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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?

No, we should not legalize all drugs Show more Show less

Drugs are dangerous and lead to criminal activity, and people need to be protected from them by the law.
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Drug-related crime would increase if drugs were legal

More people using drugs means more people engaging in the dangerous behaviours associated with drug use.

The Argument

Drug users commit both violent and non-violent crimes at a much higher rate than the general population. The detrimental effects of drug use on the user's mental state and decision-making can encourage people to engage in violent or risky behaviours due to increased aggression, lowered inhibitions and motor skills, and even psychotic episodes. The intense cravings for drugs experienced by addicts also motivate stealing and other criminal activities in order to fund drug purchases. Legalizing drugs would mean more people would be using drugs, and would thus cause a higher rate of all of the harmful, criminal acts associated with drug use.

Counter arguments

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Drug users are more likely to commit crimes. [P2] Legalizing drugs would increase the amount of drug users. [P3] Therefore, legalizing drugs would increase crime rates.

Rejecting the premises

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 17:23 UTC

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