How To Decriminalize Drugs

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In the United States one third of all AIDS cases are the cause of syringe sharing by drug users. (Drug Policy Alliance, 1) This number could be drastically lower, but congress has outlawed all syringe access programs, which would create less syringe sharing, since 2011. The United States has failed at preventing drug use among its population and it has caused great harm to millions of people, efforts of drug prohibition and the so called “War on Drugs” have been shown not to work; it is time for an extensive reform that decriminalizes all drugs for the entirety of America. To decriminalize is not to legalize. Legalization of drugs allows production, sale, possession, and use with absolutely no penalties. Decriminalization is a wildly different…show more content…
(Tal Yellin, 1)This sets an absolutely horrible precedent for the education of the American student; why is more effort being put into imprisoning, not even helping, someone than teaching a child to learn new skills that could help them stay off a track of drug use? Some argue that rehabilitation, especially forced rehabilitation, does not stop a drug user from continuing to use drugs or committing other drug related crimes. This is shown to be untrue as scientific research shows that both mandated and voluntary rehabilitation helps people change their attitudes and behaviors so that they will avoid relapse. It also helps them remove themselves from a life of crime and can cut drug use in half and help avoid criminal activity in the future. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1) Not only does rehabilitation help out the previously addicted people involved, it also boosts the economy along the way. Each dollar spent on cocaine addiction treatment brings in $7.48 of social benefits because not only does it help people stop using drugs, in the case cocaine, it stops them from doing it again and going back to treatment. (Doug McVay et al., 8). The benefits of rehabilitation through societal savings is shown by Doug McVay, Vincent Schiraldi, and Jason Ziedenberg as…show more content…
Statistics and American experience have shown that the rampant spending that bases on law enforcement has caused more problems than it has solved. Focusing on sending personal drug abusers to prison not only costs the American taxpayer money, it also hurts the public schooled student of the United States by taking away needed funding. Turning to complete drug decriminalization is the only choice that would fix both the social and economic issues if the drug filled America we know today. To quote Matt Groff, a documentary filmmaker whose newest film is about America’s unwinnable wars, “Drug use and abuse exists on a spectrum and as a society we must accept that some portion of the population will be addicted to drugs even if we don’t like it”. Decriminalizing drugs would allow current addicts to receive the help that they need, and also let law enforcement focus more on the large gangs that control the drug trade. The economy would be lifted higher than it has been since the War on Drugs started and drug addiction rates would plummet like never seen
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