government would legalize and regulate drugs a substantial industry