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Should we legalize all drugs? Show more Show less
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Most countries in the world have laws banning the production, sale, and possession of illicit drugs. Despite billions being spent each year on enforcing these laws, a robust criminal market for drugs persists, and many places are undergoing epidemics of drug addiction. The challenges of enforcing drug prohibitions have led some advocates to propose legalizing drugs, while others maintain that laws and enforcement should only be made stricter. Which strategy makes the most sense? Should we change the status quo and legalize all drugs, or stay the course and focus on enforcement? Or does decriminalization offer a more favorable compromise?

Yes, all drugs should be legal Show more Show less

While there are risks associated with drug use, legalizing drugs is a much better option than retaining ineffective and inefficient anti-drug laws.
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Drug laws infringe upon personal liberty

Laws exist to protect people from each other, not from themselves.

The Argument

The philosophical basis of the most fundamental laws in free, democratic societies is the principle of personal liberty. Each individual's right to exercise their own free will and make their own choices about how to live their lives is a foundational moral and legal concept, and drug laws are in direct contradiction of this ideal. Drug laws also violate personal religious freedoms: in some cultures and religions, drugs which are now illegal play roles in important rituals and traditions. Drug prohibitions were not a part of the legal text of the founding documents of modern democracies, and historically, global society survived and progressed for many years without any legal restrictions on the supply or purchase of drugs. In and of itself, drug use is nothing more or less than a personal choice, and in a free society, the law should not have power over the personal choices of individual citizens.

Counter arguments

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Personal choice should not be infringed upon. [P2] Using drugs is a personal choice. [P3] Drugs being illegal is an infringement on personal choice which should not be allowed.

Rejecting the premises

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    This page was last edited on Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 17:22 UTC

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