Words @ War: Antonio Coleman

A decision to universally legalize drugs will never be an answer to win America’s war on drug use.

The consequences of legalizing drugs far outweighs the benefits. While there have been many supporters for the legalization of drugs, not one of their collective arguments justifies the effects that the decision would have on society.

First, universally legalizing drug use would put a moral responsibility on government to decide, “At what age is it alright for a person to legally use marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or meth?”Deciding to make the standard legal age 21 would logically cause neighborhood drug traffickers to target those under the legal age. This would create a younger generation of drug users influenced by the sight of seeing adults getting high with the consent of the government.

There are also those people who believe universally legalizing and taxing drugs could bring more money into the economy and reduce the cost government agencies place on fighting the drug war. However, legalizing drugs would cost American taxpayers even more money in the long run. Legalizing drugs would of course cause an increase in drug use, which would also create an increase in rehab clinics, inner city crime connected to drug use, an increase in poverty and an increase in American unemployment. All of these would essentially have to be remedied by taxpayer money.

The argument that “people are going to do drugs anyway, why not legalize them,” is not even remotely close to being an answer for a problem directly responsible for prematurely-born drug-addicted infants, drug-addicted parents and an increase in AIDS rates due to the use of unclean needles. Often, the decisions of drug abusers affect the lives of many people around them. It is the obligation of a responsible government to reduce the effects drug abuse has in our community.

Previous experience shows that the legalization of alcohol did not reduce its level of use in the community. Neither will a legalization of marijuana or any other drug. In fact, legalizing drugs often increases the amount of usage in a society. Making an illegal substance legal will not remove the thrill or addiction for frequent drug users. Neither will the legalization of drugs significantly reduce the amount of drug traffickers in the community.

Lastly, the effects and reactions of drug use vary from person to person. Therefore, though one person may function “normally” while intoxicated, another may find the use of the same drug to have detrimental effects on their lifestyle. A better question to ask is how the overall functioning of society will be effected by drug-addicted teachers, lawmen, students, and neighbors. That would be a society I would rather choose not to live in. n