Should We Legalize ALL Drugs?

should we legalize all drugs?

I think it’s safe to say our “war on drugs” isn’t working. The opiate epidemic continues to get worse and not only that, we’ve also added two other epidemics on top of it. The methamphetamine problem is ever-growing and apparently, benzos have been a problem for quite some time. To handle the addiction problem, we seem to have two pushes in two different directions going on in the U.S. right now.

You’ve got a group of people who are pro-drug legalization and believe we need to end the prohibition on ALL drugs as a means of handling the crisis in our country.

On the other hand, you have lawmakers, politicians and community members who see the worsening drug problem and are pushing in the opposite direction and feel we need to have more stringent laws placed on drugs and create harsher sentences for repeat offenders.

So, what’s the right thing to do?

If want to look at real-world example of what can happen if a country legalizes all drugs, look at Portugal. Portugal legalized and decriminalized drugs in 2001 in response to a heroin epidemic that threatened to collapse the entire health care system. The result? According to many residents, their drug problem got better. If a person is caught with small amounts of narcotics, it’s considered a civil, health-related problem instead of a criminal offense. They’re linked up with counselors, social workers and the like, in the hopes they will get the help they need for their drug problem rather than just locking them up, making them serve time and not treating their addiction.

This is one side of the coin.

The other side is some people believe legalizing small amounts of drugs will open easier access to illicit substances and make the drug problem worse than it already is. These politicians and lawmakers also believe there should be harsher sentences for drug-related offenses as a means of scaring people away from using or selling drugs. However, the fact of the matter is, we’re already on our way toward drug legalization. Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska have already legalized marijuana for recreational purposes and Oregon has it on an upcoming bill to decriminalize small amounts of drugs, just as they did in Portugal. However, legalizing marijuana in Colorado has not gotten rid of illegal growing and distribution of marijuana, despite promises stated to the contrary.

U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is one of the biggest opposers to the legalization of marijuana or any drug for that matter, stating that there will be a “gateway effect” with marijuana which will lead users to harder drugs.

Either way you look at it, there is still a major drug problem in this country.

Whether the solution is to legalize everything or keep everything illegal, the reality is, we must figure out something. Frankly, whether it’s legal or illegal—that doesn’t handle the problem either—just look at the opioid epidemic raging in our country now—it started with a LEGAL drug.

One thing we at Narconon strongly believe is those struggling with addiction, need true rehabilitation and help—not punishment. And adults, young adults and children need to be educated on the truth and facts about drugs and their effects, whether they are legal or illegal.

Something has got to give if we’re going to see a drop in drug use. Who knows if legalizing everything is the right thing to do? Who knows if highly criminalizing everything is the right thing to do? Is that even the right question to be asking?

What’s the right solution?

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 11 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.