Waging War against the War on Drugs

There exists a War on Drugs in our nation; a war that we are unfortunately losing. Our government is protecting the monopoly of the black market by prohibiting the use of non-prescription drugs. There is a great demand for which there must be a great supply and the present laws forbidding drug trade and usage promote the growth of the black market. It is time that we realize that the multi-dimensional socio-economic problem does not have one solution and that simply prohibiting drugs has not and will not work.

The existence of a black market is inevitable, as there exists supply for a good in high demand. The illegality of drugs fosters a black market controlled by a drug mafia of sorts that sets high prices in return for the high-risk production of drugs. The high prices set by this monopoly in turn cause customers to steal or involve themselves in other such crimes in order to be able to afford the drugs that they have become addicted to. Meanwhile the drug leaders of these cartels are being enabled to exercise power over those who are desperate to find jobs and willing to take the risk of involving themselves in such a trade. As participation under these leaders increases, large amounts of revenue are generated and used maliciously. The drug money earned by the selling of Poppy seeds grown in Afghanistan, for example, was then used to finance acts of terrorism against the United States. When looked at in that regard, citizens of our country had in effect financed the terrorist attacks of September 11.

By legalizing drugs and creating a free market we can significantly reduce the power and influence of the black market. As prices would be set lower than those of the black market, consumers will purchase drugs in the free market not only because they are cheaper but also because there is no risk involved. With fewer consumers in the black market, there is a decrease in demand and thus supply will decrease accordingly. Only few leaders of this market will find the profits worth the risk and thusly the involvement in the black market, as a whole, will decrease. As drugs become more affordable it can also be assumed that there will be a decrease in drug related theft because prices are not too high. Naturally a black market and the crime associated with it will still exist for high potency drugs that are not legalized and also for children who do not meet the age requirement to take drugs, but it will not be as powerful as the one that exists today.

The current policy allows drug dealers to make millions of dollars without paying taxes on the money they make. The monopoly also allows these leaders to produce large quantities of drugs without any sort of quality control. After legislation, some money will instead go to entrepreneurs and the rest will go to the government. The government can then use these funds to make people more aware of the negative effects of drugs and also to enforce punishment on those who do not abide by the new laws. If legalized, the government can set standards for the quality and potency of drugs, thus ensuring some form of safety. Although some people doubt the fact that consumers will purchase these legalized, low-potency drugs, Prohibition in the 1920’s proves otherwise. Once prohibition had been enacted, there had been an increase in the consumption of hard liquor because that was what was available in the black market. A parallel can thus be drawn between the current policy and Prohibition. There is consumption, of high-potency drugs, which may not exist in such a large numbers if drugs are legalized and regulated by the government.

Legalization will take time to put into place. You will not be able to go the local supermarket and pick up a bag of marijuana on your way to buy bread and milk. Firstly there needs to be a significant amount of money spent on the research of all drugs currently in the market in order to determine which will be legalized and in what form and potency. Although it seems as though Marijuana and Cocaine would be the two