Should Drug Use Be Decriminalized – Assignment Example

The paper "Should Drug Use Be Decriminalized " is a worthy example of an assignment on social science. Some policymakers in the U.S. government are persuaded that the federal war on drugs, spurred on by media accounts of innocents victimized by drug-related violence, is a terrific failure. The government’s fight, long and expensive, has not reduced the supply of illegal drugs on the streets of America. These policymakers, in an attempt to solve the drug problem, have proposed legalizing drugs as an alternate strategy to a failed policy. The war on drugs is policy based on morals, not on public health, and is taking a grave toll on the economics and civil liberties of our society. Decriminalization supporters theorize that if marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs were legalized, two additional positive aspects would follow. Drug prices would fall enabling users to obtain their drugs at low, government-regulated prices. If prices were lower, users would not need to steal or to consort with true violent criminals in order to support their habits. “Levels of drug-related crime, and particularly violent crime, would significantly decline, resulting in less crowded courts, jails, and prisons thus allowing law-enforcement personnel to focus their energies on the violent criminals in society and the drug production, distribution, and sale would no longer be controlled by organized crime” (Inciardi & Saum, 1996). Drug laws, in opposition to their intention, serve to boost the cost of the drugs and heighten their appeal in terms of bringing more and more young people into the business of dealing in drugs. These higher prices mean more competition for prime selling positions and violent means of enforcing these territories. This results in a greater need for enforcement of the moral laws that define these drugs as illegal, forcing taxpayers to pay more in taxes to support these law enforcement programs even while suffering from a significant lack in police protection regarding safety and property.