Disadvantages Of Decriminalization

1569 Words7 Pages

Sanya Sethi

Do the benefits of decriminalizing drugs outweigh the disadvantages?

2000 words
Do the benefits of decriminalizing drugs outweigh the disadvantages?
By Sanya Sethi

Introduction
‘I’m a recovering drug addict and know that drug addiction is an illness, it’s a disease, so by criminalizing that you criminalize a huge percentage of the population. You malign them and stigmatize them, you generate more crime, you create a criminal culture, and speaking from the perspective of a sufferer it’s simply not helpful’. (Russell Brands)

We have fought a long and hard war against drugs for decades now, but we still have not been able to win the battle, and if Russell Brands is to believed, the solutions we are adopting …show more content…

Drug use and crime are two things very closely intertwined. Countries with more drug abusers tend to have higher crime rates.

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs, reducing the amount of drug abusers and the crime rates in Portugal.

‘Under Portugal 's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment instead of jail.’ (Maia Szalavitz).

A decade later, and Portugal’s results have been outstanding.

‘The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half.’ (Maia …show more content…

Currently the intake of recreational drugs can lead to a fine of $1 million or imprisonment up to 7 years. However these harsh laws are not proving to be effective at deterring drug use. However what could possibly help Hong Kong reduce the amount of drug users, is the decriminalization of drugs.

‘As long ago as 1994, justices Neil Kaplan and Gerard Godfrey said they supported the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying drug laws were failing to curb drug use.’ (Christy Choi).

In my personal opinion, I believe that the decriminalization of drugs in Hong Kong would bring more benefits than disadvantages. Unlike Sweden, imposing harsher penalties has not proven to be successful in reducing drug abusers in Hong Kong and we need better solutions to tackle the problem. I believe that the Hong Kong government should decriminalize all drugs, by doing this they would effectively reduce the amount of people consuming drugs, thereby reducing the crime rates in Hong Kong. We have seen this solution working in Portugal with crime rates in Portugal falling significantly.

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