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Legalizing Drugs Would Benefit Our Society

    When I say legalizing drugs, I mean legalizing all drugs. When it comes to deciding whether or not to set an age limit to cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and every other hard drug, I think it’s right to say 21 and over. Because if we want to minimize harm, the right policies are the ones that legalize all drugs, not just marijuana, and not just statewide, but nationally. In order to create a more drug free society, I think we need to use drugs to our benefits and that starts with legalizing them.

    In an article written by Carrie Wofford about how “Progressives should just say no to legalizing drugs,” she states, “, legalizing drugs is not the answer--even for the left. Here’s why: Drugs kill. They turn talented, intelligent people into impulsive animals. They destroy marriages. They deprive children of emotionally healthy parents. There’s a good reason drugs are illegal: They’re dangerous. Products that kill do not belong on drugstore shelves.”

She ends her argument by saying how, “what progressives should focus on is improving the opportunities of Americans born into the bleakest neighborhoods--not advocating for legalization of drugs, which are a guaranteed opportunity killer”.

    I think the argument that legalizing drugs would cause serious harm is an argument that is overplayed since there are so many counter-arguments to it that have combated that argument time and time again. For example so many other legal goods cause death as well. Prescriptions like Xanax, OxyContin, Vicodin, and Soma have caused more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. ( )

    Right now we are living in an era of prohibition, which shrinks the market for those goods, but does not eliminate it; and black markets create lots of unwanted side-effects. A Black Market breeds crime, arrests, unrecorded taxes, and are dangerous to the buyer since there is no guarantee of the product after the transaction. So even though, as Wofford said legalizing hard drugs might be an opportunity killer for some, by legalizing drugs, we only face the harms from the drugs themselves. With legalized drugs we would not have gunfights to resolve a conflict, we would have the recourse to take someone to court., Sharing needles and transmitting HIV is what happens with illegal drugs. Buying a kit with enough clean needles inside means saving lives. Having prohibition enforcement encourages no-knock warrants, where a judge may allow a police officer to enter someone’s home with no other warning than a doorbell ring. This and other things I think are reaching beyond what our civil liberties should allow.

    Being able to regulate drugs can help with overdoses too as customers could choose what potency of the drug they wanted rather than getting it off the street and not knowing the potency, making overdosing an easy mistake. Harm reduction is the best way to handle any drug epidemic and prohibition is the worst. Prohibition causes underground crime, corruption, and the people in jail for drugs are too commonly black.

    Harm reduction is used for alcohol so why not use it for hard drugs rather than jail and prohibition? Counseling, wet houses, clean tools and needles are all used in some states, but it’s still illegal to be caught with a drug on the street and that hurts the folks who are addicts and need their freedom but need to be talked to and kept clean and safe.
I also believe in a free market and think anyone who wants to sell something should be able to. So if there’s like some average joe down the street from you who sells drugs, I think it’d be right for them not to be arrested and instead be able to create their own business, like a hotdog stand and then let the free market judge if they’re welcome to stay or not based on how their business does.

    Another thing I should probably address is the age limit. I already believe the age limit for alcohol is too high, although I know people who might’ve benefitted by not drinking until they were 27 or so, I think it’d make sense for people as young as 16 to be legally allowed to drink and be able to find out their alcoholic limits, especially before they start driving. This is a problem because many people are drinking, knowing it’s taboo for minors. Instead of creating a society of moderate, supervised drinking away from family like a lot of Europeans do, we breed a society of taboo and fear of getting caught.

    I don’t think it makes sense that things like alcohol and weed are set at 21 whereas it’s 18 for smoking cigarettes, cigars, or even taking kratom and other legal highs. I think it should be more than completely switched around, with alcohol and weed legal for 16 and up, then smoke shop drugs like kratom, and then cigarettes and cigars at 21.

    It’s been a long time since alcohol was coined the term “liquid devil” and I think our society is much more knowledgeable about drugs now than the population was in those times. I think with proper education we could legalize all our drugs to end cartels and black markets and still keep our population safe. It would be even safer than right now with drugs being mostly illegal. Legalizing marijuana was a step in the right direction, now we just need to legalize everything else and spend our taxes on things like wet houses and proper care for addicts. If we want to push ourselves further we need to focus less on creating a war around drugs and more on creating a society of knowledgeability and harm reduction.