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Should we legalize all drugs?

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

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

Legalization would destroy the black market for drugs

Criminal drug dealers will not be able to compete with properly licensed producers and sellers.

Legal drug sales would be good for the economy

Already-legal drugs such as alcohol and marijuana generate enormous revenue, and other drugs can too.

Regulating drugs would make them safer

Regulatory laws for drug manufacturing and distribution would make drugs much safer for users.

Prohibition does not work

There is no way to win the war against illegal drugs, except by not fighting it.

Drug laws infringe upon personal liberty

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

No, we should not legalize all drugs

Drugs are dangerous and lead to criminal activity, and people need to be protected from them by the law.

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.

Drug use should not be normalized

Legalizing drugs would send the wrong message about drugs to children and society in general.

Legalizing drugs would escalate addiction epidemics

Existing addiction crises are bad enough without giving people easier access to highly addictive drugs.

Drugs should be decriminalized, but not legalized

Decriminalization is a less extreme and more rational way forward than outright legalization.

Addicts need help, not punishment and shame

Most drug addicts are not criminals, but the stigma and legal penalties associated with drug use force them down a criminal path.

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 03:10 UTC