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This paper will argue that we need to legalize illicit street drugs such as heroin and cocaine that are currently prohibited under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Drug use and abuse will always be an issue in Canada so government intervention is vital for safe consumption of narcotics. A person who uses or purchases drugs causes harm only to himself or herself. By legalizing illicit drugs violence and crime will massively decline. Finally, the criminal marketplace will be eliminated and starved of their income, which allows us to regulate and control the market.
A person who uses drugs only causes harm to himself or herself. By using drugs you are not violating anyone else’s life. Since Law and Philosophy are closely related I will discuss the most important legal liberal theorist. John Locke believed that all individuals have rights and those rights include life, liberty, and property. Locke discussed how government was created to preserve these rights and nothing more or less. Locke talked about the rights to another person, which regarded a specific limitation; As long as you don’t violate another person’s life you can live your life. For example Marijuana and heroine are okay as long as it belongs to you and it is for personal use. Actions such as drug use and prostitution are deemed okay to participate in as it’s your own body but acts such as stealing a car and murder violates the property and physical wellbeing of another individual. Many people partake in consuming drugs at their own leisure, who’s to say we can deny them of that liberty and lifestyle since it violates no other persons rights. By prohibiting illicit drugs we unnecessarily criminalize millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens. This results in the distribution of drugs being forced upon unregulated and violent dealers/criminals.
Violence and crime would massively decline if drugs were legalized. There is no doubt that a correlation exists between prohibition and violence and crime. A demand-led, unregulated market determines the price of illegal drugs. Currently drugs on the street are very expensive. This means that some dependent users resort to thieving to raise funds. Legalisation would enable us to regulate the market, set a much lower price and remove users need to raise funds through crime and violence. This would result in our legal system being freed up, and our prison population dramatically reduced, saving copious amounts of taxpayer money. Drug dealers would be left in the past and their salary would minimize making the job financially unsound. Gun shoot-outs by drug dealers would be minimal to non-existent. Communities in poverty would pull themselves together. Adults and teenagers previously involved in criminal life would be forced to seek legitimate work. Deaths due to infected needles and poisonous street drugs would be eliminated. The Billions of dollars claimed by organized crime and drug rings will now go to honest workers. Community gang violence will be reduced as well as the profit margin for cartels smuggling drugs into Canada. By prohibiting drugs we are inflating crime boss’ profit margins. As long as drugs stay illegal turf wars and murder will continue because criminals get greedy and want to eliminate their competition with extreme measures. “In 2001, Portugal decriminalized the acquisition, possession, and use of small quantities of all psychoactive drugs.” This led to Portugal’s capital city being one of the safest in all of Europe. According to Laqueur (2014) the acts of violence and crime reduced and continued to do so through the last decade. Crime and violence continued in other areas but arrests and incarcerations involving drugs drastically dropped.
Though drug use is unacceptable it’s getting more and more common, it pertains to everyday life for many people. The importance of government intervention in regulating drugs is obvious and much needed. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing users can avoid fentanyl and find a safe ways of injection? The government needs to implement a new policy regarding drugs and substances unless they want the war on drugs to continue going downhill.
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