We Need to Decriminalize Drugs
All drugs should be decriminalized, and addiction must be treated as a disease.
Those who are addicted, for one reason or another, need professional help and education. They do not need – nor do they benefit from – the fear of criminalization.
We must realize that it is impossible to prevent some people from using drugs but it is possible to make all drugs legal and only allow licensed companies to make drugs and licensed professionals to distribute the drugs while treating the addictions. Affected people should not have to buy drugs in dark back alleys and be at the mercy of organized crime and petty criminals.
Illicit drugs, and also drugs that are legal but used beyond the scope of their intended purposes, are also medicine and have positive uses. Opium has been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years. Morphine, an opiate, has alleviated the pain and suffering for millions of people. Marijuana, too, has been used for thousands of years and we are studying its medical potential to alleviate chronic pain.
Yet time and again government agencies have tried to prohibit the use of these drugs, always unsuccessfully. Prohibition failed in America, but it did unintentionally allow organized crime to take control of the distribution of alcohol. It is no different now. The solution is to take away the illegal classification, decriminalize drugs, tax appropriately, and control distribution. `
I am not advocating recreational use of drugs, only the decriminalization of drugs. I am advocating for the fully funded and proper treatment of addiction as a disease. Billions of dollars have been wasted on law enforcement in the War on Drugs. That money would have been better spent on health care and education – to both treat addiction and to do our best to prevent the improper use of drugs in the first place.